Interview with Katy O’Dowd

Posted June 18, 2014 by Lillian in Interviews / 0 Comments

by Katy O'Dowd
Today on the blog I’m so excited to have the UK author Katy O’Dowd here with me. She’s the author of The Lady Astronomer and the newly released Memento Mori.


Lillian: Thanks Katy for being here today!
Katy: Thank you so much for inviting me over!
Lillian: So tell me a little about yourself. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Katy: Well, I have two sons so we do a lot of going to the movies and other kid things – and how fabulous is it to be able to watch cartoons any time you want? I have a serious addiction to the Real Housewives of New Jersey and lots of other tacky TV shows, perfect brain switch off viewing. I read a lot, for pleasure and for review. We socialise puppies for a charity and when they are trained, the dogs go on to work with disabled children. And we currently have five cats, three amputees and two dwarf kitties who were very ill as babies.
Lillian: Awe! I’ve seen those dogs in action (maybe not the exact ones you train) and they are awesome! Well I now understand Lucinda’s love of animals 😉 What inspired you to become a writer?
Katy: Wanting to write was always there with me, if you look up daydreamer in the dictionary I’m sure you might find my picture there. I started writing properly in college when I studied journalism. Completed my first novel in 2010.
Lillian: Was there an author or book that influenced you?
Katy: I love reading because I always find something which inspires me – but my two main long-standing author influences are Stephen King and Jilly Cooper.
Lillian: Where do you get your ideas?
Katy: Ooh! From everywhere. For example, when my second son was born in 2008, and we were keeping funny hours, I watched the entire box set of The Sopranos – I have to say that influenced Memento Mori.
Lillian: Well that fits 🙂 Is there anything in your books based on real-life experience or is it purely imagination?
Katy: I really like taking real-life events and turning them into fiction. The Lady Astronomer’s is based on Caroline Herschel and the historical aspects in Memento Mori are based on truth.
Lillian: I loved that about both books! Historical fiction, especially when blended with a bit of fantasy like in The Lady Astronomer, is my vice. Did you have a favorite part or chapter from either book while writing?
Katy: With The Lady Astronomer, I loved writing the animals, Leibniz the lemur and Orion the owl, they are so naughty and I was thinking of my boys squabbling when I wrote them. In Memento Mori I enjoyed writing the assassin’s inventor Henry Dedlock as he is pretty outrageous and doesn’t give a damn because of where he is at that moment in his life.
Lillian: If you could go back and do it all over again, is there anything you would change about your novel/series?
Katy: I’m very impatient so I’d try to change that!
Lillian: Is there a character or theme from either book you’d like to go back to?
Katy: Yes! I’d go back to the smugglers in Ireland at the start of Memento Mori. And I’d like to see Leibniz and Orion get up to some more mischief.
Lillian: Oh! I would like that too 🙂 Are you working on anything now?
Katy: I also write medical historical fiction with my Dad under the pen-name Derry O’Dowd, so we’re writing the first of two sequels to the book The Scarlet Ribbon at the moment.
Lillian: I did not realize that! I’m going to go check it out. Since you’ve become published, what’s been the hardest or best criticism you’ve dealt with?
Katy: Bad reviews can be hard to take, so you just have to take a deep breath and carry on rather than letting them get you into a tail-spin. The best compliment was when a reader took the time to track me down and wrote to me to let me know how much they had enjoyed The Lady Astronomer. That was brilliant. Also, whenever a reviewer really ‘gets’ the book.
Lillian: Any advice for aspiring writers out there?
Katy: Keep believing, keep writing.
Lillian: Good advice 🙂 Anything you’d like to share with your fans?
Katy: Thank you so much!
Lillian: Now for the really hard questions 😉 Favorite color?
Katy: Only one? Purple, pink, silver, black.
Lillian: Ooo….love those color combos. Favorite movie?
Katy: Unforgiven.
Lillian: Favorite TV show?
Katy: The Real Housewives of New Jersey.
Lillian: Favorite place to write?
Katy: In my study at home.
Lillian: If you had to choose just one book, what would it be and why?
Katy: Riders by Jilly Cooper. Such a great story! Epic storytelling, great characters, a bit naughty – I remember it blowing my tiny little mind when I read it as a teen.
Lillian: What brand of cereal best describes you and why? (As a pediatric oncology nurse, I was told that my answer to this question is what got me hired. So I have to ask it!)
Katy: Oh interesting question, and how brilliant of you, am in awe – am sure you already have your wings 🙂 I’m not that fond of cereal as I don’t really like milk (I know, I know) but the one I make chocolate cripsy cluster buns with is Kellog’s Sultana Bran. So I guess kind of good and bad all at the same time? Or, I can’t make up my mind? What was your answer?

Lillian (blushing): Thank you! And to answer your question…Fruit Loops because I’m a little crazy and colorful 🙂 Katy, thank you again for being here today! I look forward to reading more books from you.

To purchase one of Katy’s books, click the title below.



To see my review of The Lady Astronmer, click here. Check back tomorrow for a special sneak peek and my review of Memento Mori.

Author Bio:

Katy is an arts and entertainment journalist and has worked for Time Out, Associated Newspapers and Comic Relief and her articles have appeared in The Times (London), Metro (London) and many other arts and entertainment publications, paper and online.

Alongside writing with her Dad under the pen-name Derry O’Dowd, whose first book The Scarlet Ribbon was chosen to launch the History Press Ireland’s fiction line, she writes under her own name. ‘The Lady Astronomer’, a YA Steampunk tale was released by Untold Press in 2012.

Katy reviews for the Historical Novels Review and the British Fantasy Society.

Connect with Katy: [Webpage][Facebook][Twitter][Goodreads]

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