Book Talk

#OrendaMonth The Team’s Tree: The Branches (part 2) @OrendaBooks


Look at that beautiful tree! Today, we are lucky to meet three more fantastic branches from the Orenda Books family! (and I’m starting to wonder how authors and translators appreciate to be referred to as “branches”!? 😱😱)

What do you know about Quentin Bates?

I already knew that Quentin was both a writer and a translator and I would really like to read his work! I think it is fantastic when someone has the creativity and ability to write and translate, because both tasks demand a lot from a person.

5 things about quentin bates.png

One of my favorite bloggers recommended The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I really need to get a copy soon!

I completely agree with #2. Cooking is fun, washing up is terrible, and it ruins your nail polish (yes, I am that shallow)

Despite having spent the first 18 years in my life in one of France biggest port towns, I know nothing about fish except that I don’t really like eating it!

Quentin Bates escaped English suburbia as a teenager, jumping at the chance of a gap year working in Iceland. For a variety of reasons, the gap year stretched to become a gap decade, during which time he went native in the north of Iceland, acquiring a new language, a new profession as a seaman and a family before decamping en masse for England. He worked as a truck driver, teacher, netmaker and trawlerman at various times before falling into journalism largely by accident. He has been the technical editor of a nautical magazine for many years, all the while keeping a close eye on his second home in Iceland, before taking a sidestep into writing fiction. He is the author of a series of crime novels set in present-day Iceland (Frozen Out, Cold Steal, Chilled to the Bone, Winterlude, and Cold Comfort), which have been published in the UK, USA, Germany, Holland, Finland and Poland. He has translated a great deal of news and technical material into English from Icelandic, as well as one novel (Gudlaugur Arason’s Bowline). He’s currently working on translating Ragnar Jonasson’s stories.

Find Quentin on Twitter @graskeggur

What do you know about Amanda Jennings?

I know her story In Her Wake has caught me off guard and I have no idea how to review it!!!!

5 things about Amanda Jennings.png

I must be the last person who hasn’t read The Book Thief!

I have always questioned the idea of offering plants and flowers to people. It’s a terrible gift! You have to take care of it, make sure it doesn’t die, and my mother even talks to them! I’d rather have chocolate. At least, I don’t kill the squares, I just eat them!

Amanda Jennings made her literary début with the internationally bestselling novel Sworn Secret. Her second book, The Judas Scar, was optioned by a film and television production company shortly after release. She is fascinated by the ways people react to trauma and deal with its long-lasting effects, and also the complex relationships within a family unit. She used to work at the BBC, but now writes full-time and looks after her three daughters and a menagerie of animals. She writes a popular blog and is a regular guest on BBC Berkshire’s Book Club. She enjoys running writing workshops, is a judge for the Henley Youth Festival creative writing competition, and is involved with the Womentoring Project, which offers free mentoring by professional literary women to talented up-and-coming female writers who might otherwise not have access to such an opportunity. She is a regular speaker at festivals and book events, combining her childhood love of the stage with her love of writing. She likes to be active, preferably beside the sea or at the top of a snow-covered mountain, and when she isn’t writing she can usually be found walking her dog and enjoying the peace and solitude of the great outdoors.

in her wake

Find Amanda on Twitter @MandaJJennings

What do you know about Gunnar Staalesen?

I know he has a fantastic writing style and that he created a character I am so intrigued by. I know I am devastated not to be able to read all of his work because the Varg Veum series hasn’t been entirely translated. I know I want more Varg Veum!!!

5 things about Gunnar Staalesen.png

I would be happy to run and survive a single marathon! I am in terrible shape!!

I need this Varg Veum soundtrack! (what do you mean, I am obsessed?)

I was so surprised by the riddle stories!

One of the fathers of Nordic Noir, Gunnar Staalesen was born in Bergen, Norway in 1947.  He made his debut at the age of 22 with Seasons of Innocence and in 1977 he published the first book in the Varg Veum series.  He is the author of over 20 titles, which have been published in 24 countries and sold over four million copies. Twelve film adaptations of his Varg Veum crime novels have appeared since 2007, starring the popular Norwegian actor Trond Espen Seim. Staalesen, who has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of Honour), lives in Bergen with his wife. The next instalments in the Varg Veum series – Where Roses Never Die and Wolves in the Dark – will be published by Orenda Books in 2016 and 2017.

Have you read any of their works? I know I’m addicted to Quentin’s translations and Gunnar’s main character, and I know I’m gonna spend two hours writing my review of In Her Wake!

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! 


28 thoughts on “#OrendaMonth The Team’s Tree: The Branches (part 2) @OrendaBooks”

  1. You need to read The Book Thief soon Donna. Its one of my favourite books of all-time. I also need to read HitchHiker’s Guide. It seems like an interesting read. Great post, some of these facts had me laughing like the serial killer of pot plants yeah I know I shouldn’t have laughed though lol. I wish I knew how to drive trucks and ships.


  2. Wow, it seems they have more talents than translating: driving ships, tying a cherry stalk with our tongue and running marathons.. It’s no wonder I’m not a writer if these are requirements ;-). Also very intrigued about those crime riddles!


  3. Nice to see more of the branches. ( I don’t think they would mind being called that). The 5 facts are the best as they are all something different. I dont like the dishes either but not because of nail varnish, but it dries my skin out! Perhaps we should both wear gloves! 😉


    1. I am really happy about the fact each author shared because they are all very unique and fun to read 🙂 I always forget gloves when I do the dishes, it feels weird to wear them! But hey, I’m the girl who puts the coloring hair mask on her head without gloves and has her hands orange for the next two days so…. 😀 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Make it two of us! I haven’t read The Book Thief, although I’ve seen the movie! From the sound of it, it is a FANTASTIC book that we should probably get around to… soon. 😀 😀 Glad to hear The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is someone’s go-to book on a desert island! I have yet to read it too, but I know its a classic worth visiting some day! Still love the idea behind these posts, and I too wonder what they think about being called branches. 😛

    – Lashaan


    1. Wait, there’s a movie? hahaha, I am so not in touch with anything regarding The Book Thief!!!!
      Haha, I think I’ll have to ask them about the branches nickname, I’m too curious now!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. First of all I have not read the Book Thief either.. so we are both terrible slackers haha 😉

    I was pretty stoked to see Quentin Bates choose the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I am telling you that you simply must experience. It is not for everyone, but if you do connect with it, you are in for a treat ❤

    Another Ace of a Post my twin pea!


        1. I used to read on the iPad but it was killing my eyes so it’s Kindle only now! To lend or borrow books the title must allow it, you see whether the option is on in the description on the buying page, and then you can only use it if both people have a US Amazon account, it doesn’t work internationally… The lending itself is easy and so so handy! That’s how I got the The Maze Runner virus! 😀

          Liked by 1 person

  6. These are some great facts Donna, I really enjoyed reading them and discovering more about a different group of authors this time around. 🙂
    Also I second the recommendations for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and The Book Thief. Although it’s been a while since I’ve read the former both are amazing books and favourites of mine! 😀


  7. This is just so good, I love these posts! Best feature ever #OrendaMonth
    And all these people… it’s like I’m discovering I am failing as a human because they all sound fantastic from roots to branches and I realize I still have so much to achieve… so in a way, all those people you’re introducing to me through this feature are like, in a way, role models!


    1. Aw thanks so much! I’m really glad everyone seems to be just as curious as I am about who the Orenda Team is 🙂 Wow! I like that you see them that way! It’s true that between their books, their bio and those fun facts, they seem to be fascinating people!


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