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1. Where did your writing career begin?
I published Tenebrasco in July 2019 and that’s when I tend to say my writing career officially started. But, it was around January 2019, that I actually set about the process to self-publish my book. The novel had been ready for ages… Beta read, edited, proofed etc. But it was just sitting there waiting.
However, writing for enjoyment has been something I’ve done since I could write. I have loads of notebooks back home with snippets of stories I’ve written.
2. What inspired you to write about April and the Mer?
My original inspiration was a dream when I was around 10 years old. I woke up and thought it was so cool! My family and I often took long car trips and I suffer terribly from car sickness so I couldn’t read on the journey. Instead, I would daydream about the Mer world expanding on the story.
Fast forward ten years and I had a whole host of Mer stories and characters. It has changed a lot over the years and the MC (the main character) grew up with me until, eventually, the story became Tenebrasco and the Pearl Wielders.
3. What surprised you the most whilst writing Tenebrasco?
How quickly it turns into a book! I started writing Tenebrasco during my second year at university. At that point I wasn’t even planning on publishing the book, I was just writing. But, next thing I knew I had 70,000 words… It amazed me how fast it came together.
4. You published Tenebrasco in July 2019, how did you manage to turn around another book so soon?
Well, I started writing Essentia in 2016, so it isn’t as quick as it seems! Some people self-publish their books a lot quicker than me, but to make sure it’s professionally produced as possible I like to take my time with each book. So since publishing Tenebrasco, aside from working on other projects, I have predominantly been focusing on preparing Essentia for publication.
5. Your middle name is April, do you identify a little with Princess April? If so, how?
I think most writers write themselves into their stories to a certain extent. Originally, the MC was definitely a version of me. But, a version who had awesome magical powers and had a tail… But, as the story evolved so did April until she became a character in her own right. I can probably see a little bit of myself in each of the characters in the pearl wielders world.
6. You have a lot of knowledge about environmental factors surrounding the Mer’s world – where did that passion come from?
I love the ocean. I grew up five minutes away from the sea and just loved being in the presence of the sea. I also loved visiting our local zoo, which is a global conservation organisation and all the animals there are endangered species for research. Somewhere along the way, I became incredibly passionate about the environment, protecting our natural spaces and safeguarding our wildlife.
It’s not too in your face, but throughout the novel, there are subtle (or not so subtle) notes about how the Mer look after their environment and how the legged could do better. For example, Setha is planning on taking an Environmental Science course at college and at one point, April swims through a stretch of ocean that is preserved as a home for Beak Whales.
7. Other than The Pearl Wielder collection, have you written other books, or have other books bursting to come out?
Yes! I have a couple of unfinished stories that will probably never get finished and never be published. It’s good to just write sometimes! I do have some other projects though that I keep on returning to and, fingers crossed, will someday come to fruition.
8.To budding writers, what’s the best piece of advice you could give them, regardless of whether they self-publish or want to have an agent?
My best piece of advice is to actually finish writing your book. Since being more open about my writing, and then, of course, publishing Tenebrasco, I have had so many people come up to me saying ‘I want to write a book’ or ‘My XXX is writing a book.’ And I’m always very enthusiastic and ask lots of questions. Then, when I next meet them I’ll ask how their book is coming along and often they haven’t made any progress (which is totally fine! I’m definitely not writing all the time!).
But, I think the real turning point for writers is when your first draft is finished. That’s when you can start attacking it and turning it into a masterpiece! That’s when it feels real – even if you decide to pursue publishing it or not!
9. Without giving away too much, what’s the third instalment looking like in The Pearl Wielder trilogy?
It’s looking good!
I don’t really know how to not give away too much…
There’s definitely more action, a bit like with the first book. There are less new characters… I feel like we meet a lot of new characters in Essentia.
More magic! I like it…!
- What is your next project?
I need to finish up writing Tempus – the third book in the Pearl Wielder Trilogy. Then it will be off on the usual rounds of editing and proofing and feedback etc. Also, I’m polishing up my first draft of a new project with the aim to start the process of hopefully finding an agent with the loose plan of submitting to Pitch Mad next September.
So go take a look at Hannah Reed’s upcoming work, stay updated and tuned into what she’s up to! You might just get the chance to meet her at one of her events.
Check out her social media too to check out what she’s reading!