Alys West

Thanks for stopping by my website.  On here you’ll find information about my books, my ‘book whispering’ services, my blog and the mindful writing sessions I run online.

I’m the author of three novels; Beltane and Storm Witch which are contemporary fantasy inspired by folklore, and The Dirigible King’s Daughter which is steampunk romance.

I live in York and love to travel especially to Scottish islands. My stories grow out of places and the tales which people tell about places.  My work draws on my experience of surviving trauma but always with the possibility of a hopeful ending.

I have a MA in Creative Writing from York St John University and teach creative writing at the Centre for Lifelong Learning at the University of York. I’m also a book whisperer (like a book doctor but more holistic) and mentor to aspiring writers.  I’m a member of Lapidus, the Writing for Wellbeing association, the Alliance of Independent Authors and the Romantic Novelist’s Association.

When I’m not writing you can find me at folk gigs, doing yoga and attempting to crochet.  I occasionally blog, intermittently tweet at @alyswestyork and spend rather too much time on Facebook where you can find me at Alys West.  I’m also on Instagram at @alyswestwriter.  To keep up with my news you can join my Facebook readers’ group ‘Druids, Spellworkers and Dirigibles’.

11 thoughts on “About me

  1. Great post Alys. Agree on all points. There really are so many lessons to be gleaned from the marvelous lady. Two I would add (as someone who is more a House of Niccolo fan):

    1) The importance of research. She said her imagination was a last resort, and it really shows. Not just the dates and historical incidents but the clothing, the flora and fauna, the tiniest details. There is a line in one book where she says steel crossbows can snap dangerously in the cold. I wondered if she had just made that up but in the end I was able to track down a source for it from a 15th century hunting diary.

    2) Related to that, her ability to pack an incredible amount of historical information in without it ever descending into a lecture. There’s always a temptation to ‘show your working’ when you’ve spent hours on research but DD (who had to slog a lot harder for her information than we do in the internet age ) never seems to grandstand in that way. If it made the final cut it had a reason to. I find sometimes that successful authors stop listening to their editors and allow their later works to become bloated and self-indulgent compared to their earlier taut works but DD avoided that somehow.

  2. Just finished Storm Witch having read Beltane some time ago, I really loved them both, so much so I was moved to comment, which I never normally do, not much of a writer see.
    Your characters are relatable, I can imagine them as folks I know, not perfect but real.
    Looking forward to the next instalment.
    Don’t drink tea only water, with you on the yoga, folk and crochet/knitting.

    1. Thanks for getting in touch. I’m so glad you enjoyed both books. Hope the yoga, folk and crochet/knitting are getting you through these difficult times. There will be a book 3 but it’s going to take a while as I’m still at the plotting stage. Alys x

  3. Hi I loved both book very much ,they are both great stories and I await your next one when it’s written, please can you add me to a list so I know when it’s published thank you .
    mbdangar@hotmail.com
    Regards Marlene watson

    1. Hi Marlene, Thanks for getting in touch. I’m really pleased you enjoyed both books. I’m busy plotting the next book but it’ll be a while until it’s ready as I write pretty slowly. I’ve added you to my mailing list so you’ll get updates on progress. Best wishes, Alys x

  4. Hi , I came across Beltane and loved it,went straight to Storm Witch and have just finished it now. Really great,even better ,so I began looking to see if you’ve written a 3 rd and I’m pleased to see there is. These have been a change for me , not having read about Druid powered I’ve really enjoyed it. I’m also big can of Steampunk so that’s where I’m headed next.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Ali, thanks for your lovely message. I’m so pleased to hear you’ve enjoyed Beltane and Storm Witch. I hope you like The Dirigible King’s Daughter just as much. There will be a third spellworker book but pandemic and other life stuff have rather slowed me down so it’s a long way from ready yet. Alys x

  5. I have read Beltane and just finished Stormwitch, they are both really exciting magical books. I thoroughly enjoyed them and can’t wait for the third in the series. I have subscribed to the mailing list to find out when it is available. Wishing you peace and harmony on your writing journey. Sonja

    1. That’s wonderful to hear, Sonja! Thanks so much for getting in touch. I will keep you updated through the mailing list on the progress of book 3. I’ve got some exciting things planned! Hope you have a lovely weekend, Alys x

  6. I read Beltane a few years ago and absolutely loved it so imagine my delight when I very recently found Storm Witch. Having visited Orkney in the summer of this year, I was totally immersed in yet another of your expertly written magical tales. How you weave humour, sadness,, thrill and energy through your writing is fabulous. Whilst patience isn’t one of my strong points, I know the next installment will be most definitely worth the wait Alys – you really are quite remarkable. Love and Light, M

    1. Hi Michele, Thanks so much for getting in touch. I’m delighted to hear you enjoyed Beltane and Storm Witch and thanks so much for your lovely comments. I’m working on book 3 but life has a nasty habit of getting in the way at the moment. Thanks for being patient with me and waiting for the next one. Alys xx

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