Blogging Life, Book Talk

#OrendaMonth The Team’s Tree: The Branches (part 1) @OrendaBooks

Now that we met the trunk of the Orenda Books team last week, it is time to take a look at its inspiring and diverse branches!

Just like the Trunk team, authors and translators have been kind enough to give me 5 facts about them. You may wonder why I got this idea. Well, since I started blogging, my relation to book has evolved and now that I see books in their entirety, meaning with their publisher and author, and not just as stories coming out of nowhere. That’s why I thought it would be nice to take a closer look at who is behind the words that transports us by getting details we can’t find in their official biographies. Yep, told you I was nosey! Plus, I realized I never read the biographies and after preparing this post I realized I should start doing so!!

Many authors sent me a little something so I decided to explore the branches in different posts. Meet the first branches today!

What do you know about Louise Beech?

I know she is a lovely woman with a magical way with words. I know I gave her book The Mountain in my Shoe plenty of stars. I know she is a delight to chat with on social media. I know I can’t wait for her next book to come out. I’m ashamed to say it’s way too little information! I have a remedy for that!

5 things about louise beech

I never remember birthdays! Every year, I miss important ones and feel terrible about it. I tried to jot them down in my diary but nope, I am a person who can’t do birthdays.

Louise, I am happy you did not become a nun! The world would have missed out on too gorgeous stories!!!

Now that you’ve seen what Louise has to say about herself, here is her official bio, because this definitely made me want to know more about Louise!

Louise Beech has always been haunted by the sea, and regularly writes travel pieces for the Hull Daily Mail, where she was a columnist for ten years. Her short fiction has won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting for the Bridport Prize twice and being published in a variety of UK magazines. Louise lives with her husband and children on the outskirts of Hull – the UK’s 2017 City of Culture – and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012. She is also part of the Mums’ Army on Lizzie and Carl’s BBC Radio Humberside Breakfast Show. How To Be Brave is Louise’s first book. The Mountain in My Shoe was published in 2016.

Great news: her next book will be ours soon!!

Find Louise on Twitter @LouiseWriter

What do you know about Yusuf Toropov?

I know his book Jihadi had me on the fence on whether or not I would include it to the Orenda Month due to its subject. I was not sure I would be able to review it properly. But I know I really want to read it as it seems to me this is a brilliant and eye-opening piece of work.

5 Things about Yusuf Toporov.png

Nabokov’s name always gives me a rash, haha! I had never heard of Pale Fire, it somehow escaped my teacher’s biography of the man!

Man, I do want to visit Ireland!

Grace Slick was a cutie! Yes, I had to google her but who cares??

Now off to the official biography!

Yusuf Toropov is an American Muslim writer. He’s the author or co-author of a number of nonfiction books, including Shakespeare for Beginners. His full-length play An Undivided Heart was selected for a workshop production at the National Playwrights Conference, and his one-act play The Job Search was produced off-Broadway. Jihadi: A Love Story, which reached the quarter-finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, is his first novel. He currently lives in Northern Ireland.


Find Yusuf on Twitter @LiteraryStriver

What do you know about Kari Dickson?

I know she is the fantastic translator behind the acclaimed Cursed by Thomas Enger. I know that translators don’t get their share of recognition and this is a small thank you for bringing us a fantastic story.

5 things about kari dickson

I have always had a weird relation with translating. I see it as an art, and I hate picking a French translation of a book I read in English and see the story and writing butchered by a terrible work. At the same time, I feel I myself could never do justice to an author and his piece, so I left my Translation studies, but I truly admire people like Kari who make it look brilliantly simple and can respect the original piece.

I couldn’t dance even if I was paid for it… I’m a terrible terrible dancer!!

KARI DICKSON read Scandinavian Studies at UCL and then went on to work in various theatres. While working in the theatre, she was asked to do literal translations of two Ibsen plays, which fuelled her interest and led to an MA in Translation at the University of Surrey.  Having worked initially as a commercial translator, she now concentrates on literary translation, a good deal of which is crime fiction. Her translation of Roslund & Hellström’s Three Seconds won the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) International Dagger in 2011. She is also an occasional tutor in Norwegian language and literature, and translation  at the University of Edinburgh.

It doesn’t matter that I can’t be at the London Book Fair or any book event, those posts make up for the wonderful meetings with authors we can’t always attend 🙂

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! 


33 thoughts on “#OrendaMonth The Team’s Tree: The Branches (part 1) @OrendaBooks”

  1. Great post Donna. You are constantly coming up with exciting stuff for this Orenda month. Its nice getting to know the authors. I also like the kind of facts that they shared. They are not the usual stuff found at the back of book covers.Thanks for sharing 🙂


    1. Thank you! I’m just trying to follow my crazy brain and trusting my weird ideas and so far it’s been fantastic 🙂 I absolutely love that what everyone shares is definitely not what you find in their bios. It reminds me authors are normal people, haha!


  2. I love learning more about Louise Beech! I can’t wait for her new book, I’m really drawn to her writing. Great that you featured Kari Dickson, thanks to her I was able to enjoy one of my most favorite reads, Cursed!!


    1. Louise is so lovely it’s a joy to know more about her 🙂 Her writing has something so special! I think translators don’t get enough credit so I was happy to have Kari in this post 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this post! These people become even more real this way and I love it that you included Kari Dickson. I agree that she did a terrific job. I studied for translator too (and gave up after 2 years) and I wish I’d taken it more seriously. It seems like a really cool job now if you can do this! Some people have writing in their blood, it’s crazy how they know (apart from that time when she wanted to be a nun) from a very young age what they want to do and succeed in doing so. She seems so lovely too, I really should read one of her books.. I hope to hop on the train for the next one 😉


    1. I totally agree! Sometimes I feel disconnected from authors because I get to know their characters and stories through a book but I don’t know a thing about them so this feature is here to remind me there are real and they are lovely people!
      I really had to involve the translators, we wouldn’t be able to appreciate those amazing stories without them and it breaks my heart when they are not mentioned. So we both gave up translating… Well, it wasn’t for us! 🙂
      Haha, Louise is fantastic and I’m really relieved she did not become a nun!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great idea for a post Donna. I always love hearing more about authors, outside of their books you know, and it was really interesting reading more about these three. I’ll admit I don’t tend to read biographies in books, I tend to pick up most things I know about authors from publishers and Twitter, but I’m thinking maybe I should start when I finish their books.
    Again great post, I can’t wait to see the next one! 😀


  5. Great extra facts about the people, especially Louise betting her mum £10. Being a translator for a book would be a real sense of achievement job and you must get to read lots of great books as part of your job. Shame I can’t speak another language. 😉


    1. I love that Louise lost her bet 🙂
      Learning a language is a lifetime commitment for me 🙂 I’ll never stop learning, and that’s what I love about it. Well, I shouldn’t give up on French because these days I can’t understand teenagers! xx


  6. I just love how many interesting people are really out there in the world… I don’t think I know anyone quite as interesting in my real life… I mean- flamenco? Buddhism? A game creator and another adult who doesn’t drive just lke me? Brilliant! 🙂 haha… Love these posts, Donna! Found a book here as well to defo check out: Jihadi.


    1. I know! I love those facts because I wasn’t expecting half of them, it makes everyone sound so interesting and with a lot more to offer than “only” stories, you know? There are so many sides to everyone and I’m glad we get to know more 🙂
      I know, Jihadi is a book I am so interested in, I just felt it did not fit into the Orenda Month because I wasn’t sure I’d be able to review it 🙂 But I’ll definitely read it!


  7. Ohh such an insightful post! I have to admit that I have a problem with English books being translated in French or even French books getting translated in English. I just feel like I’m not reading the book I WANT to read, but this is probably due to the fact that I can read both languages and would rather read the original language FIRST and maybe give the translation I chance in the future (cause.. you know.. sometimes the translated language has its own beauty!). However, I give HUGE praise to much more exotic languages that get translated to English (like from Russian to English). Which brings me to admire the credit you give to Kari Dickson! 😀 Great post, again!

    – Lashaan


    1. I have the same issue! When I know a book written in English is available in French, I’ll grab the original version, and vice versa. I just feel I want the REAL thing, even though sometimes translators do an amazing job. I’m still traumatized by the awful French translation of A Game of Thrones so I haven’t picked a book in French in forever. I feel it’s a must to add the translator’s name and to mention them because they never get the thank yous and praise they deserve! Thank you!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.