Today I’m pleased to welcome Tom McLaughlin to this blog for an interview about his latest book Queen of King Street, published by Barrington Stoke. The book is very funny, all about the royal family losing their wealth and fortune and ending up living on a regular street and having to get used to life as ordinary people.
In celebration of the release of this new book, I got the chance to interview Tom about his book, his writing and more! I hope you enjoy the interview and don’t forget to check out more about the book below! 🙂
Can you tell us a bit about Queen of King Street, and what inspired it?
It was a story told by a friend of mine, her ex boyfriend’s family were landed gentry, they used to live in grand houses until the eccentric uncle gambled away the entire family fortune one night on a game of dice – I love the story of how it all disappeared one night and how one would cope with a situation like that.
The royal family in the story are very similar to our own, how much did you base the characters on individual members of the real Royal family?
I completely based them on the real thing; my version are a smaller, more mobile than the real ones otherwise they would never all fit into their new house. The great thing about the royal family is that we know them all so well, it means that as writer you don’t have to spend an age mapping out a character because the reader knows exactly who they are.
How long does it usually take you to write and illustrate a book?
It depends if it’s a picture book or chapter book, normally it’s about 6 months form start to finish, I’m, not working on it full time, but rather writing the story out first then we start on the artwork.
This is your first time publishing with Barrington Stoke, was the publishing process different from other publishers?
There wasn’t a huge difference for me, a good story is a good story and I approached this in exactly the same way as I would with anyone else. As far as I can tell there is an extra editorial process to ensure that the vocabulary is for want of a better phrase, dyslexia-friendly.
You’ve been open about your own dyslexia, what sort of impact has it had on your relationship with books, both writing and reading them?
I find reading the hardest, so as a consequence I listen to a lot of audiobooks. It’s really hard when I have to read a new book out at an event of festival, it’s so much easier to write a book than it is to read one! My writing is far stronger than my reading, I still make spelling mistakes and miss words out, but that’s always going to be something I have to deal with. It doesn’t, and shouldn’t stop anyone being an author. Some of the best and most creative people are dyslexic.
Is there any advice you’d give to children (and even adults) who are struggling with their own reading?
There are so many ways to get stories and information these days, from audiobooks to podcasts to radio, even online newspapers will often have an audio version of their long-read articles.
What is the best thing about being an author?
I get to sit in front of a blank piece of paper and write or draw something new everyday. I get to take nothing and turn it into something.
Are you working on anything new?
I’ve just finished a book for Walker and I’m working on a picture book for Bloomsbury and I’ve just written another book for Barrington Stoke, so plenty to keep me busy.
What do you like to do when you’re not working on a book?
Thinking about stories, drawing cartoons, coming up with ideas. It something I do for work and in my spare time….I also like eating biscuits.
If you could live in any book which would it be and why?
The Accidental Billionaire is the obvious choice, I mean who wouldn’t want to live in a mansion and be so rich you could afford gold pants?
About the Book
When the Queen’s brother, Unlucky Bertie, gambles away the entire family fortune, it’s goodbye to Buckingham Palace and hello to a little house on King Street for the royals. How will they ever survive? Follow their hilarious mishaps as the Queen forges a new career in reality TV, her sister-in-law becomes a social-media star and son Harry tries to survive the local comp. Who knew that life in the ordinary world could be so hard?
About the Author
Tom McLaughlin is an author and illustrator from Devon. After graduating from Falmouth College of Art he worked for 10 years as a political cartoonist. He started in the world of children’s books by illustrating other people’s work before turning his hand to writing. He is now best known for The Accidental … series which includes the bestselling title The Accidental Prime Minister.
Thank you so much Tom for joining us on the blog today! 🙂 Wow, so interesting to here that this story is inspired by something that’s really happened to someone. Everyone reading this please do go check out Queen of King Street, it’s such a funny story and will make all ages laugh! You can see my review of the book by clicking here.
Did you like this interview? Have you read any of Tom McLauchlin’s books? Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂