A top crime writer has thrown her weight behind The News's literacy campaign.
Hayling Island author Pauline Rowson's latest crime novel, Deadly Waters, will be launched on board a Wightlink ferry tomorrow during a marathon book-signing and meet-the-author event.
Mrs Rowson's Marine Mystery series has brought her considerable success as a writer, and she recognises that reading has been at the very heart of her career.
That's why she's backing our Spread the Word literacy campaign, a year-long drive to encourage children to read more and make books an integral part of their lives.
The 52-year-old said: 'For me as a child, reading Enid Blyton opened up an exciting new world of adventures.
'Reading fiction is particularly critical for me, as it stimulates the imagination more than anything else as you paint a picture in your mind.
'Reading is really good for creative thinking for people of all walks of life.'
Mrs Rowson added: 'It also increases your vocabulary and gives you new ways in which to express yourself.'
Mrs Rowson will spend nearly eight hours on board the St Clare ferry as it travels between Portsmouth and Fishbourne on the Isle of Wight.
She will be at a mobile bookshop being set up especially by The Hayling Island Bookshop as part of the National Year of Reading.
She said: 'It is rather an unusual book signing, and that's what I like about it.
'It is also highly appropriate for my novels because they are all set around the sea, in particular the Solent.
'I am very grateful to Wightlink for allowing me to do this and for being so enthusiastic about the event, and to the Hayling Island Bookshop for organising it.
'It promises to be a great day out, and will bring new books to new readers.
'A lot of people are put off books because they''re forced to read something that doesn't appeal to them.
'I always think it doesn't matter what people read as long as they read.'
Mrs Rowson will spend the day aboard the St Clare from 8.45am to 4.30pm meeting passengers and signing copies of her books.