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Burning Books…on Paper—Catherine Doyle

Catherine Doyle, author of The Lost Girl King (Bloomsbury) talks all things bookish for Burning Books…on Paper, the companion series to our popular podcast.

A book from your early days 

I remember discovering The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis when I was 8 years old, and being absolutely enthralled by them. 

I slept with them under my pillow, so I could read first thing in the morning. For years after that, I would check the wardrobes in my granny’s house whenever we visited her, just in case Narnia was waiting on the other side!

Dog ears or book marks?

Dog ears, I’m afraid… I always lose my book marks. 

A quote you remember off by heart

“Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Do you lend without expecting a book returned?

Yes. If I’m recommending it to someone, that usually means I’ve already read it, so I’m not anxious to get it back. 

Best book someone gave you? 

A special edition, signed hardback copy of Throne of Glass, by Sarah J Maas. It has pride of place on my bookshelf!

A book you return to over the years

The Princess Bride by William Goldman – this is one of my all-time favourite books. It always puts a smile on my face, and fires up my creativity.

A book that taught you something important?

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. This was the first magical children’s book I read where the main character was Irish! It inspired me to become a reader, and later, a writer of fantastical Irish stories for children. 

A book that makes you laugh? 

For adults, Book Lovers by Emily Henry. And for children, The Underpants of Chaos by Jenny Pearson and Sam Copeland, two of the funniest writers I’ve ever read. Their work genuinely makes me cry with laughter.

One of your own books you’d choose to save 

The Lost Girl King! I had so much fun writing this magical adventure, inspired by Tír na nÓg that I just couldn’t bear to see it burn. It also has one of my favourite book covers!

A book you are reading now

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin, which is incredible!

A book you’d leave in there to burn

I don’t think I could bring myself to burn someone else’s book, but I would happily burn the early drafts of all of my own books instead. Those truly are terrible!

You can save one non-book item: what is it? 

My dog, Cali!