I’m delighted to welcome the wonderful Catherine Doyle to my blog for an interview. She has been one of my favourite authors ever since I read Vendetta a couple of years ago. I’ve even met her a few times at DeptCon (an annual book convention in Dublin). She also has a new novel out now called The Storm Keeper’s Island!
Goodreads synopsis for Vendetta:
When it comes to revenge, love is a dangerous complication.With a fierce rivalry raging between two warring families, falling in love is the deadliest thing Sophie could do. An epic debut set outside modern-day Chicago.
When five brothers move into the abandoned mansion in her neighbourhood, Sophie Gracewell’s life changes forever. Irresistibly drawn to bad boy Nicoli, Sophie finds herself falling into a criminal underworld governed by powerful families. As the boys’ dark secrets begin to come to light, Sophie is confronted with stinging truths about her own family, too. She must choose between two warring dynasties – the one she was born into, and the one she is falling in love with. When she does, blood will spill and hearts will break.
Goodreads synopsis for The Storm keepers Island:
When Fionn Boyle sets foot on Arranmore Island, it begins to stir beneath his feet …
Once in a generation, Arranmore Island chooses a new Storm Keeper to wield its power and keep its magic safe from enemies. The time has come for Fionn’s grandfather, a secretive and eccentric old man, to step down. Soon, a new Keeper will rise.
But, deep underground, someone has been waiting for Fionn. As the battle to become the island’s next champion rages, a more sinister magic is waking up, intent on rekindling an ancient war.
1. What led you to becoming a writer?
I became a writer because I loved stories- it’s as simple as that! Growing up, I read avariciously and when I completed my undergraduate in college, I took a year out to explore creative writing courses and decided that I loved it so much I had to give it a shot!
I’m so glad you made that decision and I’m sure many people feel the same. The stories you tell are so immersive, I can’t put them down!
2. What inspired your Blood for Blood trilogy?
Blood for Blood was inspired by my love of modern cinema- things like the Godfather and Goodfellas. I noticed there was very little that dealt with the criminal underworld in YA and I thought if there was anyone else out there like me, they would be interested in that too!
And you were right! Such incredible books.
3. If you could be a character in one of your books who would you be and why?
I think I’d probably be Millie because she’s buffered from the underworld in a way that keeps her safe (most of the time!). I’m tempted to say Sophie because of obvious *Luca* reasons, but I’m such a coward I’d probably have a heart attack at the first sight of a gun!
I’m the exact same, I don’t know how Sophie does it!
4. Female friendships are very important in your books. How do you think Sophie would have coped without Millie?
I think Sophie wouldn’t have coped very well at all without Millie. I think things would have gone very differently for her in the end, and not in a good way. It’s so important to have a good support system in life in general, and that only multiplies a hundred fold when you find yourself stuck in the criminal underworld with no one to turn to!
5. What were your favourite subjects at school? Do you think they had an impact on your career?
I loved English and Art. I was fortunate to have two amazing English teachers throughout my time in secondary school and I definitely think their enthusiasm, talent and support is a big part of why I’m a writer now. They helped me believe in my own ability at a really crucial age.
6. If you come across a bad review of one of your books, how do you cope with it?
Bad reviews don’t bother me at all. Sometimes I find them funny. Not everyone will love the book – that’s just life. The trick is not to go reading your own reviews. I just keep my head down and write.
I think that’s the best way of dealing with it!
7. In your opinion is plot or character more important?
I personally think plot is really important, just because I get bored so easily when reading/watching movies. I’m like a five-year-old child. Obviously, ideally, you need to develop character first, then throw said-character into a plot, but if I had to choose, I think I’d go for plot.
I definitely think you’re right because without a plot there is no story! But, at the same time it’s difficult to read a book if you can’t connect to the characters within it so it’s a hard one!
8. Your new book is middle grade. Did you make a conscious decision to write a middle grade novel beforehand?
No! I just wrote the story that was sitting inside my head. It’s based in Arranmore, my ancestral home, and the voice that came to me was an 11 year old boy. And I didn’t want to tamper with it too much, so I kept it that way.
9. Do you think books should be judged based on what their target audience is?
No! Books should be judged on whether they make you feel something.
I really, really agree with this!
10. Will you ever go back to writing YA?
One day, I’d like to think so!
Thanks so much to Catherine Doyle for answering all my questions! That’s the end of today’s fantastic interview. You can find out more about Catherine Doyle on website here or catch up with her on Twitter @doyle_cat. Don’t forget to read The Storm Keeper’s Island and the Blood for Blood trilogy, if you haven’t already!