Author Interview with Catherine McCarthy!
Hi, Catherine McCarthy, welcome to the Indie Publishing Group website! Introduce yourself to us. Tell everyone who you are, where you’re from, what you enjoy doing, your hobbies and interests.
Hi Everyone! I’m Catherine McCarthy, a Welsh author. Apart from writing I love reading, making vintage 1940’s style clothing and handbags, walking on the beautiful West Wales coast path and I also work out at the gym three times a week to try and counteract my love of chocolate.
When did you start writing and why?
I’ve always written – ever since I first learned how – but I published my first novel, (The Gatekeeper’s Apprentice) a low-fantasy for children age 8+ in 2015 and my first adult novel, Hope Cottage in 2019. I was fortunate in that my wonderful mother fostered my interest in stories from a very young age. I consider it one of life’s most rewarding pleasures – to read and write.
Which is your favorite book you have written and what gave you the idea for it?
My favourite is the one I’m on the brink of publishing. It’s an anthology of dark tales with a portal theme called Door and other portal stories. Those of you who enjoy dark, low-fantasy with a touch of magical realism should enjoy it. I actually came up with the idea for Door (the first story in the collection) during a long car journey. My husband started talking about the barren landscape we were passing and we began imagining what secrets might lie there. We wove the story from there really.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
This answer is linked to the one above. We imagined a secret government complex built on the derelict site. Inside, along a feature-less grey corridor lies Door – what simply appears to be a sturdy gun-metal door – but the effect it has on the main character John is profound. I can’t say any more without spoilers!
Who helped you with the cover? Or did you design it yourself? What was your inspiration for your cover design?
I’m very fortunate that my husband is a 3d artist, illustrator and animator. Not only has he designed all 3 of my covers but he’s also created other pieces of artwork to accompany my books, especially Gatekeeper’s Apprentice as it’s a children’s book. Please Like my Facebook page so that you can see the other artwork.
What are some of the themes of your story?
Hope Cottage was written as a cathartic means of coming to terms with my own mother’s death. It’s a work of fiction in which the main character, Cassie, is struggling to terms with the loss of her own mother. I’m donating all royalties in the first year to thebraintumourcharity.org in her memory.
Door and other portal stories is completely different. All ten stories in the anthology stand alone and yet all are linked by the idea of a portal through which supernatural forces have invaded our world over time. I absolutely loved writing this book! Hopefully it will be on sale by late July. Here’s the blurb…
Botany Bay, 1790 – One by one, a colony of white-skinned pioneers disappear from their camp. Did the legendary rainbow serpent of the Dreamtime, Goorialla, wreak revenge on the ghosts for disturbing its sacred watering hole?
North-east coast of Japan 2011, vicinity of Fukushima Nuclear Plant – Seismic waves on the Pacific Ocean floor cause a catastrophic tsunami. The mythical giant catfish, Namazu, is believed to seek retribution for human greed by creating earthquakes. Could it be to blame?
Door and other portal stories is a themed collection of ten twisted tales, each set in a different time, a different place and yet each interconnected by supernatural forces. From Plague – the embodiment of the 14th Century Black Death, to Shams – a contemporary tale of the mystics of quantum physics and the mind, Door will accompany you on a journey through time and place as the consequences of greed, impulse, loneliness and fear are exposed.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
There are so many! As well as my favourites I like to try new genres and to read outside of my comfort zone as I think it helps to expand your thinking. A few favourites include Joanne Harris, Neil Gaiman, Kate Mosse and Jess Kidd.
Have you got anything you’re working on now?
Yes. My current novel is called The Lane and is another magical realism/low fantasy for YA or adults. I don’t want to give any spoilers but the main character is a young girl called Hannah who has special needs. It’s been really interesting to weave a yarn from that kind of character’s point of view but I’m thoroughly enjoying the challenge. Also, I feel strongly that people with special needs or disabilities are underrepresented both in literature and in other media.
If you could have any superpowers what would they be?
To be able to consume as much cake and chocolate as I wish without it harming my health!
If you could travel to any location in the world where would you go?
The stories in Door have a variety of settings, from Lanzarote and Japan and even Australia. I enjoy visiting places which inspire me to write. My next planned novel will be set in an old apothecary shop in the historic Closes of Edinburgh, Scotland so a visit there is next on the agenda.
Where do you hope to be in 5 years’ time?
Exactly where I am now – happy and healthy with all my remaining loved ones.
Thanks, so much for taking the time to do an author interview, Catherine McCarthy! Take a minute and check Catherine McCarthy out on the links below! If you would like to do an author interview, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
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