from a piece written to celebrate the re-opening (aftger refurbishment) of Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books:
I never expected to become a children’s author. I was a grown-up educated adult and I thought my purpose was to write books for intelligent educated adults. But I’d been ambushed by a story called Skellig and my life and work had taken a totally unexpected direction. I found myself in a world where people really do believe that books and art can change people’s lives, that they can help to create a better world. I found young readers who, despite all the myths and mistruths, are active citizens, who really do read avidly and creatively, who are able to be both hilarious and deeply serious, barmy and profound. I found myself in a community of astonishingly talented and hardworking authors and illustrators. I found a literary home.