Please welcome Kate Ormand to The Qwillery. The Wanderers was published on September 1st by Sky Pony Press.
TQ: Welcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?
Kate: Thank you for having me! I started writing around 4 years ago while at university, where I was studying Fine Art.
TQ: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Kate: Pantser. I work out important details but I find it hard to plan in depth before starting something. I’d rather get going on a first draft, then work things out after that when I have something to run with.
TQ: What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?
Kate: The first draft. I’m doing NaNoWriMo at the moment, for the first time, and finding it so hard! I think it’s great for motivation and to get a big chunk of a new project written, but it’s tough.
TQ: Who are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?
Kate: Harry Potter got me into reading again. Maggie Stiefvater's books led me to discover young-adult books. And The Hunger Games introduced me to a genre I fell in love with.
TQ: Describe The Wanderers in 140 characters or less.
Kate: “About a sixteen-year-old traveling with a shape-shifter circus, and a betrayal in camp that threatens the lives of them all.”
TQ: Tell us something about The Wanderers that is not found in the book description.
Kate: The main character’s shape is a horse! She shifts and performs at the circus in her animal form.
TQ: What inspired you to write The Wanderers? Is this a novel that a tween/teen and parent may read together?
Kate: I got the idea when I saw a circus poster, and I said, “What if I wrote a circus book where all the animals were shape-shifters?” And then I couldn’t stop thinking about it! I think it would be fun for a teen and parent to both read the novel and discuss it together (if you don't mind a bit of violence and gore).
TQ: What sort of research did you do for The Wanderers?
Kate: Lots! The main research was for the circus itself and getting that right.
TQ: Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?
Kate: Flo was easiest. I felt a connection with her from the start and we’re quite alike. Pru was probably the most difficult, even though she was fun, because she was hard to figure out at first. She didn’t join the group in their escape in the first draft and was left behind, but after a while I really fell for her and wanted to spend more time with her so I extended her part.
TQ: Which themes do you touch upon in The Wanderers?
Kate: High action, romance, jeopardy and betrayal - everything I love to find in the books I read!
TQ: What's next?
Kate: The sequel! The Pack will be released in 2017 and I’m currently in the process of writing it.
TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.
Sky Pony Press, September 1, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages
(Young Adult Fantasy/Paranormal)
A Unique Twist on Shape-Shifters with Fast-Paced Action, Thrilling Adventure, Mystery, and a Bit of Romance
Flo lives an eccentric life—she travels with a popular circus in which the main acts star orphaned children with secret shape-shifting abilities. Once Flo turns sixteen, she must perform, but she’s not ready. While practicing jumping a flaming hurdle in a clearing beside the circus, she spots a dark figure in the trees and fears he saw her shift. The news sends the circus into a panic.
In Flo’s world, shifters are unknown to humans with the exception of a secret organization—the EOS, referred to as “hunters.” Hunters capture and kill. They send some shifters to labs for observation and testing—testing they don’t often survive—and deem others useless, a danger to society, and eliminate them. To avoid discovery, shifters travel in packs, constantly moving and keeping themselves hidden. Up until now, the circus was the perfect disguise.
Believing she has brought attention to the group, Flo feels dread and anxiety, causing her to make a mistake during her performance in front of the audience—a mistake that triggers a violent attack from the hunters.
Flo manages to flee the torched circus grounds with Jett, the bear shifter who loves her; the annoying elephant triplets; and a bratty tiger named Pru. Together they begin a new journey, alone in a world they don’t understand and don’t know how to navigate. On the run, they unravel secrets and lies that surround the circus and their lives—secrets and lies that all point to the unthinkable: Have they been betrayed by the people they trusted most?
Kate Ormand is YA author of DARK DAYS and shape-shifter circus series, THE WANDERERS and THE PACK. She 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. Kate is also member and co-creator of an online group of published writers and illustrators called Author Allsorts. And she writes children’s picture books under the name Kate Louise. Kate is represented by Isabel Atherton at Creative Authors Ltd. You can see more about Kate and her writing by visiting her website (www.kateormand.wordpress.com) or on Twitter (@kateormand).