A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.
Today is a VERY exciting day, because today, Kate Ormand’s DARK DAYS is officially out from Sky Pony Press. Hooray! *Throws glitter confetti* *bakes cupcakes* To celebrate, I’m interviewing Kate about the book, which I was lucky enough to get an early read of and have been recommending to people ever since!
The future world has been divided into sectors–each the same as the other. Surrounded by thick steel fences, there is no way in and no way out. Yet a cyborg army penetrates each sector, picking off its citizens one by one, until no one is left. Behind the sectors’ thick walls, the citizens wait to die. Few will be chosen to survive what’s coming; the rest will be left behind to suffer. A new world has been created, and its rulers are incredibly selective on who will become a citizen. They want only those with important roles in society to help create a more perfect future.
Sixteen-year-old Sia lives in one of the sectors as part of a family that is far too ordinary to be picked to live. According to the digital clock that towers high above her sector, she has only fifteen days to live. Sia has seen the reports and knows a horrific death is in store for her, but she is determined to make the most of her final days. Sia refuses to mourn her short life, instead promising herself that she’ll stay strong, despite being suffocated by her depressed mother and her frightened best friend. Just when Sia feels more alone than ever, she meets Mace, a mysterious boy. There is something that draws Sia to him, despite his dangerousness, and together, they join a group of rebels and embark on an epic journey to destroy the new world and its machines, and to put an end to the slaughter of innocent people.
Hi Kate, happy book birthday! How does it feel, knowing that your debut novel is finally out there in the world?
Thank you! I’m so happy that the book has been published – to see it go from Word file to a hardcover book is amazing. And the physical copy is so pretty. I am scared about people reading it, but I’m also excited for people to read it. So, yeah, a scrambled mess of emotion, really!
Can you tell us what DARK DAYS is about?
Sure! It’s a YA dystopian action-romance novel about a sixteen-year-old who only has fifteen days to live before a cyborg army destroys her sector. Sia accepts her fate, knowing she can’t escape it. Then she meets Mace, who refuses to give up without a fight, and her view of the whole situation starts to change.
The worldbuilding and action in DARK DAYS is fantastic. What inspired you to write a dystopian novel?
Thank you, Emma! I’m thrilled you think so. I was inspired to write dystopia because I love dystopia, simply. It was such a big thing for me to add my own story to the mix when I have so much love for not only young-adult books, but the dystopian genre as well.
What was your journey to getting published like?
Quite smooth, I think. DARK DAYS is the book I signed to Creative Authors agency with, and I’m so pleased it found a home with Sky Pony. I’ve been fortunate to work with so many incredibly talented people in bringing the book together and getting it out there.
What was your favourite part about writing DARK DAYS?
I love writing the action scenes and the romance scenes. They’re my favourite parts to read and my favourite to write!
What was the hardest part?
I always say the last chapter. Ending is so hard!
If DARK DAYS had a theme tune, what would it be?
Let the Flames Begin by Paramore.
Who would you pick to play Sia if DARK DAYS was made into a film?
I think Ellen Page would make a good Sia.
Who are your favourite dystopian/sci fi authors?
You, of course, Emma!
For real. You definitely make the list of favourites with ACID and THE FEARLESS. I also love reading anything by Elsie Chapman, Demitria Lunetta, Tahereh Mafi, Veronica Roth, Suzanne Collins, Claire Merle, Teri Terry, and Natasha Ngan.
Aww, thank you! *hugs Kate*
What advice would you give to writers who are trying to get published for the first time?
Write at your own pace and do what’s best for you, always. Everyone works differently, so never think what you’re doing is wrong. Work hard, read hard, and enjoy yourself.
Thank you, Kate! I hope everyone enjoys DARK DAYS as much as I do, because it’s a cracking good read!
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. 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. Kate also writes children’s picture books under the name Kate Louise.
Emma Pass has been making up stories for as long as she can remember. Her debut novel, dystopian thriller ACID, is out now and was the winner of the 2014 North East Teenage Book Award. It will be followed by THE FEARLESS, another stand-alone thriller for young adults, in April 2014. By day, she works as a library assistant and lives with her husband and dog in the North East Midlands.