Millions have yearned for that perfect “escape” from the constant negative news, and fierce disruption to their lives after the COVID-19 pandemic brought nothing but chaos. Nobody empathises with them more than me – I know the feeling of wanting to “run away from everything” all too well.
When Readers Magnet contact me and asked if I wanted to write an article for the Author Lounge, I was thrilled as I could finally share my story. It was in March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic had truly kicked the world into a storm. Jobs were being lost, businesses were failing, and countless lives were being lost. I found 2020 particularly difficult. I grew up, and have only recently left, the U.K. foster care system and at this time in March, I was forced to leave my foster care home with no notice. Luckily, I had somewhere to stay but I carried with me the trauma of being on the verge of homelessness, combined with being made redundant and living in a world with a looming virus. Naturally, I became depressed. I knew I wasn’t alone, but I did have this writing talent, diligently carved from my experiences in foster care and my own desire to seek that perfect escape – so I knew I had a duty to write something that would allow readers to briefly depart reality, and experience something fantastical. Writing became a cathartic therapy for me, and so, Cloaked Shadows was born.
Cloaked Shadows is a young adult, fantasy novel which revolves around an eighteen-year-old girl, named Ikena Ralliday, who discovers that she has magic. Here’s the blurb:
Ikena is plagued with the nightmares of her father’s brutal death at the hands of a monstrous Sinturi, those abominations which feast on humans to survive. They snatch children from their beds, infect animals with their darkness and serve one purpose only – to overrun Nevera and destroy the magical Cloaks.
When Ikena – a human – discovers that she herself is a magical, she should obey the law and report to the Cloaks. But that would mean never again seeing her home and all those she loves. She can hide her magic away, but it’s becoming impossible to control. Besides, no matter how much she resists, Ikena is drawn more and more into the heart of the endless war between the Cloaks and the Sinturi.
The COVID-19 pandemic certainly inspired and pushed my writing in many ways. The antagonist group, the Sinturi, are often referred to as a plague that infects the lands. This is very much a nod to the virus. I used what was happening around me to create a makeshift “virus” that we can see who cause as much disruption to our lives.
Reading has become a very therapeutic activity for millions; the one thing in life they can control right now. I’m so proud to be releasing this debut novel, the story is fast-paced and laden with twists which I know readers will enjoy. For those who read it, I hope they find the solace they’re craving.
Cloaked Shadows is the first book in the Cloaked Shadows duology and is available for preorder now with an official release date of February 28th, 2021. The second book, which is currently in the works, will also be released in 2021.
I am also running an international preorder campaign whereby you’ll receive gifts by preordering. In short, anyone who preorders the book, and sends email confirmation, will be sent the following:
- A letter from the author
- A signed bookplate
- A5 book cover poster
- A Cloaked Shadows corner bookmark
- A Cloaked Shadows character drawing
- A Class of Magic pin badge