First book for Templeogue writer Lin

By Mary Dennehy

WHEN accomplished writers are asked to give advice to budding authors, they usually encouraged them to write a story that they would like to read.

This was the case for Templeogue mam Lin Keaveney, who, working in Tallaght, recently had her first book published by Austin McCauley Publishers.

A fan of movies, travelling, digital photography and reading, Lin told The Echo how she always wanted to pen a children’s book, and took inspiration from her family and their pets in creating the beautifully simple story of Princess the Cavalier King Charles puppy.

Set in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains, this is a story that any young child, or adult, can relate to – with the engaging tale being told from the dog’s perspective.

With the book now available to buy on Amazon, Lin took five to speak with her local paper.

Lil Keaveney 2

Why a children’s book? 

I’ve always wanted to write a children’s book and I love animals, so Princess was the obvious thing for me to do. It’s a fun, fantasy book and I think children will enjoy the story as it is written from a dog’s point of view and also learn something from it.

Did any children’s authors inspire you? 

As a child I was a devoted book lover, my earliest influences were Beatrix Potter and Enid Blyton. In my own writing I endeavour to combine the magical mischievous element of Enid with the nostalgic animal loving nature of Beatrix and at the same time basing the story on realistic true life events. I am an avid animal lover and I write about my own fluffy friends and their experiences in my stories.

Why were you attracted to these authors?

Enid Blyton because as a child I sat all day escaping into Enid's mysterious worlds of adventure and intrigue. Also Beatrix Potter as the simplicity and beauty in her stories are a perfect way for a young child to unwind and relax. Modern day writers such as J. K. Rowling I have nothing but admiration for. People who don't know would not believe she had lots of rejections trying to get her book published and yet she has an amazing talent.

Lil Keaveney 1

What is your story about? 

Princess is a cavalier King Charles puppy that is living a wonderful life in the Dublin mountains, only to discover the awful truth that she will be wrenched away from her family and friends and everything she knows and loves dearly to live with humans. She refers to people as humans in the story. The story is told through her eyes. Her human will be a little girl that is terrified of dogs, but every dog must have a human and every human must face their fears. The story is about my daughters first dog named Princess, and alongside being a fun story it might be able to help children who are afraid of dogs.

Who are you targeting the book at? 

My book is for children from age three onwards, one has to admire their honesty and straight forwardness. Children enjoy the perfectly imperfect behaviour of their pets and Princess is no exception. Lots of children will identify with Vicky, a little girl who is afraid of dogs. The mind of a child is full of imagination and in my book the everyday creatures we take for granted come alive in their own world and they have names, such as Freddy the fly, Slimey the evil slug and of course Mrs Ladybird.

Is there a moral to your story?

In a world that is very judgemental our pets love us for who we are. Princess is in fact our storyteller. In my book I try to portray Princess as more than a family pet, she is pointing out life from her perspective, she too has feelings of fear and happiness. She must leave the world of animals to live with people in the village. In the story there is also a little girl who must face her biggest fear, she learns this is how she can overcome it.

Did you do the illustrations in the book yourself? 

No, the publishers Austin Macauley looked after the illustrations except for 'Freddy the fly' which was draw by my daughter Vicky, who is studying for her masters in animation.

Do you plan on writing another book?

I have lots of ideas which involve stories about our other family pets over the years, but I’ll wait to see how this book goes! 

Princess is available to buy now from Amazon. Follow Lin Keaveney on Twitter.

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