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Reader Q&A with Catherine Doyle


Catherine Doyle is the bestselling author of the much-loved Storm Keeper Trilogy. Her new book, The Lost Girl King about siblings Amy and Liam, is a gripping magical adventure set in the author's native Ireland.

One of our reviewers, Molly aged 8 wrote this fantastic review and won the opportunity to ask the author, Catherine Doyle, her burning questions about the book. 

"I absolutely loved this book and I couldn't put it down. I read it one day! It is about Amy and her brother, Liam who stay with their Gran and one day they go on an adventure. They follow a bird and end up in a magical world. I love the two characters. Amy is so heroic and brave and has to save her brother. I love the world that is created and it is such a gorgeous book."

Here are Molly's 10 questions and Catherine's replies. You can also read an extract and download some free Teacher's Notes here.

1. In the book, there were lots of exciting things, such as an upside down waterfall, a horse with a rider that has no head and the sun being chained up. Where did you get these ideas from?

Some of the ideas come from my favourite Irish myths. For example, in one famous legend, it is said that the kingdom of Tír na nÓg is hidden behind a waterfall that flows like golden honey. I thought making it flow backwards would be even more exciting. The Dullahan, a.k.a the headless horseman, also come from Irish mythology. The chained sun was an idea that hatched during a conversation with an author friend of mine – I loved the image of it, and thought it would make a very cool curse.

2. As you are from Ireland, did any Irish myth or legend inspire you? Do you have a favourite Irish story?

Yes, I am from the west of Ireland. There are lots of Irish myths and legends that inspire me, but my favourite is the legend of Tír na nÓg, an enchanted kingdom where nobody grows old. I’ve based The Lost Girl King on this myth!

3. Amy and Liam are really close, and love their Gran. Are you close with your relatives?

My family are very important to me. I have two brothers, who inspire all the siblings in my books, particularly the banter and teasing. I always try to write about the importance of family and friendships, because they are the most important relationships in my own life.

4. Are Amy and Liam based on real people?

Brave, adventurous Amy is based on the kind of person I wish I was more like when I was a child, while nerdy, timid Liam is based on the child that I actually was.

5. How long did to take you to write the book?

I wrote the book in about three months, and then took another three months to edit and polish it up.

6. I loved this book so much. It grabbed my imagination. Is there going to be a sequel?

I would happily return to the world of Tír na nÓg, but right now, I’m working on something brand new (and equally exciting, I hope!)

7. What is your favourite book and what book are you reading now?

My favourite book is The Princess Bride by William Goldman, or the Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis. Right now, I’m reading Spaceblasters by Kevin & Katie Tsang.

8. I really would like to be an author too. Do you have any tips for me?

Read as many books as you can, plan out your story before you start writing it, and don’t ever listen to the voice inside you that tells you to give up.

9. Did you always want to be an author?

Yes, I’ve wanted to be an author since I was about six years old.

10. Are you writing another book now or planning one?

My next book is a magical swashbuckling adventure, and it comes out next year!


Huge thanks to Molly and Catherine and you can find out more about The Lost Girl King below.

Reader Q&A with Catherine Doyle
Book pages Placeholder Book

The Lost Girl King

' The Lost Girl King echoes Lord of the Rings and Narnia, whilst being original and fresh. It's sure to become a classic of its own' - Aisha Bushby, author of A Pocketful of Stars 'A glorious gulp of a summer adventure' - Piers Torday, author of The Lost Wild 'Nobody writes peril, wit and wonder as well as Catherine Doyle ... a modern Diana Wynne Jones' - Dave Rudden, author of Irish Children's Book of the Year, Knights of the Borrowed Dark ********** Amy and Liam Bell have been packed off to stay at Gran's house in the wilds of Connemara for the summer. Out for a walk on the first morning of their holiday, they trace the flight of a hawk to a nearby waterfall - only to watch the bird disappear through it . Intrigued, the children follow and soon realise they've discovered the entrance to Tir na nOg, the legendary land of eternal youth. But they've been tricked. Almost immediately Liam is captured by a troop of headless horsemen who take him to Tarlock, the ruling sorcerer of Tir na nOg, who is seeking the bones of a human child for a sinister new spell. Packed with edge-of-your seat adventure, incredible imagination, humour and warmth, The Lost Girl King is the rare kind of story that has you reading long past lights out.


15th September 2022

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