Kate Ormand is the YA author of Dark Days and the shape-shifter circus series, The Wanderers and The Pack. The Wanderers was honored as "Winner" in the "Fiction: Young Adult" category of the 2015 USA Best Book Awards.
Kate lives in the UK with her family, her partner, and a cocker spaniel called Freddie. She graduated from university with a first class degree in Fine Art Painting. It was during this course that Kate discovered her love of reading YA books, prompting her to try a new creative angle and experiment with writing. She also writes children's picture books under the name Kate Louise.
Q&A with Kate Ormand
What inspired you to write for reluctant readers?
It's something quite new to me and as soon as I clicked through to the Badger Learning website and saw the books available I started getting ideas for stories and knew it was something I wanted to get involved in.
I was big on reading until I was 12/13, then I didn't find as many books I connected with, or I knew I'd start something and not finish it. I lost interest until I discovered young adult books in my early 20s and really connected with reading again.
What challenges do struggling readers face when they open a book?
Subject matter, block text, high page count. Books can be daunting. Readers can quickly lose interest in stories that feel more like a chore to reach the end than a pleasure.
What is your favourite type of character to create?
I love my main characters. I get to know them so well and, intentionally or not, there's always a small piece of myself in them.
What features and methods do you use to ensure that your books have that High-Interest appeal that really engages young readers?
I love twists and turns in my own reading. I love books that surprise me. I always try to incorporate this into my own writing and create thrilling stories for all ages.
What difference do books like these make to children who are in need of literacy support?
With appealing subject matters and suitable vocabulary, these books open up access to a whole series of readable books that break away barriers.
Can you give us any teasers of what to expect in your Between The Lines title, Made?
I've written a story about friendship with a touch of sci-fi and adventure. Think: teenage robots. What could go wrong?!
What are the major themes of your work?
I love a dark twist. My books are set in the real world but there's always an element of the supernatural, otherworldly beings or advanced tech to sink my teeth into.
What controls do you place on the vocabulary you use and how important is this?
I write freely and go back to edit and choose my wording more carefully. I think it's really important – you don't want your reader having to stop or slow down because the vocabulary isn't suitable. No one likes a good story interrupted.
What is your favourite children's book?
Just one? I have to mention the Harry Potter books – Order of the Phoenix is my favourite. But I also love Series of Unfortunate Events and The Wizard of Oz.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers/authors?
The only way to learn something is by doing it, so:
- Don't be afraid to experiment
- Believe in yourself and your own methods
- Always do what works for you
- Be patient and keep working towards your goals
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