Q&A With my Favourite Childhood Author

Cathy Cassidy will always be my favourite childhood author. Her books helped shape my life growing up, and as cliché as it sounds, they taught me valuable lessons which I'll always be thankful for: friendship, holding onto hope, the ups and downs of family life, heartbreak, loss, love, and countless other things. At the age of nine, my sister handed me a copy of Indigo Blue, and I devoured the story within a day... and eight years later, it's still sitting proudly on my shelf, yellow paged and worn after re-reading it so many times.

I recently contacted Cathy and asked if she'd like to take part in a Q&A on my blog - and of course, being the extremely awesome and incredibly lovely person that she is, she said yes!

In 50 words or less, can you summarise what your new book Broken Heart Club is all about?

BROKEN HEART CLUB is about five friends whose friendship group breaks apart in a very dramatic way in the summer holiday between Year Six and Year Seven. The story takes place at the end of Year Eight, when the friends no longer see each other at all. Can Ryan, Eden, Andie and Tasha even begin to put the pieces back together again?

What inspired you to write Broken Heart Club?

The book was inspired by five girls I met after a big secondary school event. They waited to speak to me after the signing and pointed out that the initials of their first names could be arranged to spell the word HEART. They asked me to put them into a story, but I couldn't think of an idea that fitted... until I woke up one night wondering if a friendship break-up would turn the Heart Club into the Broken Heart Club!

Who would you recommend your book to?

I'd recommend the book to anyone of age nine or above - I have a lot of older readers now, so no upper age limit! The book will appeal to anyone who likes real-life, friendship themed stories with a bit of mystery and a twist in the tail. Boys are buying and loving the book too, as it has two narrators... it switches viewpoint between Ryan and Eden. It is quite an emotional read, though, and you might need tissues towards the end!

Do you have a favourite character in your new book?

I always find it hard to choose a favourite character, and with BROKEN HEART CLUB I am torn between Ryan's angry, chaotic and self-destructive way of dealing with the loss of his friends - he's often quite funny, unintentionally - and Eden's withdrawn, ultra-sensitive style. I love how they both rediscover the more positive aspects of their personalities as the story unfolds!

What made you want to write books for children as opposed to (young) adults?

I have never consciously planned to write for a particular age group - I began by writing the stories I wanted to and they just happened to be right for tweens and young teens. These days I am aware of my readers and tailor things towards them, but I'm also aware that many older teens and adults who grew up with my books have gone on reading them! When I started writing, YA was quite a niche market and didn't sell large amounts, but it has really taken off, which is awesome - YA is probably my favourite genre to read!

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

My advice for young writers would be to write a little bit every day, for yourself and not just for school/ college. And write about what you care about - write from the heart and that passion and integrity will show in your work!

What's your favourite book you've ever written, or holds the most special place in your heart?

I think DIZZY, my first published book, will always be special to me... it was a bit of a dream come true to get a publishing deal, and I still sometimes have to pinch myself when I think about it!

What's the best thing about being a children's author?

One of  the best things about being a children's author is daydreaming for a living... it's how all my stories begin! It's never dull, as I get to step into the shoes of so many different characters and see the world in so many different ways, and that's cool. My absolute favourite thing is probably meeting readers old and new, though, at school events, book festivals and bookshop signings. My readers are amazing!

Are you working on any new projects for 2017?

I am working on a new series right now, THE LOST & FOUND, and the first book in the series, LOVE FROM LEXIE, will be out in June. It's about a bunch of misfit friends, of varying ages and in a secondary school setting, who accidentally find themselves forming a band. The themes are family, friendship, love, loss and rescue... and I cannot wait to make a start on book two! The feedback so far has been awesome, so I'm hoping my readers love it as much as the team at Puffin!

 If you could describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

Creative, chaotic, eccentric!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I'd love to go to India... and Peru, maybe. And Finland, and Myanmar, and Bhutan... so many places, so little time!

Did you always know that you wanted to become a children's author, or did you have a different career path planned out?

I've wanted to be a writer since I was very small. I wanted to be an artist too, and these two dreams have shaped my life. I went to art college and did an illustration degree, but the writing won out in the end!

What's your favourite food?

I love middle eastern mezze food like hummus, pitta, baba ganoush and falafel... veggie heaven!

What book have you read recently that you'd recommend?

My newest YA discoveries are Jandy Nelson, who writes prose so beautifully that it's a kind of poetry; and Huntley Fitzpatrick who writes so well about teen romance.

Do you have a favourite TV show?

I don't watch much TV at all, I'd rather pick a DVD!

BROKEN HEART CLUB is available to buy now in all U.K. bookstores, and although I haven't read it myself, I've heard so many wonderful things about it (I couldn't expect any less, really - all of Cathy's books are wonderful!). I'm hoping to buy a copy of BROKEN HEART CLUB in the summer, and I can't wait to read it! No matter how old I am, I'll always enjoy the magic of Cathy's stories.


  1. This is amazing! Cathy Cassidy was always my favourite growing up and I always borrowed her books from the library and engrossed myself in them for days and days on end - not leaving my room! This is incredible that you got to do a Q&A with Cathy! Well done chick!

    Charlene McElhinney

    1. Me too - I could never stop myself from reading her books when I picked them up! :D

  2. Love this, and love the whole blog... thank you SO much! xxx

    1. Thanks, Cathy! I had such fun putting it together!

  3. This is amazing! Fab Q&A! So happy your fave childhood author has been on your wonderful blog :-)

    1. Thank you, Michelle!


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