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  • Writer's picturehffishwick

Queen of King Street Q&A

Tom McLaughlin, author of Queen of King Street, kindly answered some questions on his latest Barrington Stoke book.

1. What inspired this story?

It was inspired by a friend, who told me about her ex-boyfriend’s family - all the kids had ridiculously posh names so I naturally expected them to live in a grand house somewhere in the country. She told me that they used to, many years ago, but it turned out they had a crazy uncle who decided to gamble with the family fortune on a game of dice. He lost, they had to sell everything and move to a tiny house. I loved the idea of a grand family being brought back down to earth, so that’s where the idea came from.

2. Which character did you enjoy writing the most?

The Queen, she’s the main character, the strong sensible one while trying to keep her out of control family together.

3. How do you decide which moments to illustrate?

That’s something that I work out with the designer. Some are obvious moments, but others maybe less so. I never think about the illustrations really while I’m writing. I don’t sit down and think this bit will make a really good drawing, it’s something we think about afterwards, it’s a tricky business working out the illustrations, you have to have a set number per chapter, make sure they’re evenly spread out. It also helps having a fresh pair of eyes look over your writing and picking out what they think will make for good drawings.

4. Which illustration is your favourite?

Probably one of the early ones, where Bertie is playing cards, it’s sets the tone and he’s the most fun to draw, he’s a bit of a daft character but his heart’s in the right place.

5. What would you do if you became King of England, like Ginger?

Free biscuits for authors. Easy!

6. What makes writing for Barrington Stoke so special?

As someone who is dyslexic, I know how important it is to get help fellow dyslexics get good stories; ones that engage the reader, the best way I find to do that is by making them laugh, it’s what I used to like reading when I was a kid.

7. Which other Barrington Stoke stories would you recommend to readers who enjoy Queen of King Street?

That’s a very good question. As someone who enjoys comedy, I would recommend anything that makes you laugh, but maybe trying something new would be the best choice. Do you know who would be the best person to ask, your librarian, they are experts at this sort of thing!

8. How do you think the real royal family would fare on King Street?

I think they would be all right it seems like a nice place to live, it’s full of friendly people! But they might need a loft conversion as there is loads of them!

Thank you so much, Tom, for taking the time to answer these. You can read my review of the hilarious Queen of King Street here.


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