All About Matt Killeen
Matt Killeen is the bestselling author of the Costa Book Awards shortlisted Orphan Monster Spy, a YA novel set at the outbreak of World War Two.
Building on a horrified fascination with WW2 born out of the war-mad 1970s and having real German friends, Matt was inspired by SOE agent Violette Szabo to explore the idea of resistance to tyranny and its cost.
Matt had always been a writer but spent a good few decades kidding himself as a designer, filmmaker, singer and laser-tag professional. He eventually became a sports and music journalist, then an advertising copywriter, and finally went on to write for the LEGO® group in 2010.
Matt has an MA in Writing for Children from MMU and a 400m swimming badge. The sequel to his debut, Devil Darling Spy, will be published in Spring 2020.
Matt’s School Visits
Matt Killeen discusses heroes in fiction, the history of Nazi Germany, resistance and being a hero in real-life. Usually followed by a Q&A (see below)
Equipment: projector/screen to run a Powerpoint presentation, microphone and amplification for groups of more than 30 and in rooms larger than classrooms.
Workshops: (ideally groups of no more than 30)
The Sitch and The Thing:
Great openings and how they work, including a look at classic first lines & basic plot structure. A chance to craft your own world and inciting incident. Can feature detailed analysis of the opening pages of four of the 2018 Carnegie shortlist (can be read in advance) and / or more mainstream and universal narratives.
Equipment: projector/screen to run a Powerpoint presentation
Q&A: (assemblies / whole schools / workshop classes / book clubs)
Matt answers questions on Nazi Germany, his books, on his career, being a writer and answers the inevitable question: “how long have you been growing your beard?”
Equipment: microphone and amplification for groups of 40 or more
- Round table discussions of Orphan Monster Spy and its sequels based on questions prepared by Usborne and Penguin in the US.
- Round Table discussions of Matt’s recommended Top Ten YA/Children’s Novels dealing with war and Nazi Germany.
- Discussions of Matt’s favourite feminist characters, based on his non-fiction eBook, The Women Who Made Me a Feminist.
Matt can work with students in KS3, KS4 and KS5 so is able to work with whole secondary schools.
Orphan Monster Spy
A teenage spy. A Nazi boarding school. The performance of a lifetime. Sarah has played many roles – but now she faces her most challenging of all. Because there’s only one way for a Jewish orphan spy to survive at a school for the Nazi elite. And that’s to become a monster like them. They think she is just a little girl. But she is the weapon they never saw coming… with a mission to destroy them all.
The Women Who Made Me a Feminist
A collection of essays on incredible historical, contemporary and fictional women who inspired author Matt Killeen to become a feminist and create his own feminist hero in debut novel Orphan Monster Spy. From WWII secret agent Violette Szabo to Katniss Everdeen, star of The Hunger Games, Crimean War nurse Mary Secole, physicist Lise Meitner, musician Alanis Morissette and more, their stories are eye-opening and empowering. Powerful, fascinating and thought-provoking, these essays are released to celebrate International Women’s Day and the publication of Orphan Monster Spy – a debut WWII spy thriller featuring a brand-new female hero who readers are calling ‘unforgettable’, ‘kick-ass’, ‘awesome’, ‘empowering’, ‘daring’, ‘compelling’ and ‘unyielding’.
Reviews and Testimonials from previous visits
“Matt visited Ousedale School in June 2017 and gave two outstanding presentations and a professional and engaging workshop to our students.
The hour long presentations, based on his book, Orphan, Monster, Spy were for our Year 8 and 9 students – a total of 480 students at our Newport Pagnell Campus and 240 at our Olney campus.
His presentation was immaculately researched, showed a real depth of knowledge and understanding of the topic and was utterly confidently delivered with no signs of nerves. Matt used an excellent presentation to compliment his delivery. The whole thing was pitched perfectly for the audience and they were fascinated and interested throughout. At the end Matt took questions and answered with humour and good will. To hold the interest of nearly 500 13 and 14 years olds in an echoey gym for a whole hour on one of the hottest days of the year is no mean feat – but they were captivated.
Immediately following his presentation in Newport, Matt then held an hour long workshop with a group of 25 Year 13 English Language students (with a few Year 9s thrown in who had begged to take part after seeing his presentation!) He taught them how to write an attention grabbing opening to a novel, giving them specific and concrete guidance about how to start the writing process. It was hugely interesting and interactive and by the end of it all the students had written an opening. Again it was pitched perfectly for the audience and delivered with humour and confidence.
I will not hesitate to invite Matt back again – indeed I look forward to it.”
To Make a Booking
To make an enquiry about Matt, or any of the other authors, poets & illustrators listed on this website, please phone Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015, or email him at email@example.com