5-4-3-2-1: Claire Barker

With Halloween just around the corner, who better to take part in our 5-4-3-2-1 feature than Claire Barker, author of Knitbone Pepper And The Ghost Dog (published by Usborne)?

Books you’d save from a burning bookcase 1) Roald Dahl –Danny, Champion of the World. The first book that made me sit up and pay attention. I will never look a raisin in the same way again. 2) The QI Book of The Dead. Very, very interesting dead people. 3) Patrick Suskind – Perfume. Brilliant, dark, poisonous, frightening, addictive. 4) Terry Pratchett – Mort. Death has a horse called Binky: what’s not to love? 5) Childhood copy of Tales from Shakespeare, illustrated by Victor Ambrus. Full of war, blood and pretty frocks

Authors you’d want with you if you were stranded on a desert island.

1) William Blake 2) Oscar Wilde 3) Neil Gaiman 4) AA Milne

TV shows you can watch all day long

1) Black Books. Bookshop + wine + bad behaviour = perfection. 2) Old re-runs of River Cottage, the early ones when Hugh is clearly mad; eating roadkill and singing to mice. 3) Stranger Things – spooky and bonkers.

Pieces of advice you would give to yourself before you became a published author

1). Always write your synopsis when you get the spark of an idea. Don’t wait to write the whole book. It needs a lightness of touch. 2). Don’t worry – you’re not spooky, kooky and peculiar in the head. You’re just a writer.

Relationships you love to read about

1) Ah – the bittersweet tension of doomed love…. from Giles and Grace in The Woodlanders to Emma and Dexter in One Day, these stories put your heart through a mangle. Marvellous stuff.

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