About the author
Tell us your story? What made you start writing?
My story is a little complicated. My mum became ill when I was two, leaving her permanently disabled. She was re-learning to do everything I was learning at that age: walking, talking, reading and writing etc. I never got the same chance to learn those things as some other kids because the focus at the time was getting mum better so she could care for me and my older sister. I fell behind and when it came time for me to start school, I couldn’t read, I struggled with writing and I even had some problems with my speech.
I went through school struggling to keep up. I worked on my speech with a speech therapist and it improved but there wasn’t a lot of time at home to improve my reading. My grandpa tried but he had my mum, my sister and my granny who had been diagnosed with alzhimers to look after as well. Eventually, I muddled through.
It wasn’t until age 10 when the Harry Potter movie came out. I went to see it and fell in love. I knew my sister had the books, so one day I forced myself to read the first one. I kinda knew the story from the movie so managed to work it all out from there. It took me a year to read the first book but I did and gradually became faster and more proficient with reading. I still struggle with reading out loud but I don’t need to do that very often. I eventually began to write my own stories and it helped me cope with everything going on at home. I got diagnosed as dyslexic when I started university which, looking back, explains a lot but I keep working hard to improve my writing everyday.
What’s your favorite family tradition?
This tradition stopped when my grampa passed away in 2019 but he used to come and sit with mum everyday while me and my sister were at school. I used to leave my book sitting and when he came in he would read as far as he could and then put his book mark in his section and I would have my bookmark in mine and we did that almost every day, ( depending on what i was reading.)
What three items would you take with you on a deserted island?
Notebook, pencil and my favourite novel.
If you had a warning label, what would yours say?
Warning, ask an obvious question and get a sarcastic answer.
A Shadow of Blood and Magic (The Shadowood trilogy #1)
Through blood she gains life, from magic she receives power, with both, she is one.
Cassandra Woods is not supposed to exist. Fearing for her life she flees her home, escaping punishments for the crimes she committed against the tyrannical Queen of Striga to join forces with the coven’s enemy.
Leonardo Sage, a General of the Lamian army and a High member of the Clan is assigned to watch over Cassandra, he must put his prejudice aside as he struggles with his feelings for her but she has a secret, the real reason she left Coven and he is determined to find the truth.
Cassandra’s life is in even more danger when an Assassin, an outlawed Shifter is sent to kill her, but all is not what it seems and Cassandra must trust the Clan to protect her, but a threat from inside their own ranks surfaces and Cassandra finds herself in the middle when she saves the life of the Prince of Lamia.
As war rages between the kingdoms, Cassandra must choose a side. The lives of the people hang in the balance, and it is up to Cassandra to save them, but will she make the right choice?
Love or loyalty. Which one will prevail?
Tell us a little about the book. How did you come up with the idea for the Shadowood trilogy?
I am not very good at describing the book and often when asked what it’s about I usually reply, stuff and magic, but here goes. It’s about a halfling, named Cassandra, who doesn’t really fit in. She flees from the evil witch queen to join her unknown father’s vampire clan but she doesn’t know if she can trust them. She goes on a journey to find where she belongs and who she really is while overcoming obstacles as well as attacks from the witch queen. Eventually Cassie has to decide if she has made the right choice as the two kingdoms are at war and she either has to decide which side she belongs to or try to unite them to put an end to the war.
I first wrote a draft of this when I was 16 and still at school, (many many moons ago,) so I don’t really remember where the original idea came from. It was possibly a dream as that’s where a lot of my other writing comes from. But it has developed so much that it is unrecognisable as the same story.
Do any of your characters resemble anyone from real life? Are any of them a bit like you?
Isabella is loosely based on someone in real life. I don’t want to go into too much detail but someone who has not been very nice to me over the last 10 years or so.
I like to think I am a mixture of Cassandra and Leonardo. I have the loyalty and sarcasm of Cassandra but I often like my own company and am not always very social like Leo.
If you had to choose between saving Cassandra and Leo from a horrible death, who would you pick? This is hypothetical and not in any way referring to the ending of the story and how the next book may begin.
Oh tough one, I love them both but I think I would save Leo. He has way more responsibilities than Cassie and I think anyone who loves the books would never forgive me if I killed off one of the only male love interests in the book.
If you were a character in the Shadowood series, who would you be and why?
100% Caleb Ravensoul, he is hilarious and I think if I was Caleb I would be more confident with life. ( We see more of Caleb in book 2.)
Do you research a lot while writing? What has been the most interesting thing you learnt while writing a book?
I try to, but sometimes I just need to get ideas out and then go back and fact check. Though I am a believer in fantasy fiction, you don’t need to be 100% accurate as it is whatever you make it in your world.
What are your writing habits? Do you keep a schedule or is it chaotic, when inspiration hits kind of thing?
Chaotic definitely, I am a pantser so never really plan. I will if I get stuck at a point but it is usually as ideas flow. I make schedules for after the first draft when I have timelines etc.
What’s your favorite and least favorite part of publishing?
I have only published one book and I had so many issues with the POD service. I hate that it isn’t more straightforward for us self-published authors and are sometimes seen as not “real authors” which isn’t true we just cut out the middleman and do all the work ourselves.
When can we wait for the sequel? Is there anything you can say about it without any spoilers?
Sometime in mid to late 2022. All I can say is there is a lot more background on certain characters and a lot of the unanswered questions from book one will be answered in book two.
Everyone always thinks they’d be royalty or a knight if they were born in Medieval times, but let’s be honest, you probably wouldn’t be. So, what kind of peasant do you think you’d be if you were born in medieval times?
I think I would be the peasant that is sort of in the middle, maybe a seamstress that can mend peoples clothes to make her living.
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