In conversation with Dermot O’Leary

Toto the Ninja Cat and the Incredible Cheese Heist by Dermot O’Leary (illustrated by Nick East), publishes in paperback, £6.99 on 20th September from Hodder Children’s Books. Dermot will be appearing with Nick East at the Bath Children’s Literature Festival on 30th September. Grab your tickets here!


Have you been to Bath before and what do you make of it? 
I have done two Bath Halfs and I love it there!

Do you think you’ll write any more children’s books?
Yes, I hope to write more Toto books. I’ve loved writing the first two!

What was your favourite childhood book, and could you tell us a book-related memory from your childhood (such as your parents reading to you/ the storyline of a book changing your behaviour etc)?
Both my parents are big readers. My dad is great – he’s a born storyteller and he used to tell us old Irish fairy tales. I read Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl independently when I was about six and it got me hooked on reading. I file To Kill a Mockingbird under ‘The one that stayed with me from school’. Atticus Finch is one of the greatest literary characters ever. His compassion and insight made an indelible mark on my younger self.

If you could go back and give your 7 year old self some words of wisdom, what would they be?
Turn up on time and be nice to people.

Let us in on your life motto…
I like Toto’s moto, ‘Purrs, Paws and Claws’.

Of all the books in the world, which do you wish you wrote?
That’s a hard one to answer. There are so many incredible books. Sticking with children’s books, I’d have to say Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling. I was hooked from the moment I first read the book – along with millions of others. I saw the Cursed Child play recently and it was fantastic. JK Rowling has created such an immersive world that kids (and adults) will enjoy for generations.


Check out the rest of the festival programme and get your tickets here

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