Interview with Kate Ormand, Author of DARK DAYS

Posted by on May 21, 2014 | 3 comments

kate-ormandI’m excited to welcome Kate Ormand to the blog. Kate is a hugely successful writer, with not one, but five books scheduled to be published over the next year and a half! The newest-announced of which, The Wanderers, a YA paranormal about shapeshifting horses, sounds right up my street. (Find it on Goodreads here.)

Today, I’m interviewing Kate about her debut novel — Dark Days, a YA dystopian action-romance which releases in the UK and US on June 3rd. I was lucky enough to read a proof of Dark Days and really enjoyed it — it’s a hugely adrenaline-packed, fast-paced read. You can check out my review here.

Blurb from Goodreads:

Dark Days Kate OrmandThe 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! Not long now until Dark Days is released – can you tell us a little about it?

Hi Kendra! Sure, DARK DAYS is a YA dystopian action-romance novel set in a world where society is spilt into sectors with a metal wall surrounding each one. There isn’t a way in our out, and a clock tower counts down the days until a cyborg army penetrates the walls. When they do, nothing will be left of the sector and its citizens but blood, fire, and ash. Sia and her family are too ordinary to be picked by the New World—a place that is highly selective of its citizens, with the idea of moving toward a perfect future. 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 shift.

The concept of Dark Days is really unique and deliciously dark! How did you come up with it?

Thank you! Images tend to be the best source of inspiration for me, but with DARK DAYS I can’t fully remember what triggered the story. With everything else I’ve written, it was an object, or a poster, or an image online that sparked an idea. With DD, all I can really recall is picturing the digital clock counting down, and the army of cyborgs. So I guess that’s where my journey with this particular book began. I’m guessing it came from my love of dystopian novels and action films.

I loved how the characters in Dark Days react in different ways to their dire situation. How do you think you’d cope in Sia’s position?

Thank you (again!). They do, and it was really interesting to explore different reactions to the same situation. I tried to think what I would do all the time to help me write Sia, but she’s a lot braver than I am. I think I’d cry, a lot, and probably try find some way out of it (even though there isn’t one!). I don’t think I’d accept that right away, though.

Are you tempted to write a sequel? (For all the readers drooling for more Mace!)

Hehe! I wrote DD as a standalone and though I have been tempted, I have quite a few other projects on the go (novels & picture books) that I’m really excited about. They’re getting my full attention at the moment.

I know you have an artistic background. Did you have any say in the cover design?

I had a little input, which was nice. I made a mood board, and also put together some covers I liked and what I liked about them, which was sent to the design team. But in the end they have the final say, though it was open for discussion. I loved the cover, so there was no discussion other than lots of woohoo-ing on my end.

What’s been the most exciting part of your publishing journey so far?

Hmm. There’s been more than a few amazing moments, but tops is when my ARC came in the mail. It was amazing to be holding a real book by me, and to put it on my shelf. I think I’ll feel like that x100 when the finished hardcovers arrive.

Can you whet our appetites with a snippet from Dark Days?

The handle rattles and shakes, and the lock twists and clicks. I make it across the room just in time to hide behind the door as it swings open. Someone steps inside. The footsteps are quiet, not like Felicity’s loud heels. Still, I don’t move, don’t risk making even the smallest sound.

A boy’s voice whispers my name.

As well as Dark Days, you have a couple of other books on the horizon under a different name. Can you tell us about them?

I do. I write children’s picture books under the name Kate Louise. There’s THE UPSIDE-DOWN FISH, out February 2015 with Sky Pony Press. It’s illustrated by Laura Matine, and about being yourself and finding happiness with those who like you just the way you are. Following that, also in 2015 and also with Sky Pony Press, is PIERRE THE FRENCH BULLDOG RECYCLES. This is illustrated by Bethany Straker, and educates children on recycling in a fun and quirky way.

(Since answering these questions, Kate has sold a third picture book, Tough Cookie, to be published in 2015 by Sky Pony Press. I want whatever writing-juice she’s drinking!)

Thanks for having me, Kendra!

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I highly recommend checking out Kate’s debut asap. In the meantime, you can find out more about Kate on her website, Twitter and Facebook, and add Dark Days on Goodreads.

Dark Days on Amazon UK | Amazon US | The Book Depository

3 Comments

  1. Ooh great interview! I’m definitely going to give this book ago, sounds intriguing. And what a machine – five books in 18 months? Wowzers!

    • I know, Kate Ormand is one impressively productive lady! (And her book’s very good too :))

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