Book Talk, The Pub Corner

#OrendaMonth The Team’s Tree: The Branches (part 3) @OrendaBooks


Sundays are for lazy hours of reading brunches! And brunches would not be the same without lovely and interesting people to share it with, so here are some of the most talented of Orenda Books’s team for you to have a good time with! (I’m writing this at noon, I’m hungry, excuse the brunch introduction!)

What do you know about Agnes Ravatn? 

I know I am devastated not to be able to squeeze a review of The Bird Tribunal before the end of the Orenda Month! But do not worry, it’s on top of my list! Also, Agnes has given birth to a little boy this month, congratulations and all the best to mommy and baby!

Agnes Ravatn finished.png

I love it when someone says they knew what they wanted to do from an early age. I wanted to be a librarian. Then I forgot, and now I’m fighting to make it happen. That’s a lesson to learn: keep that child’s dream and hold on to it!

My hand won’t let me write more than a grocery list before screaming in pain to be left alone, I can’t imagine writing an entire book with a pen and paper! I prefer to put my laptop in flying mode so I don’t get notifications! (well, until I check my phone …)

Yes to pizza!

Agnes Ravatn (b. 1983) is an author and columnist. She made her literary début with the novel Week 53 (Veke 53) in 2007. Since then she has written three critically acclaimed and award-winning essay collections: Standing still (Stillstand), 2011, Popular reading (Folkelesnad), 2011, and Operation self-discipline (Operasjon sjøldisiplin), 2014. In these works Ravatn shows her unique, witty voice and sharp eye for human fallibility. Her second novel, The Bird Tribunal (Fugletribuanlet), 2013, is a strange and captivating story about shame, guilt and atonement. Ravatn received The cultural radio P2’s listener’s prize for this novel, a popular and important prize in Norway, in addition to The Youth’s Critic’s Prize. The Bird Tribunal was also made into a successful play, which premiered in Oslo in 2015. It is published by Orenda Books in September 2016.

the bird tribunal

What do you know about David Ross? 

I know I loved his facts and they made me laugh when I received them!

david ross finished.png

Architect and writer, not a mix that you can easily find!

David F. Ross was born in Glasgow in 1964, and he lived in various part of the city until the late ‘70s. He subsequently moved to Kilmarnock, where he has lived since. He was educated at James Hamilton Academy until being politely asked to leave.(Expulsion is such a harsh word, isn’t it?) Following a frankly ludicrous early foray into sporadic employment (Undertakers, Ice Cream Parlour, Tennis Groundsman, DJ … he’ll save these stories until he knows you better), David found himself at Glasgow School of Art, studying architecture. In 1992, he graduated from the Mackintosh School of Architecture. He is now the Design Director of one of Scotland’s largest, oldest and most successful practices, Keppie Design. (Funny old world, eh?)

David has worked all over the world and he led his practice strategy for projects in countries as diverse as China, Egypt, Malaysia, India and Libya. He is a designated business leader for East Ayrshire Council, a Board Mentor for Entrepreneurial Spark and he was design advisor to Strathclyde Passenger Transport for their modernisation programme of the Glasgow Subway in advance of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. He is married to Elaine and has two children, Nathan and Nadia, who have both signed legally binding agreements to house him in the best Old Folks Home his money can buy. He is a Chelsea fan – from long before the cash-rich days – and occasionally writes stream-of-consciousness rubbish for @ByTheMinChelsea and other @ByTheMinSport feeds on Twitter.

David’s most prized possession is a signed Joe Strummer LP, and The Last Days of Disco is his first novel.Anything else you’d like to know?

Follow David on Twitter: @dfr10

What do you know about Don Bartlett? 

I know I owe him my next encounter with Varg Veum!!

Don Bartlett finished

Wow, Don must be an excellent teacher, and this kind of things stays with you. I know I remember my favorite teachers and I thank them for supporting me and leading me where I am today.

I love home grown food. I’ve started baking and cooking and now I have trouble eating what’s coming all ready from a supermarket!

Don Bartlett lives with his family in a village in Norfolk. He completed an MA in Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia in 2000 and has since worked with a wide variety of Danish and Norwegian authors, including Jo Nesbø and Karl Ove Knausgård. He has previously translated The Consorts of Death and Cold Hearts in the Varg Veum series.

We Shall Inherit the Wind BF AW.indd

What do you know about Michael Stanley? 

Well, I had no idea a team was behind this name!!

I can’t stand maths, I just can’t! My brain freezes and the numbers are mysteries to me!!

My reaction to Stanley’s first fact: YIKES. Okay it’s an efficient way to get rid of somebody, but yikes anyway!!!

I am really surprised and curious about how co-writing works, I’m a loner so I cannot imagine what it’s like to write alongside someone, but it sounds quite fun and a different experience!

Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Both were born inSouth Africa and have worked in academia and business. Stanley was an educational psychologist, specialising in the application of computers to teaching and learning, and is a pilot. Michael specialises in image processing and remote sensing, and teaches at the University of the Witwatersrand. On a flying trip to Botswana, they watched a pack of hyenas hunt, kill, and devour a wildebeest, eating both flesh and bones. That gave them the premise for their first mystery, A Carrion Death, which introduced Detective ‘Kubu’ Bengu of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department. It was a finalist for five awards, including the CWA Debut Dagger. The series has been critically acclaimed, and their third book, Death of the Mantis, won the Barry Award and was a finalist for an Edgar award. Deadly Harvest was a finalist for an International Thriller Writers’ award. The next in the Detective Kubu series is A Death in the Family, also published by Orenda Books.

Find them on Twitter: @detectivekubu

What do you know about Matt Wesolowski? 

I know I owe him a wave of inspiration, a brilliant reading time, and I love reading reviews about his book!

Matt Wesolowski finished.png

Gotta love a guy who can cook! I prefer to bake, I’m not good with managing the meat and the veggies, and the sauces.. Too many things happening at the same time!

You say Poltergeist, I say Goodbye!!! Not staying!

Can I ask Matt to choose my next pet’s name? 😂😂

Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor and leads Cuckoo Young Writers creative writing workshops for young people in association with New Writing North. Matt started his writing career in horror and his short horror fiction has been published in Ethereal Tales magazine, Midnight Movie Creature Feature anthology, 22 More Quick Shivers anthology and many more. His debut novella The Black Land, a horror set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013 and a new novella set in the forests of Sweden will be available shortly. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015. He is currently working on his second crime novel Ashes, which involves black metal and Icelandic sorcery.

Follow Matt on Twitter: @ConcreteKraken

six stories

A giveaway is coming your way on the blog next week, look out for it!

I would like to send my biggest thanks to all the authors and translators for finding the time to take part in the Orenda Month and for allowing people to get to know them better. Go Team Orenda! 

30 thoughts on “#OrendaMonth The Team’s Tree: The Branches (part 3) @OrendaBooks”

  1. Nice to read more of the branches. What a strange but fabulous name for a cat! I love it. I have many many times thought it would be a great job to be a librarian too, and have asked in my local one if they need extra staff, perhaps one day.
    For a pupil to give the biggest of compliments like the stutter going is huge and Don should be so proud, that is something I would remember forever too.
    Looking forward to your giveaway, and the last Orenda week. I have a feeling there will be a few more Orenda reviews to come after March though. 😉


    1. I’m happy you like the branches 😀
      I wish I were as inspired when choosing my pet’s names!
      Fingers crossed your local library needs you, they’d bring an awesome addition to their team! 🙂
      I haven’t been able to read as much as I thought so yes, more Orenda reviews to come in the next months, and I’ll keep spreading the love 🙂 What could be the last review of the month will be online later today. Thanks for visiting xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so going to miss your Orenda month when it’s over! I had no idea Michael Stanley was a writing duo, love that I learned something new as both of those books are also sitting on my kindle just waiting to be read:) Actually, I have the Disco ones as well…I need more hours in the day to read all these awesome Orenda books! Fantastic post!!


    1. I’m gonna miss it too!!! As it was decided on the spur of the moment, I only got the final pieces for the authors posts so I might eat a bit of April’s day to finish, we’ll see! But if anything goes as planned, Friday is the last day! 😦 I’m planning on keeping Orenda Books high on my TBR though, so they’ll be more reviews and who knows, perhaps I’ll get more ideas and do another month!!
      I need more hours too! With all the blogging I’ve had to do for this project, I haven’t read that much and The Defenceless hasn’t even been started!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting people facts once again! So many things to say about them all but the ones that strike me most are the Michael Stanley ‘team’. I didn’t know there was a writer’s team behind Michael Stanley either! Also Matt Wesolowski is still very intriguing. So funny to see that some know they want to be a writer from the age of 5, some pick it up again after 40 years, some have to watch a documentary to get a click out of the blue.. But they’ve all accomplished it after all, no matter how you start your life. It goes to show again that you should never give up on your dreams.


    1. I did not know either!! I was so shocked when I read it, haha, you should have seen my face! I’m very curious about their writing process! That’s definitely the lesson I am learning this year, to not give up on dreams!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You managed to squeeze a lot of facts into this post Donna, and I loved reading them all. I definitely admire people who knew what they wanted to be from a small age and stuck to it. I’ve changed my mind 100 times at least about what I want to do. Also yeah I agree I can’t stand maths either. I’ve learnt to like it a little more for my job but when I was in high school I was terrible at it. :/
    Being a chef sounds quite interesting too. I wonder how Matt made the change from chef to writer.
    Great facts, again Donna! 😀


    1. I know, a bit of info dump here, right? It’s because I’ve only got all the facts this weekend and I need to publish it all before April, so I alternate authors and translators and hope not to bore people with too long posts!
      I wish I had stuck with my first idea of work, but I guess I had to go through all of this to get back to my first love 🙂
      Maths equals torture, it’s not understandable, it’s like a weird alien language!
      Thank you sooo sooo much! xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No I didn’t think it was an info dump. I love reading facts so it was kind of case of the more the better! And at least you’re on track to get everything done before April right?
        I can’t even remember what my first dream job was. Probably not something I’d be able to do now!
        When it comes to some kind of maths, yeah, definitely agree.
        That’s all right! 😀 ❤


        1. Haha.. Nope xD I am still in the middle of my last book for the month, I won’t have time to publish the review, and I have two more Branches posts to share before April, with a piece from Orenda Books’ big boss xD so basically, I need all day to reply to comments, write the posts, visit other blogs and sleep xD
          My first real job was in a supermarket.. The happy student working on Sunday mornings, yay, haha!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Wow it sounds like you have a lot on your plate at the moment, and I’m guessing once this month is over you’ll disappear for a little bit to catch up on your sleep (that’s what I’d do!)
            Ha, my first job was working in a clothing shop that should be been re-named Hell on Earth! :/


            1. Haha, I’ll take more time to visit blogs and read, and I’ll reduce my posts for a while, because no matter what, sleep is never my friend!!
              Ouch! Glad you escaped Hell!!!!

              Liked by 1 person

  5. Haha in regards to Agnes’ responses – absolutely to numbers 4 and 5! Well minus the red wine. Huge migraine trigger so sadly must avoid. But I can put away the pizza and cider or white wine every day and live in my little space 😉


    1. I hate wine but I live in Bordeaux :p And my first hungover was with red wine on New Year’s Eve when I was 16. My friends and I had gone to the Chinese restaurant to celebrate and the food was not coming so I drank and drank even though I hated the liquid and we had to call my mom so she could come pick us up, hahaha, terrible memory!

      Liked by 1 person

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