About my writing

A SalamanderI write teen fiction and books for children. I’m currently writing a story set in a future earth, where everything has gone back to the Stone Age. It involves a lot of research into animals that can survive extreme climates, and I’ve learnt a surprising amount about salamanders.

PoppetThat’s the good thing about writing – the strange stuff you discover when you research a story. My first novel, Deep Water, is a myth-based, paranormal mystery set in Cornwall. Writing this involved a lot of research into Cornish folklore and witchcraft, and I learnt a lot about shapeshifting and making curses (don’t worry – I haven’t experimented on anyone).

My daughter made this book trailer for me:

Before it was published, Deep Water won the 2013 Mslexia Children’s Novel Writing Award. After it was published by Usborne in 2015, it was longlisted for the Branford Boase Award, shortlisted for the 22nd Annual Wirral Paperback of the Year Award, and singled out by the Guardian as one of their best Children’s Books of 2015.

Deep Water

Some reviews for Deep Water

‘Filled with local folklore and a genuine sense of magic, this is right up there for 11+ readers with Margaret Mahy's The Changeover, Susan Cooper's Greenwitch and Alan Garner's early novels.' Amanda Craig (children’s book reviewer for The Spectator)

‘Outstanding… I raced through it’ Malorie Blackman

Hersey’s debut shimmers with Celtic fairy tales, marine marvels, creepy Cornish fishing villages and a fabulous granny.’ New Statesman

‘Excellent’ The Independent

‘A stunning novel that is guaranteed to bewitch, bother and bewilder…Deep Water blends a gentle but compelling modern day romance with an enigmatic storyline that uses the legends of Britain’s pre-history as its thrilling backdrop’ Lancashire Evening Post

‘Wonderfully atmospheric and magic oozes from the pages. Perfect summer holiday reading.’ Lovereading4kids

‘A fast-paced and compelling novel for 10-15 year olds, packed with mystery and magic’ Western Morning News

‘Such an accomplished, tightly shaped book, with a depth of information’ Julia Eccleshare

‘Inspired by Cornish sea-lore…vibrant and filled with eccentric characters’ Irish Examiner

‘Taking myth, folklore, witchcraft and ancient beliefs as inspiration, it weaves a contemporary tale about a group of teenagers caught up in a legacy of family secrets…the writing is assured and original.’ Never Imitate