Book Talk

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


This is the end. I feel like quoting Adele and being dramatic. Here is the last bunch of awesome people working at Orenda Books and taking part in the 5 Facts posts! I have had a blast putting this facts and I hope you’ve enjoyed discovering more about Orenda Books’ fabulous authors as much as I did!

What do you know about Michael J. Malone? 

I know that 4 months later, A Suitable Lie is still with me. I know I ran out of friends to push the books to. I know I am eager to discover more of Michael’s work!

michael j malone finished

TWINS! One of the most fascinating thing to read about! I don’t know any twins in real life, I hope I wouldn’t turn into that weird lady who stares for hours.

Dislocated shoulders hurt like hell. My right shoulder has a weird thing going and when I was little, the simple act of my mom helping me get in the bus when we were holding hands would dislocate my shoulder. People used to think I was tortured!

I like that the J in Michael J. Malone doesn’t stand for anything. The letter was well chosen, the entire thing sounds good! But the American double is a creepy fact!

After Louise Beech wanting to be a nun, we have a priest! I wonder if there’s a link between writing and religion!

Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country, just a stone’s throw from the great man’s cottage in Ayr. Well, a stone thrown by a catapult. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. His career as a poet has also included a (very) brief stint as the Poet-In-Residence for an adult gift shop. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize (judge: Alex Gray) from the Scottish Association of Writers.

Other published work includes: Carnegie’s Call (a non-fiction work about successful modern-day Scots); A Taste for Malice; The Guillotine Choice; and Beyond the Rage. His poetry includes: In The Raw, Running Threads and Lip Synch. Michael is a regular reviewer for the hugely popular crime fiction website A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller. A Suitable Lie will be published by Orenda Books in September 2016.

Find Michael on Twitter: @michaelJmalone1


What do you know about Johana Gustawsson? 

I know it makes me very happy that a French author is part of the Orenda Team. I know Johana is a lovely lady and I am dying to read her work, in our native language and in English!

johana finished.png

I don’t even know the lyrics to Itsy Bitsy!! But I should never have googled The Wheels on the Bus… I’m stuck with it forever!

I can’t stand liver either, but cheese! I’m in paradise with a good Comté accompanied by a plum jam!

Born in 1978 in Marseille and with a degree in political science, Johana Gustawsson has worked as a journalist for the French press and television. She married a Swede and now lives in London. She was the co-author of a bestseller, On se retrouvera, published by Fayard Noir in France, whose television adaptation drew over 7 million viewers in June 2015. She is working on the next book in the Roy & Castells series.

Find Johana on Twitter: @JoGustawsson


What do you know about Matt Johnson? 

I know his book Wicked Game is on my nightstand and I’ve heard so much about it it won’t stay there long!

matt johnson finished.png

The thing that has always bothered me with playing instruments is that I don’t understand how my hands could be able to do two different things at the same time, haha! Okay, they are doing it now by typing but it’s different. I admire music players, it feels like magic 🙂

I loooooove walking with my dogs, it’s relaxing and before you know it, you’re far far from home and have had the daily exercise you need!

I love the animal rescue story, thank you for doing this for cats and dogs. My heart breaks for all the animals that don’t have the chance to be in caring families.

Matt Johnson served as a soldier and Metropolitan Police officer for twenty-five years. Blown off his feet at the London Baltic Exchange bombing in 1992, and one of the first police officers on the scene of the 1982 Regent’s Park bombing, Matt was also at the Libyan People’s Bureau shooting in 1984 where he escorted his mortally wounded friend and colleague, Yvonne Fletcher, to hospital. Hidden wounds took their toll. In 1999, Matt was discharged from the police with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. While undergoing treatment, he was encouraged by his counsellor to write about his career and his experience of murders, shootings and terrorism. One evening, Matt sat at his computer and started to weave these notes into a work of fiction that he described as having a tremendously cathartic effect on his own condition. Matt is currently working on a sequel Deadly Game.

Find Matt on Twitter: @Matt_Johnson_UK

What do you know about Su Bristow? 

I know her book has been praised all over the blogosphere and beyond, and I know despite being on the fence about the genre, I will eventually read it!

su bristow finished

Strawberry picking is hard! I tried working in the vineyards one summer and lasted… two days! It was way too physical for me!

I’m the same when it comes to theme park rides! I prefer my feet to stay firmly on the ground!

Su Bristow is a consultant medical herbalist by day. She’s the author of two books on herbal medicine: The Herbal Medicine Chest and The Herb Handbook; and two on relationship skills: The Courage to Love and Falling in Love, Staying in Love, co-written with psychotherapist, Malcolm Stern. Her published fiction includes ‘Troll Steps’ (in the anthology, Barcelona to Bihar), and ‘Changes’ which came second in the 2010 CreativeWritingMatters flash fiction competition. Her forthcoming novel, Sealskin, is set in the Hebrides, and it’s a reworking of the Scottish legend of the selkies, or seals who can turn into people. It won the Exeter Novel Prize 2013. Her writing has been described as ‘magical realism; Angela Carter meets Eowyn Ivey’.

Find Su on Twitter: @SuBristow


This is it. Gathering all those great minds for a dinner would be fantastic, wouldn’t 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! 

I hope those facts surprised you, made you laugh and kept you interested. I loved every minute of it!

Don’t forget the Rafflecopter to win a signed copy of the Orenda Books story of your choice!

Enter the Orenda Books Giveaway here!

Tomorrow, we will get to the Roots of the Orenda Books Tree….


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

  1. Haha a link between religious aspirations and writing, who knew ;-). And another person with the same name and he looks like you, creepy! I think I instantly like Matt Johnson now, people who are good to animals can’t do no wrong to me. I’d want to read one of his books just because of him having run an animal rescue center.


    1. Weird, right? :p
      I know, I was so surprised to read that Matt had done his best to rescue animals and it makes you want to jump on the books of a man with a big heart 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. More great facts Donna, I’ve really loved learning more about these authors through your facts posts.
    I have a massive sweet tooth as well, and Cadbury Dairy Milk is my all-time favourite chocolate, never tried mint Oreos but I’m not actually a massive Oreo fan if I’m being honest.
    Also keeping bees sounds like it could be quite interesting.
    And I’m the opposite because I LOVE theme parks, I could spend all day there going on all the upside-down rollercoasters! 😀


    1. I love that those posts are fun for everyone, I was so afraid to be the only curious one!!
      I think I never tried Cadbury Dairy Milk!! I really need to get some!
      Haha, I leave those rollercoasters to you, my stomach prefers to stay on Earth and eat while you face them!!! xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’ve never tried Cadbury Dairy Milk????????? *faints* This needs to be rectified immediately! This is a travesty beyond words. It’s part of the British staple diet. DM me your address on Twitter and I will send you some 🍫😀


        1. Noooo, they don’t have it here!!! And I’ve never been able to travel to find the British must-try food!!! Haha I can’t possibly have you feed me!!!


      2. Oh they are, and honestly I’m curious about anything and everything, but seeing as I love books so much I’m even more curious about authors than anything else! 🙂
        Oh definitely get some, it’s amazing chocolate!
        Yep, I probably have already been on enough rollercoasters for the both of us, and then some! 😀


  3. How can people be so awesome? 😀 I LOLed all the way through Michael’s 5 facts… then had to look up Wheels on the Bus lyrics as well… *groaning* 😀
    I loved Matt’s facts #1 and 2 the best… Simon Le Bon? Blimey! And beekeeping? This is something I want to get into! And his hat collection sounds pure mega! Wow!
    Ha.. strawberry picking… I used to have to clean our rather huge field of strawberries from weeds… the worst thing I hated about it? The freaking hairy spiders that went scuttling about every 2 mins… can’t stand the creatures!


  4. Hehe to of my nephews are twins and they are in equal parts mischievous 😉 and cheeeeese!!! I love cheese! (Autocorrect almost turned that to live and it wouldn’t have been totally wrong) I don’t know if you’ve seen Wallace and gromit, but they basically sum up my unhealthy relationship with cheese in the one where they go to the moon cos it’s made with cheese, just with a load of crackers… And I realise I’ve just rambled on about cheese for an entire comment… 😜


      1. hehe I know right!!! They’re so cute!! 😀
        hahaha very true!! It always seems to think I’m more sophisticated than I am and also far more polite (it always “corrects” my swearing).
        haha good!! 😉


  5. Gosh, every time these branches post came up, there was ALWAYS at least one mega interesting book in there. I swear, I think #Orenda doesn’t know what’s a bad author with a bad book! 😀 Sucks this is the end though…. 😦

    – Lashaan


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