This is a HUGE milestone. I can’t wait to see what my editor has to say. She is fabulous at slapping me with the truth in a way that doesn’t hurt and helps me make my story better. I know there will be a lot of work but I’m ready for it.
Just a quick reminder that Ocean Heart is half price in the Smashwords Summer Sale. Grab a copy on discount before the end of July.
I invite you to join in on my all the twos challenge. Read the second book in a series, or a second book by an author you’ve only read once. I thought this would be a fun way to celebrate Sky Heart (hopefully) releasing this year!
I joined the Mighty Network back in 2019 and Elzevera helped me with self editing, Ocean Heart.
It inspired me to want to create my own Mighty Network and I set this as a goal at the start of 2020.
I have been exploring creating a Mighty Network. It is a social site for creatives. I’m currently a member of a Mighty Network by Willow Editing. I have been Beta Testing a self-editing course by Elzevera of Willow Editing.
I am considering the network as a potential way to share extra bits with my readers. I am also exploring it as a space to share writing resources as many of my followers are fellow writers.
But, I’d also decided to self publish Ocean Heart, and this was my priority and keeping me very busy. I didn’t have time to build my own Mighty Network. I ended up abandoning the goal to focus on my debut novel.
Early this year, I stepped back from my volunteer role with World Indie Warriors. I created their indie books brochure and eZine. Collecting all the info and publishing four times a year was taking over too much of my free time. When I started a new job, I didn’t have the energy to continue with both. It was hard to let go but I’m still very close with the members and support them however I can.
Now I’ve settled into my new role, I have more energy again. When I saw Elzevera call for help on Instagram, it sounded like a perfect new fresh challenge for me.
I applied to help, and we had a little chat about what she’d need me to do. From October, I shall be Elzevera’s new co-host. I’m excited to take on this new role.
Under the Willow is inline with my original Mighty Network goal. Elzevera’s created her network to empower writers to have the tools they need to self edit their work, and improve their writing craft in a supportive community.
If you want to join a supportive group of writers and improve your craft, please do come join us on Mighty Networks in Under the Willow
Thank you so much for agreeing to an interview about your debut fantasy novel.
Tell me about your beautiful book cover?
The beautiful artwork was illustrated by Yu-Hsuan Tseng who I happened to find online. I came across her wonderful art from a graphic design website and fell in love with the colours and imagery that she used. The style felt the right vibe for what I was imagining for The Waterfall Warrior. I got in touch with her and she was very happy to create my front cover. I was hugely honoured as it can be hard to find the right image for your work that captures what was originally in your mind, but not in this case. Yu-Hsuan Tseng listened to my ideas and with her talent and unique style she made the most perfect artwork I could ask for.
The Waterfall Warrior is book 1 in the Wilcroft Chronicles, how many books do you anticipate in the series?
I plan to do two more. When I came to write the first one I always had a trilogy in mind. It’s exciting because now the first book is out there, people can find out about this world and these characters I have created. I have lots of ideas for what’s to come. I know how it all ends, but there’s a lot of exciting things to happen before that.
Can you introduce the main characters, Hannah and Callum:
Hannah Barrington is a twenty-five year old woman who works at a hotel. She roams Epping Forest whenever she is feeling depressed. It brings comfort to her as she has fond memories of staying there with her grandparents and siblings when she was little. One day she comes across a waterfall which seems out of place; she walks through and finds a portal that transports her to a different world called Therrhain. Hannah befriends a Warrior there called Fay. To get Hannah back they must go to Wilcroft University to meet a woman named Carol Wells, but first Hannah and Fay must unveil the secret of the ancient prophecy before Therrhain is destroyed.
Callum Barrington is Hannah’s youngest sibling. He’s currently a student at university in Manchester. He also deals with mental illness. There’s a young man named Elliott Heartwood that he can see through his mirror, and in the early chapters Callum isn’t quite sure if he’s real or if his mind is playing tricks on him.
Is the Epping Forest in your book based on the real Epping Forest? Why did you choose this location for your fantasy book?
Yes and no. It’s real in the sense that in the story Hannah is walking through the actual Epping Forest, but I have added things that aren’t there in real life, such as the house that her grandparents lived in. I chose this location because I needed a forest that was out in the middle of nowhere but also close enough you could travel there from London, and also because Hannah needed somewhere to go that gave off a childlike and magical atmosphere.
The book includes your main characters facing mental health issues. Is mental health something that’s important to you?
Most definitely. Over the last few years I have been very open about myself having mental health problems. I also used to be a care worker before I became a writer, so I have worked with a lot of people who also have had mental health issues. I think it’s an important theme to put into stories, especially when it’s not the main plot device; the character just so happens to have these issues, but they also are shown to still live a life and have other qualities to them.
What advice do you have for anyone that may be struggling with similar issues to your main characters.
I’m not sure I am the right person to give advice, but I guess all I would suggest is to talk, and not be ashamed of the difficult emotions you are facing. From personal experience when I talked about it I felt better for it.
Can you share a short snippet from The Waterfall Warrior?
Walking through the forest brought back so many memories. It seemed smaller than it had when I was a child. I remembered the time I had fallen over a branch, the one that was still sticking out menacingly between the trees. It had made me fall and cut my knee. I had cried for hours. I used to play there with Chloe, Laura and Callum. They were my only friends back then. It was a time in my life before I realised you could have friends that were not part of your family. We used to use sticks as swords and playfight with each other. We even made dens with blankets. There was a house there that looked as though it was about to collapse. It used to belong to my grandparents, Grumbles and Numbles I called them for some strange reason. Back then I used to think this forest was their garden. When I passed this area, I could almost smell the cooked dinner that my grandmother used to make. It had always tasted as good as it smelt. My mouth was watering. The memory cheered me up but not for long. I was now further into the forest. I wasn’t very familiar with this part. We were told to never cross this point when we were kids, or we would be in “very serious trouble”. It was hard to believe it now, as this part of the woods felt very innocent and peaceful compared with the rest. The ground was flatter, there were no stones to graze your knees if you fell, and no hills to climb and fall down. I came across the stump of a tree. It was right in the middle, all by itself. Lines of trees standing tall on either side of it, squashed together like sardines. I went and sat down on the stump. Without even a thought I broke down and cried for about ten minutes. I didn’t understand why I suddenly felt so upset. I was feeling low, but I didn’t think I was as bad as all that. Then something startled me. The strangest, but most beautiful sound. Someone was singing.
Where can readers connect with you and discover more about your books?
The best place to do that would be at my book launch. It’s being held at Bristol’s Waterstones on September 28th at 7pm. I will be talking about the book, and there will be readings by two actors who narrated the audiobook edition of The Waterfall Warrior, which is also out soon. I will be signing copies of the book. It’s a free event but you still need to claim a ticket by visiting Waterstones website and going to the event section.
I met the author on IG and loved her posts. She’s very open and honest about being a writer & a mother. Her posts made me laugh out loud, more than once.
When she announced she was looking for ARC readers for her novel Dear Diary I was on board. It knew it was going to be brilliant and Kevia didn’t disappoint!
The book is set in today’s world. The MC lives in America with her husband and kids.
The main character is an overwhelmed mother of four kids. She’s a strong Christian (or at least tries to be) and she home schools. The diary is her ramblings as she off loads all the drama placed on her shoulders.
This story is an easy read. Many mother’s would be able to relate to the drama that unfolds in the diary entries. It felt like I was reading a real diary. The way it’s told made me laugh out loud.
I gave it 5 stars although I wished some diary entries had been shorter as my little ones interrupts me a lot. But, it’s easy to get into and I’d definitely recommend it.
This should be a staple gift at every baby shower to really prepare new mums of what to expect in an entertaining way.