Dillie Dorian is an English author of child and YA realistic fiction. She is notable for offering all fourteen titles in her debut series, A Bended Family, for free online.
Dillie has been “writing” since a very young age, and her mother probably still hoards innumerable sellotape-bound “sequels” to everything from Animal Ark to The Worst Witch.
Her first serious project began in September 2006, with “Oops! Did I Forget I Don’t Know You?”, which sparked countless official sequels of its own within months. Working on this series between the ages of thirteen and fourteen taught her everything she knows about writing, and she hasn’t stopped expanding on the Hartleys’ lives since!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Honestly? I don't always get out of bed. That's one of the greatest perks about being a writer - you can work from wherever you choose, and I choose the cosiest place on the planet. You could say I'm inspired by my pressing desire not to have to get a job that I don't LOVE.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Usually, if I'm not writing, I'm marathoning a great TV show. Notables this year have been Breaking Bad, and Malcolm in the Middle which I never got to see growing up. Bryan Cranston's face is so expressive! On the odd occasion that I'm not writing or getting the most possible out of my Netflix subscription, I'm probably out with my mad mates.
“We’re all going on a… bummer holiday.” A week’s getaway with a best friend each is just what the Hartley kids need – if only that was manageable. The twins have been forced to assume that this maze of tangled kin was sown with good intentions, but they aren’t the only ones for whom the island harbours difficult truths.
It’s the Year 9 Self-Es-Team Building residential, and Harley’s not sure why she signed up. Charlie’s as neurotic as ever, and Devon’s cooing has reached a frequency that only dogs can hear.
When Rachel’s nasty side comes out to play, Harley hopes for anything at all to take the spotlight away from her feuding bezzies, but what she’ll discover isn’t going to be easy to handle.
Work Shadowing - the clue's in the name. Harley finds the premise downright creepy. Worst of all, she's not sure she'll even be able to find someone who'll let her walk to heel, going through the motions of business. Adding into all of her stress, her brothers are at war again - and this time it's "serious". How long can she hold out without picking a side?
It's SATs week for the twins - and Zak. As if that isn't stressful enough, their mother is looking ready to pop, and then there's the threat of sleepless GCSEs and having to shout some wacky baby name in public! The last thing Harley can be bothered with is friend drama, but could it be that a certain someone trusts her more than she ever let on...?
The Spanish exchange has finally rolled around. With Harry working and their mother heavily pregnant, Harley and Charlie are supposed to play host to Gerry and Laura, teenage penpals that they know next to nothing about. Meanwhile, Zak is away on an educational holiday, and no one has noticed that he's more than just physically distant...
“Can you keep a secret?” Harley’s not sure that she wants to. Her whole childhood was spent rotely denying things she didn’t properly understand. Unlike some of her friends, she doesn’t find the question remotely giggleworthy – but Harley knows better than anyone that it’s not always a choice.
It’s Valentines Party Fever at school, but Harley doesn’t quite “get” it. Sulking over an absent chocolate fountain has never been a priority in the Hartley household – at least not for anyone out of Infants.
Relations between her friends are fractious at best, with things at home not much of an improvement. In Harley’s constantly turning world, is there even time for a happy middling?
It’s a new year, and Harley has her spirits set on a spot of self-improvement. Things change when an acquaintance is involved in an accident, shaking things up at home and at school. Harley becomes focused on doing the right thing, which can be hard when certain people are treading all over her dearest beliefs.
Will she be able to single out the source of all her worries?
A combination of unseasonable sunshine, cross country and a cross twin is more than enough to keep Harley from relaxing as Christmas nears up. At a school that’s dedicated to equal-opportunity bullying, she could do with a visit from Joyous Noel right around now – whoever he is…
Harley feels responsible for everything at home. Her twin brother gets away with murder, and her bitchy new stepsister's accustomed chore is dusting the TV! Her mum's getting remarried, and with shockingly little preparation. A thirteen-year-old girl can't organise a wedding - she can barely make toast, let alone *a* toast. Thing is, in a blended family, communication is key...
After a few false leads over the last month, Harley finally knows for sure what's going on with her mum - and she's not happy about it. Nobody is. (Well, except for maybe two and a half people.) Her mates have stars in their eyes over the school talent show, and there have been developments on the pet front making the house feel fit to burst. It's about enough to make a girl iron her head...
When her favourite cousin Shelley is whisked away to Australia, Harley is not in the mood for a new girl. What's more, her mum's job interviews have started coming at weirder and weirder times of ... night, and she's worried there might be a man on the scene.
Can she plan an ace birthday party for a desperate-to-be-trendy seven year old sis, while keeping close tabs on her mum and brothers?