Francis Bickmore
as David Bowie

Publishing Director, Canongate Books

What were you like at school?

I liked school as it was a chance to hang out with my mates all day long. I loved reading and was a bit of a book geek. I got up to lots of mischief as a teenager, but always turned up to class no matter how late I’d been up.

What inspires you about the Super Power Agency?

Everybody needs sparks for their imagination. That may come from family, friends or teachers, but sometimes it comes from out of the blue. The Super Power Agency is there to open the door for all kids to the multiverse of ideas, passion, opportunity and stories inside books. It’s that bolt out of the blue to inspire confidence, curiosity and self-belief. When did you last ask yourself what your super-power is?

If you could choose a slogan to live by, what would it be?

‘Live immediately’ Seneca
This is another way of saying don’t live life as a rehearsal. Notice the world around you and the world inside you. Be here now.

What makes you laugh?

Lots of things, but especially myself. Life is mad: 7 billion humans, recycled out of stardust, teeming away like ants on a ball of rock spinning through space time, somewhere in the multiverse. It’s a miracle we’re here at all. Life reliably throws you surprises, good and bad, and when you get things wrong, as we must all do if we’re living life with any courage, try not to give yourself a hard time. Having a sense of humour, especially about yourself, is the best first aid kit I can think of.