Interview with Malachy Doyle

October, 2009
Malachy Doyle

General Questions

SS: What is your birthdate?

MD: 6/30

SS: What were your previous occupations?

MD: I've packed Polo Mints in a Polo Mint factory; sorted dirty laundry in a Dirty Laundry; darned socks, patched jeans and looked after the children in a Special School; and taught Sociology, Psychology and all sorts of other things.

SS: What was/is your favorite job?

MD: Making up stories. Imagine getting paid to do the thing you love!

SS: Where did you go to high school and/or college?

MD: I went to school in Saint Malachy's College in Belfast. And no, it wasn't named after me!

SS: Name of your favorite composer or music artist?

MD: My favourite composer is Johann Sebastian Bach.  My favourite singer is June Tabor.

Questions About Books and Writing

SS: Who are your favorite authors?

MD: I've so many favourite authors.

I love Jane Austen, Sebastian Barry, Ian McEwan, William Trevor, John McGahern, Anne Tyler, Carol Shields, Rose Tremain...

I love David Almond, Geraldine McCaughrean, Sonya Hartnett, Robert Westall, Tove Jansson, Alan Garner, Robert Cormier, Morris Gleitzman...

I love Martin Waddell, John Burningham, Shirley Hughes, Morris Sendak, Allan Ahlberg...

SS: Is there a book you love to reread?

MD: If I'm ever ill, I like to reread Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

SS: Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

MD: Read lots, write lots, rewrite lots, and don't forget to live life to the full!

SS: What comment do you hear most often from your readers?

MD: Have you met J. K. Rowling?

What Readers want to know...

SS: How would you describe perfect happiness?

MD: I had a brilliant day writing. Then I had a walk round my island. Now I'm sitting by an open fire with a good book, a cat on my knee and Liz by my side.

SS: What’s your greatest fear?

MD: There's a scream. The cat digs its claws into my knee. I jump up. My book falls in the fire. I run to see what the scream was. The burning book falls out of the fire onto the carpet...

SS: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?

MD: Up a gum tree.

SS: What do you regret most?

MD: I wish I hadn't just eaten the whole of that chocolate bar. I wish I'd managed to save some of it for later. And a tiny bit for you.

SS: If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

MD: I'd love to be able to illustrate my picture books, but I can't draw for toffee. If I try and draw a pig it looks like a worm.

SS: What is your greatest achievement?

MD: My children.

SS: What’s your greatest flaw?

MD: I eat too many biscuits.

SS: What’s your best quality?

MD: Stickability. I just don't give up.

SS: If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?

MD: I'd like to be a crocodiddleotamus.

SS: What is your biggest pet peeve?

MD: Mobile phones. They just never stop beeping or nattering.

SS: What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?

MD: I'm a walker. I wander the coastline and the mountains, looking, thinking, dreaming.

SS: If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?

MD: Chocolate ginger biscuits. Yum!

Quick Start

SS: How would you describe your life in only 8 words?

MD: Ireland, then England, then Wales, then Ireland again.

SS: What is your motto or maxim?

MD: Who ate all the chocolate?

Get more on Malachy Doyle at

No comments have been added yet.