Hi and welcome to FromBelgiumWithBookLove where it is my honour and privilege to announce #Orentober!
Before you press that back-button because you think I’ve completely lost the plot, allow me to explain! #Orentober will be a month-long celebration of all things Orenda Books in October 2019!
If you were hanging around bookish Twitter in February, you may have noticed the first month-long celebration of an independent publisher, namely #Fahrenbruary in honour of Fahrenheit Press. #Fahrenbruary was a term coined by Mart (The Beardy Book Blogger), who carried the whole thing together with Matt (It’s An Indie Book Blog). I was one of the book bloggers who jumped on the bandwagon and joined in, together with Danielle, over on The Reading Closet. Danielle and I had heaps of fun, discovered loads of fabulous books and afterwards, we more or less jokingly said to each other we’d have to do the same for Orenda Books. Mart gave us a little nudge, which we needed because we’re still quite new at this whole blogging thing and I think we both suffer from insecurity and impostor syndrome every once in a while (or pretty much constantly), but before we knew it, #Orentober was born!
Why are we going out of our way to organise this celebration? Because Orenda Books are awesome and they deserve to be showered with love! Danielle and I had a little chat with some of you about Orenda Books in general and its founder Karen Sullivan in particular, and about #TeamOrenda, and if there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that Karen is absolutely amazing and Orenda novels are of consistently good quality. For me personally, like I told you before: I was reading Orenda books before I even realised there was such a thing as an Orenda book. At one point I had read The Old You by Louise Voss and tweeted about it, saying that it had ruined me for all future psychological thrillers because it was just that good, and I was just showered with appreciation from Karen, even though I was just a little nobody from Belgium with like 50 followers on Twitter. (For the record: I’m still a little nobody from Belgium but at least now if I shout, the odds are a bit higher that someone’s there to actually listen). I started following the (always excellent) Orenda blog tours, discovering and reading even more outstanding Orenda books, until I came to a point where I’m confident that if it’s an Orenda book, it’s at least 4 stars for me, and often 5. Orenda has pushed me out of my comfort zone multiple times, but I always end up loving the story and coming back for more. Regardless of the outstanding books she publishes, I love how supportive and enthusiastic and loving Karen is, towards her authors, but also towards all her readers and those of us who blog about them, you can tell she’s sincere and genuine and it’s that fact that makes me so happy every time I can tell her I loved one of her books.
But let’s get back to #Orentober and what it will entail! #Orentober will be hosted by Danielle and me but we’re inviting all of you to join us! We want you all jumping on that bandwagon like there’s no tomorrow! We will try our best to have some exciting content for you, and we invite you to add the #Orentober hashtag to all your Orenda-related tweets, reviews, everything and anything! Let’s see if we can elicit some of those coveted WOOHOOs and *weeps*, shall we!
Be sure to head over to The Reading Closet where Danielle has amassed some very enthusiastic quotes full of Orenda love by other bloggers! But before you go, please check out what these amazing Orenda authors have to say about Orenda Books:
“Karen, our mamma Orenda, has shaped my future with the care, determination, innovation and passion that she puts into promoting and making our books and career grow.” says Johana Gustawsson, queen of French noir and author of the Roy and Castells series.
“One of the best things – among so many – about being part of #TeamOrenda is that Karen respects and understands the vision I have for my books. She knows that I have to write what I have to write. Simply the story that comes to me, regardless of genre or topic. And she goes with it, patiently and lovingly editing with me until we have something we’re both happy with. I love the wealth of talent she publishes, and the friends I’ve made among them. Oh, and the covers. I can’t not mention them, can I? Thanks to her designer, Mark, we have some of the most gorgeous covers I’ve ever seen. And when we go on tour, let’s just say that it’s a whole lot of fun too… “, says Louise Beech, author of Call Me Star Girl, Best Magazine’s Book of the Year. She also mentioned “sex and booze and dark magic” but I’m pretty sure she was only joking 😬
Michael J. Malone, author of House of Spines, one of my all-time favourite Orenda books, says: “I love being part of Team Orenda. The authors are a supportive and fun bunch. I not only enjoy their work but I enjoy their company. And what can I say about Mama Orenda?! Her author care is second to none and her work on our behalf is just incredible. She’s an amazing woman!” Well, I’m sure we can all agree on that!
Vanda Symon, New-Zealand crime writer and spiritual mother of Sam Shephard, told me that she feels very fortunate to be part of Team Orenda: “I can’t believe my luck that I am an Orenda author. Karen is an incredibly energetic and supportive publisher. She works so hard for her authors, and fosters a wonderful camaraderie. I feel like I am part of a very special family.”
“I haven’t been with Orenda long – my first book with them is published on July 11. But what I’ve learned so far is that they’re dedicated, dynamic and punch well above their weight. My book benefited hugely from the editing process and I’m thrilled with the jacket design. Karen Sullivan is a total powerhouse. Whether it’s organising road tours, arranging author slots at festivals, liaising with bloggers or spending hours online promoting her authors, I don’t know how she fits it all in!”, says Paul Burston, author of The Closer I Get and founder/host of gay literary salon Polari. I highly suspect there’s more than one Karen and they all never sleep, but I could be wrong 😄
“Being part of Team Orenda feels like being part of an exclusive club full of excellent writers who soon become friends too. Karen is outstanding at creating a team spirit, and everyone is so supportive and encouraging. I wanted to be published by her as soon as I met her. I have had all sorts of publishing deals over my 20 years as an author, from major publishing houses to Amazon-owned imprints, but Karen and Orenda are the only ones I’ve felt actually really cared about my books, from inception to publication.”. High praise from Louise Voss, the queen of the psychological thriller, whose latest novel The Last Stage is out now as eBook, and available next month as audiobook and paperback.
David Ross, author of Welcome to the Heady Heights wrote this on Twitter in response to this post, and I simply could not resist adding it here for posterity ?:
“Karen Sullivan … our lone driver
The last Canadian heroine
The … the electric centaur, the demi Goddess
The super siren of the golden Orenda.
The Tamla Motown of cooler than cool publishing….”
West Camel, editor at Orenda and author of Attend told me that “being published by Orenda means having the freedom and space to write the book you want to write” He goes on to say that “Orenda is a tiny publisher that has made a massive splash in the publishing world. Working for Karen and being published by Orenda, I know there’s a simple reason for this: she’s completely committed to every single book she publishes” As a reader, and I’m sure many of you will agree, I feel that commitment shining through in every single Orenda book I’ve ever picked up. West sums it up as follows: “Orenda Books is driven by the commitment and remarkable energy of one woman – publisher Karen Sullivan, but its success depends on #TeamOrenda – the authors, bloggers and friends of the press who adore Orenda’s books and will always shout about them.” And that’s exactly what we’re trying to do with #Orentober, shout even louder than we have been doing so far! So if you’re #TeamOrenda, or you want to be (it’s the best team ever, I’m telling you), join us in October to do some hollering!
Please share and spread the word and help us made this a huge success ?
Many thanks to Cole Sullivan (son of) for the beautiful #Orentober visual!