UKYA Extravaganza Blog Tour: Q&A with Kate Ormand

Next weekend, I'm heading to Birmingham - for the first time in years - to attend UKYA Extravaganza, which will be taking place at Waterstones Birmingham! To celebrate UKYA, and the work of the authors, bloggers and other people within the community, Kerry Drewery and Emma Pass have managed to piece together a line-up of thirty-five authors for the afternoon's events! I spent a few panicked minutes on the phone waiting to hear whether tickets were still available over the phone a few weeks ago, just in time before they sold out(within twenty-four hours of initially going on sale!).
 As part of the countdown to the event, I'm hosting today's Blog Tour stop with the wonderful Kate Ormand, who is an author appearing at next weekend's event, and one of the cheerleaders for UKYA online. Also, she has an incredible amount of patience when it comes to waiting for questions to be sent by an apologetic blogger!
Find out more about Kate and her books:  Twitter | Website | Facebook

Hi Sophie! Thanks so much for having me!

Q. UKYA Extravaganza is next weekend! Now the countdown is coming to an end, what are you anticipating most about the event?

A. I'm so excited to meet everybody! I'm looking forward to getting a few of my books signed by some of the other authors too.

Q. Since this tour stop is a celebration of all things UKYA, can you share with us a few of your favourite books that fit into this category?

A. I LOVE Emma Pass's books, ACID and THE FEARLESS. I recently read 7 DAYS by Eve Ainsworth, which I thought was brilliant. THE SIN EATER'S DAUGHTER by Melinda Salisbury is also a new favourite. VENDETTA by Catherine Doyle is incredible. And I just finished the fantastic SLATED trilogy by Teri Terry.

Q. 'UKYA' is a fairly new term to the publishing world. What do you think has made this 'brand' so popular in such a short space of time?

A. The people who read it, write it and are passionate about it. Teams like Bookish Brits on YouTube. Lucy Powrie has Project UKYA and runs hugely popular Twitter chats that everyone's welcome to. Michelle at Fluttering Butterflies is running a British Books reading challenge this year and always creates UKYA lists on Goodreads. Debbie at Snuggling on the Sofa created an awesome spreadsheet for UKYA this year too! Things like this, and the people behind them, really give UKYA a boost and the love is spreading!

Q. As well as being an author, you also co-founded the blog Author Allsorts. How does it feel to be a part of the UKYA community, both as a blogger and an author?

A. I love it! I love reading and talking about books online, so it's nice to still be doing that - if I wasn't, I wouldn't have been able to join in the Scholastic Bloggers' Brunch with you guys last month!

Q.Most of the books we see being made into blockbusters are categorised as USYA. Do you think this is a genre UKYA can begin to challenge?

A. Definitely! Think of Teri Terry's SLATED or Sally Green's HALF BAD on the big screen - amazing!

Q. You will be at UKYA Extravaganza to promote your debut, Dark Days, which was released last year. What has surprised you the most about life as a published author so far?

A. People reading my books, supporting me, wanting me to write my name on things! Sometimes I don't think about the whole "author" bit, I just write and read and talk about books and go along with my day, then sometimes it hits me and it all seems so surreal and wonderful.

I've fallen head-over-heels for the pink font!
Q. Dark Days is a dystopia novel where the world has been divided into sectors and the people separated. How did you go about constructing this world? Were there notes, maps, drawings...?

A. I did draw a map of the sector and one of the New World to help me when navigating Sia through her setting. I had a lot of notes from reasons  for how the world is the way it is in the novel. I always had them all around me at the desk for easy access and making sure I remembered it all on top of everything else! I also have a pinterest board - images are a great source of inspiration to me.

Q. Sia, the main character, finds out early on in the novel that she has fifteen days before she gets 'eaten' by cyborgs. How would you react - honestly if you found yourself in her position?

I'd be devastated. I wouldn't be able to cope. She's SO much braver than me. And we do see different reactions in the book of how other characters handle the news.

Q. I've also just been reading about your upcoming book The Wanderers. Where does the inspiration for the creatures such as the shifters - and the cyborgs featured in Dark Days - come from?

A. I thought of the idea for THE WANDERERS when I saw a circus poster on my way to university one day. It was bright yellow, all torn and weathered, and I said, "What if I wrote a circus book where all the animals were shapeshifters?" And then...I did! Shapeshifters feature in plenty of books I've read, so I'm hoping to have given them a unique twists. The cyborgs - I like robots! I'm even playing with the idea for another robot book (but they're not vicious and deadly this time!).

Q. Will you be continuing to write UKYA novels?

A. Definitely! I love UKYA and I'm so proud and grateful to be a part of it! Thank you, Sophie!

Thank you so much for answering my questions, Kate!

You can follow the rest of the blog tour, and keep up to date with news about Saturday's event, by using #UKYAExtravaganza!

I will be writing a recap sharing my thoughts on the event that will be up on the blog next Monday!

Will I be seeing you at UKYA Extravaganza?
If not, would you like to see similar events held elsewhere?

Tell me in the comments!



  1. Aww, how lovely of you to mention me and also Bookish Brits. Love the UKYA community :)

  2. Awesome post! I've been meaning to pick up a copy of Dark Days because it seems pretty interesting. :)
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  3. Great post! I can't wait for the event :) maybe I'll see you there?


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Sophie Louise