A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.
Growing up, I read Roald Dahl. As a teen, I read Louise Rennison. As I got a little older (mid-high school to university) I didn’t read at all. Well, rarely. I didn’t really know much about the different genres. I didn’t have a favourite author anymore. I didn’t have a clue what I liked to read. After several failed attempts at finding a book I could connect with, I decided I didn’t like reading anymore and the only time I would read was when I was on holiday. *sobs*
I went to Florida in 2011 and bought a book to take with me. I chose one from the general fiction shelves, as always, and I didn’t like it, as always. After attempting a few chapters I gave up and asked my mum to choose a book for me from Walmart. I said, “Something I know. Something you think I’ll like.” She came back with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. 10 points to Mum!
It’s an understatement to say I loved it. I couldn’t believe how it was making me feel – a book! I will never forget that, because starting that book turned everything around. I finished it in days – rushing dinner to get back to it, taking it with me in the car, reading it by the pool – which is why it’s so battered, as you can see from the photograph. I’m really careful with my books now, but I do like this one because you can see how loved it is. It was my first Harry Potter book and I’ll treasure it forever.
As soon as I was nearing the end of this book I rushed out to buy Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I continued with the series when I got home and there were tears once I finished all seven. Then I needed more books, but I still didn’t know what to read. I went with A Series of Unfortunate Events, Twilight and The Southern Vampire Mysteries (True Blood). Love, love, love, so what next?
Next I discovered Goodreads. I spent time searching the internet for “If you like [insert title], you’ll like…” and came across the site. I found authors like Maggie Stiefvater, Jackson Pearce and Amanda Hocking. Amazing! I needed bookshelves!
Then came The Hunger Games. I got the set for Christmas 2011 and started the first book in January. Nine pages in I said to my mum, “I’m going to love this, I can tell already.” And I did.
Now I rarely read anything but YA. Though, I do occasionally read some adult and NA, one or two graphic novels, and I LOVE picture books.
Harry Potter got me reading daily again. Maggie Stievafter’s books led me to discover YA. And The Hunger Games pointed me in the direction of dystopia, opening the door to a genre I fell in love with.
So, what do I read? Let me show you…
Fairy tale retellings
This is just a selection of books from my shelves in the genres highlighted. Do you see any books you love? Any books that stand out? Any that are new to you? Let me know in the comments! Happy reading 🙂
Kate Ormand is a YA writer represented by Isabel Atherton at Creative Authors Ltd. She lives in the UK with her family, her partner, and a cocker spaniel called Freddie. She recently graduated from university with a first class BA (Hons) degree in Fine Art Painting. DARK DAYS, her YA dystopian debut, will be published with Skyhorse/Sky Pony Press in June 2014. Kate also writes children’s picture books as Kate Louise. PIERRE THE FRENCH BULLDOG RECYCLES, illustrated by Bethany Straker, will be published in 2015.