2016
04.03

World Book Day: 9 tips to help your child learn to read by SAS author Andy McNab
3 March 2016 – By BOUDICCA FOX-LEONARD

Andy McNab didn’t read his first book until he was 17. Now the bestselling author of over 20 books, he’s on a mission to get more kids reading.

“As long as you read, you get knowledge. With knowledge, you get power. Then you can do things you want to do in life,” says Andy, himself a father.

He came to public prominence in 1993 when he published his account of the Special Air Service (SAS) patrol Bravo Two Zero in 1991.

A proflic author, who enjoys everything from thrillers to Dickens, his own experience is proof that it’s never too late to start reading.

“The first book I read was in the army. It was Janet and John book ten. Afterwards I felt really proud, I’d actually enjoyed it too.”

So if you’re struggling to get your little ones to put down their screens and take up a book, here are Andy’s top nine survival tips for parents.


1) Lead by example

Reading is infectious. If your child sees you reading, they are more likely to pick up a book. And once you get into a good book, it’s like a drug.

2) Don’t be a sergeant major
Let your children read what they like. Don’t shove a book down a kids throat. If they don’t like it, they won’t read it. It could be a comic or a cartoon strip, as long as they’re reading they are learning.

3) Seen the movie? Now read the book

That film they loved at the cinema? That TV adaptation they were hooked on? Ask your child it they knew it was a book and suggest they give it a go to see the difference between the two.

4) Don’t break the bank
Books can be expensive, especially if you haven’t got a library nearby. Luckily publishers are realising this. I support a series of books called Quick Reads. They cost a quid each and are great for children and adults alike – they are brilliant for building confidence. So money is no excuse not to bury your nose in a good book.

5) Read aloud
Making time to read aloud to your children is imperative! Einstein was asked how you make children intelligent and he said read them stories and then read them more stories.
Being read to allows kids to spark up their imagination. Research shows that even if they drift off and you keep talking, unconsciously they are sill carving new neural pathways.

6) Trick them into it
Few kids want to do what their parents tell them to do. So telling them to turn off the Playstation isn’t going to work. But how about suggesting they read a book of cheats for their favourite games? Some of them are 40,000 words long! They won’t even realise that what they’re doing is reading.

7) Appeal to their passions
If your child loves fashion, suggest they reads the Devil Wears Prada. If a child finds the subject matter interesting, they’ll read the book.

8) Explain how reading is a life skill
I’ve had children say to me ‘but footballers don’t need to read’. But yes they do. Some of those contracts are 120 pages long. Do you really want someone else deciding that for you? Reading is a lifeskill we all need.

9) Don’t categorise books!
Dickens is great. If you took away the coal fires and put in central heating, the characters would still remain the same. But the classics aren’t for everyone. Don’t categorise a book by class. Read what you enjoy, not what you think you should be reading.

The 2016 Galaxy Quick Reads are bite-sized books written by best-selling authors for £1. Available now from bookshops, supermarkets and online or libraries nationwide.

Source: Mirror.co.uk

2016
20.02

An Interview with the impressive Andy McNab
by Margaret Graham

18 January 2016

Andy, Nick Stone, in Detonator, talks of knowledge equaling power. In one of your talks I sat in on at the Yeovil Literary Festival, you mentioned that your army tutor at your squad’s first literacy session explained that the ability to read was the route to education, which = knowledge, which in turn = power. This clearly resonated with you, even changed your life.
You write non-fiction and fiction, which shows the importance of the latent abilities your tutor unearthed but have you felt the need to pass this equation to others? Perhaps through literacy charities? If so, what are they? Tell us more about how this equation has changed the lives of others.

Yes very much so. I was lucky enough to have been given an education by the Army, and I spend a lot of time now telling young people my story and encouraging them to make the most of educational opportunities on offer. I am an Ambassador for the Reading Agency, and through them visit many schools, prisons, Young Offender Units and workplaces every year. If I can get just one inmate, school kid or worker to change their reading habits or pick up a book for the first time, then it will have been worth it. My message is pretty simple, ‘If I can do it, anybody can.’

Read the full interview here in Frost Magazine

2015
10.11

Grey Man’s Lands was given the opportunity to give away 5 dedicated copies of Andy McNab’s new Nick Stone novel Detonator. The 5 winning questions of his fans are answered here by Andy and the books are in the mail. Happy reading! Of course we too had a few questions for Andy this time…

Hi Andy,

First we want to congratulate you with your Honorary Doctorate of Arts which you received recently from Plymouth University. What does the acknowledgment of your work mean to you?

Andy: As a kid the only doctors I had ever heard of were the ones you went to in you were ill and Doctor Who. This is a perfect example of social mobility, it doesn’t matter where you come from, you just need to give it a go. As I tell school children and prisoners, if I can do it, anyone can.

You’ll be on a South Pole Trek in support of the Reading Agency soon. Tell us about your motivation and we’re wondering – even though your still fit and healthy, is this still a challenge for you?

Andy: I was invited to join the South Pole Expedition. It was just a bunch of mates to begin with, but I thought why not raise some money for a cause that is close to my heart, the Reading Agency, at the same time!

It will be a challenge, but ultimately even with all the Hi Tec kit and scientifically designed foods, you’ve still got to put one foot in front of the other, really quickly. I find it quite easy to switch off and not think about much, so I think I will be OK. Perhaps you should ask me again when I’ve finished it.

We haven’t got a clue where you find the time to write but the new Nick Stone novel is a fact. What can we expect from Detonator?

Andy: This is Nick Stone at his most exposed, with everything that matters to him at risk. Racing across the Swiss alps and down to southern Italy, Nick is against the clock to save everything he holds dear. It hasn’t got the ending you might expect, just to warn you.

Consider us warned! (and scared??)

Shaking that off for a now….we’ve selected 5 questions from your fans. They’re all very excited getting a dedicated copy of Detonator. On behalf of them, thank you! And we’re hoping they’ll let you know what they think of Nicks latest adventure.

1. Question by Richard Joyce
If you had one decision you could go back and change, what would it be?

Andy: I wouldn’t change a thing, there’s no guarantee anything would be better or worse. The fact is that everything is a punt, why would I change anything, I am doing something different and new. Life is full of lumps of shit, it’s just a question of how much you have to eat on the way.

2. Question by Simon Bunkall
What is your list of the top 5 best E&E items anyone could find in their own home?

Andy:
1) KITCHEN KNIFE – The bigger and sharper the better, for defence and food, and making shelter.
2) BIN LINERS – To use for shelter and for gathering water.
3) 2 LITRE MILK CONTAINERS – For storing and sterilizing water.
4) A WASHING LINE – Erecting shelters and constructing animal traps.
5) A PILLOW – We all need a good night’s sleep!

3. Question by Matthew Rose
Just returned from a backpacking trip in Europe and after riding the regional trains in Italy near Naples it was the most uncomfortable and frightened I’ve been as an adult. My girlfriend and I were confronted numerous times but luckily escaped without any harm. Which area in the World would you be frightened and uneasy to go for fear of being mugged as a tourist?

Andy: It would have to be Colombia purely because you’ve got a society of haves and a society of have nots, and not much in between. It’s also a culture that is naturally violent anyway, and there’s no constructs to dissuade people from doing it. It’s just what goes on.

4. Question by Rick Payne
Having given a very good account of the Op in Gib as an opener to Remote Control are you likely to write a book specifically based upon your various roles in the fight against the IRA once the 30 years are up?

Andy: That’s a good question. The Ireland interest fluctuates hugely. People think it’s far too early to talk about it, or that it’s far too complicated because of all the different factions involved. I did write about the Ireland stuff in Immediate Action, my autobiography. There, got a plug in!
There is film interest in the Gibraltar incident, as I’ve also done a Quick Read, to come out next spring, about it.

5. Question by Kevin Southwell
Having experienced what you have, and could have your time again, would you go for selection again? I also thank you for your time and I wish you a Merry Christmas next month.

Andy: Yes without a doubt. It did two things for me, it kept my army career going (I would have got out if I had failed selection) but more importantly it gave me even more education. The Regiment even sent me to Bristol University for a while.

Thanks as always Andy, we’ll be looking forward to read more about your South Pole adventure and come back safe!
Detonator (Nick Stone 17) is available in hardback and e-book here.

If you would like to support Andy’s South Pole trek to help fight illiteracy take a look here or visit The Reading Agency website to find out more about what they do and to read their latest news.

2015 Andy McNab Reading Journey appeal

2015
31.07

Great COUNTDOWN with Andy McNab on the CrimeReview website. We’ll give you number 10…

Ten words to sum up your working life to date …

Andy McNab: “Varied. My life philosophy: Why not give everything a try.”

To read about books, laziness, credit cards and d*ckheads go here and enjoy!

2015
12.06

Andy McNab on the latest Tom Buckingham thriller by The Oldie Magazine Recordings on Mixcloud

2015
15.03

In Michael Berkeley’s Private Passions Andy McNab reveals the central place of music in his life, and particularly his passion for opera.

Opera, he says, is the only thing that makes him cry: he chooses Wagner, Verdi and Puccini. McNab reveals too his love of the calm reflective music of Gregorian chant, which he first heard sung by the Benedictine monks of Belmont Abbey, when he was training for the SAS in Herefordshire. He talks movingly about his imprisonment and torture, and about how the particular sounds of that time are burned into his memory: the jangle of keys, the rattle of doors. To escape those dark memories, he chooses one of the most joyful pieces of music ever written: Handel’s Messiah.

One thing I’d love to ask Andy myself again sometime is about him having a ‘silent dinner’ with the Monks of Belmont Abbey. How hard must that have been ?!?

Andy’s Music: