Embark on a deep dive into the world of author of ‘The Storm Keeper’s Island’, Catherine Doyle.
Name: Catherine Doyle.
KRASH: Where did your passion for writing come from?
I loved reading stories as a child. My Mum used to take my brothers and I to the library most weekends, where we would stock up on books. As I grew up, my love of reading naturally evolved into a love of writing.
KRASH: What kind of study did you undergo to become a writer?
I have an Undergraduate Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Publishing. But, I think the most useful thing I did was attend an eight-week course on creative writing, which really helped me find my voice and my confidence to pursue writing in earnest.
KRASH: How would you describe your book, ‘The Storm Keeper’s Island’ in one sentence?
A magical island adventure, full of bravery, heart and humour.
KRASH: How did the idea for ‘The Storm Keeper’s Island’ evolve?
The book is set on the real-life island where my grandparents were born. It’s a beautiful place, full of jagged cliffs, secret caves and is surrounded by the wild Atlantic Ocean. It has been the setting of countless daring sea-rescues and adventures, a lot of which my ancestors were a part of. One of these incidents (the hurricane rescue of the S.S. Stolwjik) is featured in ‘The Storm Keeper’s Island’.
KRASH: How many books have you written?
‘The Storm Keeper’s Island’ is my first middle-grade novel, and my fourth published novel.
KRASH: How long was the process to write, edit and publish ‘The Storm Keeper’s Island’?
Bloomsbury bought ‘The Storm Keeper’s Island’ partial (the first three chapters) on June 28, 2017 and it was published officially in the United Kingdom on July 1, 2018. So, it has been a very quick turnaround!
KRASH: What do you love the most about your job?
I can connect with readers by writing about whispering trees, magical sea caves and flying horses. I also love that I can wear my pyjamas to work.
KRASH: What is the most challenging thing about your job?
To be a writer, you need to be incredibly self-disciplined. Sometimes it is hard to put in the hours needed to make a deadline or to sit down and write when you feel like you have nothing to say.
KRASH: Where do you draw your writing inspiration from?
Real-life stories really inspire me – the stranger the better!
KRASH: What cool things have you learnt by writing ‘The Storm Keeper’s Island’?
I learnt about a lot of my ancestor’s daring sea adventures, and all the secret magical places hidden on Arranmore Island.
KRASH: Growing up, what kind of books did you enjoy reading?
I loved anything with magic and impossibility – ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Artemis Fowl’ and ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’.
KRASH: What is involved in a typical day of work?
I usually start working in the afternoon and will continue pretty late into the night (often until two or three in the morning if I am on a deadline). In between these hours, I try to fit in a walk by the sea, some reading, and some home-cooked meals too!
KRASH: Tell us something about yourself that not many people know?
I’m terrified of butterflies.
KRASH: Who is your favourite character in ‘The Storm Keeper’s Island’ and why?
I like Fionn’s grandfather, Malachy Boyle, because he has lived a rich life full of adventure, bravery and tragedy, but, he still manages to be funny and silly with Fionn. Malachy allows me to unleash my weirdest self as an author. His dialogue is my favourite to write.
KRASH: How do you enjoy spending your spare time?
I love to travel and watch movies. I also really enjoy flying kites, but, very few of my friends will get involved in this particular passion, because their inner child is a lot more mature than mine!
KRASH: Are you working on any other projects at the moment?
I am currently hard at work on the sequel to ‘The Storm Keeper’s Island’.
KRASH: What advice would you tell kids who are interested becoming professional writers?
Read, read, read. And, it is never too early to start jotting down ideas or trying your hand at writing some short stories. Your imagination is a muscle – you need to nurture and train it!