Little Books and Hobbies

NAME: Kerry Orchard

PUBLISHED TITLES: The Adventures in Behaviour Series – How to Tame Dragons and Hush Hyenas (Canadian Children’s Book Centre “Best Book” Kids and Teens), How Danny Found his Brave, The No Trolls Allowed Guidebook


It has long been my dream to start a small press focusing simultaneously on books for children struggling with behavioural/complex needs issues and adult and YA fantasy. My daughters joined me and helped me to create my websites and will continue to edit and assist. It’s been a pleasure having their support.

I have been writing for as long as I can remember and working with children dealing with behavioural issues for over a decade. It seemed appropriate to combine my two passions, children and writing. I have a deep love of anything fantasy and am an avid reader.

Q: Where are you from (City, State)?

A: I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Canada where I still reside currently.

Q: How long have you been writing?
A:. As long as I can remember. In the 90s I had two books published with New Concepts Publishing. I will be re-releasing them. The Thoughtmaster’s Conduit and The Augur’s Voice. Thoughtmaster was a finalist for the EPPIE award.

Q: What were your goals prior to writing? How did you becoming an author happen?
A: My goals have always been to write and to work with and support children.
Q: What genre(s) do you write? Why?
A: I write children’s picture books as a way to promote behaviour support (self-regulation, anxiety, sensory, ADHD etc.) in a fun, engaging way for teachers and parents to discuss and find solutions when struggling with behavioural issues. I write fantasy because I love fantasy and have a vivid imagination. I have read Tolkien over a hundred times.
Q: Did/do you self publish or traditionally publish? What was attractive about this option?
A: I published with a publisher originally. I had had much interest from major publishers but was not fitting their line so I accepted the offer from New Concepts. They were very new and after a few years decided to pull and shelve the books for a period. I had become quite ill with Lupus (I am in remission but still have damage to cope with). When I was putting together the picture book series I decided that it was time to try it on my own. I would like to get to the point where I can invite other authors. I have several books of my own to put out.
Q: Are you a full-time author? If not, do aspire to be?
A: No I am not. I work in Behaviour and Crisis support. It would be my dream or goal to retire and write and work on my behaviour website –
Q: How many books have you published?
A:. In my lifetime 5. Three are currently available.
Q: When did you publish (first book title)?
A: I can’t remember the exact date. I was in the 90s.
Q: How did the publishing process differ from (first book title) to that of your current book?
A: The publishing industry has made rapid changes in the last 20 years. When I started e-books were said to be a passing fancy and self publishing or starting a small press as I have was simply for those who could not get published traditionally. I like the changes now. I think it creates more diversity and options for readers. I like being in charge from beginning to end.
Q: What is one thing you wish you had done differently during the process of publishing your first book?
A: I’m not sure. It was a good learning experience and started me on the path I am on now. I perhaps wish I had invested in a really good editor and hit the major companies again as things were different then and I had many invites to send material.
Q: Who are some of your favorite authors?

A: JRR Tolkien, Martha Grimes, Kate Mosse, Dickens, Poe, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, Agatha Christie.

Q: To expand on that, what is your favorite genre to read? A:Fantasy/sci fi, Mystery, Historical fantasy/fiction (as in Kate Mosse).

A:Fantasy/sci fi, Mystery, Historical fantasy/fiction (as in Kate Mosse).

Q What book or books have influenced you as an author?
A: The Lord of the Rings and for kids Robert Munsch.

Q: What is your writing process?(time spent writing, planning, performance goals)
A: For fantasy I first come up with a storyline, then plan it out chapter by chapter. Then I create/define my world – the way it looks, the physical laws as in magic, nature) I then create and/or define characters. Then I begin writing and filling in the gaps. Then I spend at least a year editing.
Q: Do you write each day?
A: When I am writing I try to.
Q: How do you set your writing mood? Is there a routine you follow?
A: No
Q: How long on average does it take you to write a book?
A: On adult books a few years. For children’s a year start to finish with edits and illustrating.
Q: Do you prefer paperback, hardcover, or eBooks (reading and writing)? Why?
A: I prefer paper or hardcover. I like the feel of books but I do read eBooks as well.
Q: Who would your dream co-author be? Why?
A: JRR Tolkien because he was a genius linguist and had an incredible imagination and sense of truth and good and evil.
Q: What will be your next book release?
A: Upcoming: (Please visit our sneak peaks page at The Day The Fidgets Began, The Thoughtmaster’s Conduit and The Augur’s Voice followed by I Am She
Q: What are some of your goals outside of writing?
A: To help people through my behaviour website. To support students/children struggling with self-regulation, behaviour, trauma.

Q: What is your biggest obstacle when writing?

A: Time

Q: Do you have any advice for new authors?
A: Write about what you love, know and are passionate about. Write down every idea and keep a journal of them. When you come up with a great sentence or paragraph whether relevant to what you are writing or not – jot it down. Do not write with the goal of being published, write because you want to share your story, your words, who you are and take your time.

Links to check out and learn more about Kerry.

Burroughs Manor Press

Solving Behaviour

Good Reads


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