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  • Writer's pictureMaya Linnell

Freelancing, phobias and first loves with Kylie Orr

I love a cracking debut, and Kylie Orr’s June release Someone Else’s Child proved an excellent introduction to this exciting new author. I was quickly drawn into Ren, Anna and Lottie’s story and had no trouble empathising with the whole-hearted attempt to help the sick young girl.

The story delves into the complexity of female friendships, the double-edged sword of small-town living and the ripple effect of unwavering loyalty. Peppered with witty dialogue and hinging on a strong moral premise, this page-turner will be a hit with suspense and mystery fans! Out now with Harper Collins.

Author spotlight with Kylie Orr

Do you have a good luck charm or a special token that sits on your desk/in your office?

Some of my dad’s ashes are swirled in a beautiful glass paperweight. In 2017 he passed away at only 66 years of age from cancer. I miss him a lot and when I am fussing or overthinking I hear his voice telling me to get on with it. I’m sad he wasn’t around to see my book on the shelf but I’m sure he’s sending me vibes from the bar in the sky, where he’s having a red wine or three, and many political debates.

Favourite exercise to counteract all the hours sitting at the keyboard?

I try to walk at least three times a week and where I live is hilly, so they are often hefty walks up hills. It’s a way for me to catch up with friends, vent about husbands and children, and clear my head of any muck. I also do “core yoga” once a week which is not for the faint-hearted. Sadly (or perhaps encouragingly?), the 70- and 80-year-olds are more flexible and have stronger cores than I do.

What’s your go-to weekday dinner dish?

My husband is the cook in our house (I do most of the planning and grocery shopping and he does the theatrical bit at the end while also creating chaos in the kitchen). He is a very good cook and likes to mix things up but I would say our family go-to weekday dinners are easy throw togethers like tacos and burritos, or rice paper rolls using leftovers.

Which career would you choose if money wasn’t a factor and writing wasn’t an option?

Does skill have to play a part? If not, then I’d choose a back-up dancer for Janet Jackson in her heyday. I love a boogie even though I dance like Elaine from Seinfeld.

Chocolate, potato chips or cheese?

All of them but chocolate is my first love. Cadbury, to be specific. I admit to eating chocolate every day (!) and we have a rule that we only buy chocolate when it’s on special. Luckily, I can always find chocolate on special …

Have you done anything special with any of your advances?

I had a really nice launch party — I hired a venue to celebrate with family and friends so the advance paid some of that. As far as a tangible gift to myself, no. Well, not yet! I find it hard to justify when I spent so many years writing the book and not earning much of an income as I freelanced while raising our children.

Spot where you seem to get the best bursts of inspiration?

In bed at 4 am, in the shower, when I’m driving and daydreaming, when someone is telling me a boring story and my mind wanders (is that bad?).

Agent or no agent?

I have a lovely agent—Danielle Binks (Jacinta Di Mase Management). She is bubbly and positive and talks me down off many ledges. She deals with my over-enthusiasm which sometimes presents as wild impatience. I’m very happy she represents me. She may not say the same!

Do you have a writing ‘uniform’ (mine’s big earrings, cardigan and jeans)?

I used to be someone who dressed well because when I wore something nice, did my hair and makeup properly etc. I always felt more productive. Cue: pandemic. I’ve now embraced leisurewear. I love elasticised jeans, runners and hoodies. That sounds terrible to admit out loud. I actually commented to my husband the other day that I was starting to dress the same way I used to dress our kids when they were toddlers! Look, at least I haven’t slipped down to PJs and Ugg boots (yet). And if my publisher and agent are reading this, I AM STILL VERY PRODUCTIVE in my casual clothes.

Aussie novel you’re most looking forward to in 2022?

Your 4th instalment of course, and I’m slow off the mark, but I am just getting stuck into The Mother by Jane Caro. Also always love reading anything Eliza Henry-Jones writes, so Salt and Skin due out in August will be added to my leaning tower of TBR books.

Best one-line sentence from one of your book reviews?

“I'm telling you, you need to get your hands on this book, then you need to rearrange your schedule so you don't have anything important to do for the next couple hours – because those important things will not happen until you've turned the last page.” Elle, Booktopia

Share a quirky habit or something readers might be surprised to discover about you.

I don’t eat eggs. I don’t like the look or smell of them and pretty much need to leave the room when someone in my house is cooking them. We once had chickens and the thought of collecting warm eggs made me gag. I could never live on a farm! It’s a texture thing. In general, I don’t eat foods that wobble (jelly, custard, quiche, panna cotta etc). A friend told me it was more like a phobia than a food aversion! She’s probably right.

Where can people find you online?

I am on Instagram most days @kylieorr_writer

My website is

I am on Facebook just under my name but am a bit hopeless at it

On Twitter sporadically and mostly I rant to my 3 followers about reality TV @KylieOrrWriter

Meet the author

Kylie’s novels explore the darker side of humanity and question what we understand about ourselves. Her debut, Someone Else’s Child was longlisted in The Richell Prize, the MsLexia International Novel Competition and awarded the Dymocks & Fiona McIntosh Commercial Fiction Masterclass scholarship.

She lives cliffside on the land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation and shares the space with her four children, just the one husband and a cat called Alfie who has surprised everyone by taking up space in her camera roll and on her reading chair.

Someone Else's Child

A gripping contemporary novel from a magnificent new talent that tackles the almost unbreakable loyalty of female friendships, the generosity of community and the lengths we will go to save a child.

Ren Hill will do anything for her best friend, Anna. The news that Anna’s daughter Charlotte has terminal brain cancer sends them on a desperate hunt for a cure and their only hope lies in an expensive European drug trial.

Ren jumps onboard Anna’s fundraising efforts, willing to put everything on the line—her reputation in their close-knit community and all the money she can beg or borrow—to secure Charlotte’s place. When the local charity drive quickly becomes a nationwide campaign, townspeople start asking questions about the trial. Questions Ren can’t answer.

The more she uncovers, the more Ren realises the truth is darker than she could ever imagine.


Head to the WIN page for your chance to win a copy of Someone Else's Child, thanks to Harper Collins. Simply enter the contest HERE by 5pm Sunday September 11. Aussie addresses and newsletter subscribers only, please.


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