My name is HJ Fries (Hannah) and I’m an English writer who lives in the East Midlands.  I’ve written for a long time and Earthheart is my first novel. In it fourteen year old El narrates her adventure in the forest. Why does nobody come to rescue her? What will it take to survive? 

Like many English people, my family came from all over Europe: there were 19th Century migrants from Italy, Germany, Ireland and Scotland; 16th Century refugees escaping persecution in Spain; ancestors from Scandinavia.  When I was a child I used to imagine their journeys and their sense of displacement as they moved from one land and put roots down in another.

This story, lived out by my ancestors, has taken root in my writing, in particular in the novel Earthheart.  When the young narrator loses everything that has given her identity, she must start again in a new land (the forest) without family, home or community.  Without belonging, who is she?  Can this new beginning help her discover what is important in life?

Earthheart began with a dream: of a girl with long black hair, hiding in the shadows of trees. This, combined with news reports of the fiercest hurricanes ever known, propelled the story into life.


“This book had me gripped from the start!”