There are tons of ways to own your very own copy of Ocean Heart. Check out my webpage About Ocean Heart for full details, but here are a few:
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You can buy a signed copy of Ocean Heart from Ko-Fi, and there are two options:
Personalised & Hand Signed
This is limited to the UK due to postage costs. First, I order the book, sign it, and then send to you. If you’d like a personalised message for you or someone special, I can do this.
This was the method used for the first 20 copies of Ocean Heart bought during my book signing event at Stillwater Books.
Now, you can get a hand signed copy by supporting me on Ko-Fi & visiting my Ko-Fi Shop.
Personalise & Digitally Signed
This is limited to countries with an Ingram printing facility. I will design a personalised page for you, that will be added to the book when printed. Ingram then will send out directly to you (saving on international postage costs/emissions).
Currently there is only one copy of Ocean Heart like this that I gifted to a TikToker.
The great thing about Smashwords is you can buy your eBook and choose the format, enabling you to read on whatever device is your favourite. In addition your eBook is saved to your Smashwords library, so you keep it forever.
Kindle is one of the most popular eReaders both as a tablet and app.
If Smashwords and Amazon aren’t your thing, you can get Ocean Heart from many other popular eBook stores. Click this link to discover more eBook buying options: https://books2read.com/OceanHeart
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.
Both the above sites are currently free to join. Writers post their stories (content) and readers enjoy it, comment, and rate it.
I also included in the books about when Ocean Heart has been given away free. This isn’t something I can do all the time.
I also reminded people that Ocean Heart can be ordered in by libraries. If you have a library card, you can borrow and read Ocean Heart if your library stock it. If they don’t, you can ask them and they’ll need the ISBN.
I hope you enjoy the chapters enough to treat yourself to a full copy. I also look forward to connecting with you on either platform or social media.
NB: Sky Heart doesn’t have an official cover yet. The image used is my Work In Progress cover.
What is a Beta Reader?
You get to read the full story before anyone else, and can help shape the future version with your feedback.
Tell me if you like a character or not. You can say if a scene is too slow or too fast. Suggest what to cut or add to the story. Basically share your thoughts to help me improve it.
This version has only been edited by me. It will have mistakes. It won’t be as polished as a final version that has been professionally edited.
What type of story is Sky Heart?
Sky Heart is book 2 in The Soul Heart series but has a new main character, Keily.
You can read Sky Heart (book 2) even if you haven’t read Ocean Heart (book 1). It is a complete story, however, it will have some spoilers for book 1 as it assumes you’ve already read it. In addition, it is part of a series so although the main issue is resolved in the story, there are things that will be unresolved as they are dealt with later in the series.
I received an ARC copy of this book from Net Galley, in return for an honest review.
Technically the novel is set in the present day, however, The Rookery is a fantasy world which they travel to using a portal. Most of the story is set in The Rookery, which has magic, a 1920s decor, and is a lot like London but without modern devices.
People have a soul bird. It’s linked to them by a glowing cord that is severed when they die. There are magical houses that specialise in certain types of magic like earth, water, stone, etc.
Alice is the main character. She is completing a number of challenges to earn membership to House Meilaki .
It’s apparent that in book 1 she discovered her parents are not her biological parents. Alice loves them but is keen to find out who her real parents are, especially as powers are inherited. She has Meilaki earth powers, but is concerned she also has powers connected to death. In addition, Alice has the rare ability of being able to see other people’s bird as well as her own.
Alice has a range of friends. Each bring out a different side of her. She’s also dealing with the death of a friend who died in book 1. She blames herself, and can’t forgive Crowly. Crowly is a guy she has romantic feelings for but hates. He isn’t in the book much for the first half but plays an important role towards the end.
The book is written in third POV which isn’t my preference. I struggled at the start to connect with Alice and to get into the story as I hadn’t read book 1. But, I’m pleased I kept reading.
Something strange is going on in The Rookery, and people are dying. It feels like Alice should be doing something about it but she’s going to work, and parties, training for the competition, and keeping quiet about the less public attacks in her room.
But as the magical attacks get bigger, Alice takes action. She realises there’s a connection with her boss and her past. As secrets unravel, Alice is spurred into action and this is where things get really good.
This book has loads of magic and I loved seeing the different powers. The soul birds were new to me and I loved them, and how Alice’s unique gift gives her insight into the motives of others.
It felt a bit like a mystery with fantasy, as the MC collects info, pieces it together, and saves The Rookery. If you enjoy mysteries and fantasy then you’d love this.
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