Style: Emo, hippy, wears all her clothes like she just doesn’t care what she looks like. She has long blonde messy hair, and prefers wearing wellies or being barefoot most of the time.
Home: Barrowcombe, Dartmoor, UK. She lives with her mum, and until recently her dad in a small idyllic cottage isolated and a mile from the village. The house has been in her family for at least 100 years. She is an only child and is homeschooled.
Friends: Just the one: Ben. A loner as well, he lives in the village but is away most of the time at boarding school. He’s very good looking but incredibly insecure. His facade of bravado wears thin around Kezia.
Mum: an reclusive artist.
Dad: a writer.
Personality: Kind beyond anything else. A classic empath, she soaks up everyone’s feelings and makes them her own. She’s naturally introverted and shy but her love of people brings her out of herself. Her desire to help others is her most enduring personality trait, and is the vehicle that takes her on her adventure.
Music: She’ll listen to anything really through spotify. But her most played playlists are those that feature her dad’s favourites. Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Simon and Garfunkel.
Ambition: She harbours a secret ambition, secret because she has told no one, that she might end up a writer like her dad one day.
What she doesn’t know about herself: She has no idea that she has healing capabilities. There are more things but if I told you if would spoil your reading of Dark Sleepers and the sequels.
Dark Flows the River Trilogy
Genre: Young Adult Magical Realism Paranormal
Word count: 71,000
About the Book:
“You are astral travellers now. Able to project your spirit out of your body at will and enter the realms. You are not the only ones. Some people come here in their dreams without even knowing it. Some purposefully decide to travel here to find answers to questions they can’t find on earth... And some pass over... Die.”
Kezia's world implodes after her dad dies. She can't cope any more, and then she discovers the ability to leave her body. She drags her best friend, Ben, with her into other worlds to find her dad, but what she finds along the way, she could never be prepared for...
"Kate Sermon's writing is truly sublime. She creates characters to care for; whether it is dealing with friendship in our own world or grief in the astral planes, Kezia and Ben remain real people with hopes and flaws. Dark Sleepers is a startlingly imaginative debut." ~ Dan Metcalf, Children's Author
Kezia was struggling even more. The memories that threatened to overwhelm her had waned, dispersing like vapour from a boiling kettle. But they had been replaced by a fear that she guessed was not her own, even if it was hard to tell for sure.
She lay down on the dirty sand and closed her eyes. It was an instinctive action and at once she knew that it was a good one. She breathed, as her mum had taught her when she was stressed or worried. She could hear very clearly her mum’s soothing voice say “Darling, just breathe. That’s all you need to do.”
It helped. Her heart rate slowed and a sense of herself began to emerge from the jumble inside her. As she concentrated on her breathing, she began to hear a tiny whispering sound like mice behind skirting boards. It came from deep inside her head. And it definitely wasn’t her own thoughts. It must be the girl’s.
Then it occurred to her – maybe she could talk to this child. Maybe find out something that could help. Just like the day her dad died, she found that words weren’t needed. Her thoughts traced patterns of light through the blackness.
“Who are you?” She asked.
Almost immediately she got a reply. A quivering voice, barely audible, said: “I don’t know. I’m… I’m scared.” It sounded desperate.
“Please don’t worry. I’ve been to this place before, it’s not so bad. I can help you.” She hoped this was true. “What’s your name?”
“I don’t remember… wait, I think it may be Rose. Can you really help me?” The voice brightened. “But he was chasing me. I needed to get away. It all happened too fast.”
“I’m sorry Rose. I don’t understand.”
Confused for a moment… but then a light bulb pinged on. It drenched all the confusion in bright, white light. She suddenly realised she knew what was going on – what this place was and why the children were here.
About the Author:
Kate lives with her family and other animals in Devon halfway between Dartmoor and the sea.
She's done a bit of journalism; writes a bit of poetry; has published some short stories, teaches creative writing, and is currently ensconced in a MA Creative Writing. Alongside, she's writing the second book in the series.
As a teenager Kate traipsed the moor imagining herself in some version of Wuthering Heights. Nothing much has changed.