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Author’s first fantasy novel is tale of Suffolk mermaid

PUBLISHED: 11:30 20 November 2020

Ally Aldridge with her book Ocean Heart Picture: JOHN NICE

Ally Aldridge with her book Ocean Heart Picture: JOHN NICE

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A first-time author is hoping to make a big splash in the literary world after writing a fantasy novel about a mermaid.

Felixstowe author Ally Aldridge has just published her first book Picture: ALLY ALDRIDGEFelixstowe author Ally Aldridge has just published her first book Picture: ALLY ALDRIDGE

Ally Aldridge’s love of writing began when she was introduced to the Magic Key book series by her teacher while studying at Fairfield Infant School in Felixstowe – “From that moment on, I knew that this is what I wanted to do,” she said.

Mrs Aldridge, 38, who has lived in the seaside town since moving there at the age of two, is now looking forward to the publication of her first novel, Ocean Heart, which she decided to self-publish.

She said, “I’ve written my whole life and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. It got to that point where I thought I’ve got to stop waiting for someone else and just do it myself.

“It’s taken a lot of research and I’ve had great support from my family and independent writers. I’m really proud of myself. I feel good every time I look at the book.”

Ally Aldridge of Felixstowe with her first book, a fantasy novel called Ocean Heart Picture: JOHN NICEAlly Aldridge of Felixstowe with her first book, a fantasy novel called Ocean Heart Picture: JOHN NICE

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The story is set in her hometown of Felixstowe and focusses on the life of a high school teenager who finds out she is a mermaid after joining the swim team.

She continued, “It’s a fantasy novel that is probably most suitable for young adults – although people of all ages have read it and enjoyed it. If you like fantasy set in the real world – you will probably enjoy the book. I suppose there is an element of some of the amazing Netflix shows out there at the moment like Stranger Things and The Vampire Diaries. They have definitely been an inspiration. My family have also been supportive and helpful. I often sit with my husband and brainstorm ideas.”

When she is not being an author, Mrs Aldridge is a work based learning assessor at Suffolk New College.

She said, “I’ve got lots of plans for other books and in five to ten years from now I’d like to think that I would have developed my audience to the point where I could think about doing this full-time.

“I love my job and I feel lucky to have it and the support I get at work is great. But, being an author is a massive dream for me.”

Ocean Heart is released on December 1. It costs £9.99 as a paperback and £3.99 as an eBook.

It is available online, from her website www.allyaldridge.com and signed copies are available from Stillwater Books in Felixstowe.


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