Jessica O'Toole


Animator, fighter pilot, knight, Thundercat – Jessica has wanted to be many things since childhood, but none of them as avidly as being a writer, her dream since age seven. Except perhaps Thundercat – that never gets old.

Brought up in Hampshire but living in Sussex, she’s a big fan of castles, cathedrals and circles of stone, of which Britain is, thankfully, saturated.

When she's not writing you might find her playing her ancient (style) lyre, hacking the stunning South Downs with a big grin, or ogling glorious Michael Faraday inventions at the Royal Institution.

She published her debut fantasy novel, The Fate of Vultures, in 2014 and the sequel The Price of Sanctuary on New Year's Day, 2016.

Currently she's working on an historical novel and scribbling details for the series finale in Of Preludes & Epitaphs.

Smashwords Interview

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Amazingly, I do! It was in first school, about 6 years old maybe, and I co-wrote with a few friends. I think the titles (there was a series, of course) were 'Four Girls and the Prince go to...' etc. Unsuprisingly the stories were about those five characters, with the four girls being based on my friends and I, and this prince whose name I don't recall, all going on magical adventures. Where they went on their adventures is lost to time, but I never lost my need to make things up. Those stories were actually put on our classroom bookshelf for others to read, so I suppose they were kind of my first publications, too!
What do you read for pleasure?
If I've bought a book it's because I'm looking to find pleasure in it! I can find the same enjoyment in historical biography as much as a great novel. 'The Greatest Traitor' by Ian Mortimer is an exceptional biography about a lesser known historical figure, Roger Mortimer, that is written in a very compelling, novel like way, but has the research backup too. I find this kind of writing especially invogorating as these people existed in history and were walking the same ground as we were once, but their lives seem like a fantasy. You're drawn very much into the personalities of these people, from the records that remain, good or bad, and it's a really great way to understand the eternal complexity of people.

Of course, there's conjecture in historical writing, but based on educated opinions. Roger Mortimer was just a villain's name in some of the other books I have, whose character was formed in opinions from many different people over time for a variety of reasons. A well researched biography rounds him and makes him more real. You can make your own mind up from that.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Jessica O'Toole online

Where to buy in print


The Price of Sanctuary (Of Preludes & Epitaphs #2)
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 165,630. Language: British English. Published: January 2, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Dark, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
Jorl - Rushing to the aid of a border village Cora and Carrta plunge themselves into mortal danger. The Koracan - Leyna and Adri are reunited and come face to face with harrowing futures. Telena seeks answers to a mystery of which she is at the heart, and is shown a world impossible to resist. They will all find that when peace is so desperately needed the only way to earn it is to pay the price.
Chaya - a Short Story
Price: Free! Words: 4,500. Language: English. Published: May 29, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
Stian has committed the ultimate crime of Arde Sapere; now his life lies in the hands of the ruthless Triumvirate. But his part in the future isn't over - he may be the last one who can find the fabled Creator, but whether he likes what he'll find is another matter.
The Fate of Vultures (Of Preludes & Epitaphs #1)
Price: Free! Words: 97,340. Language: English. Published: September 17, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
In Matara - A desperate minister attempts to defeat a necromancer to save the city witch. In Rayan - A shy outcast and young carpenter's romance blossoms in the midst of desolation. Can any of them maintain solidarity and hope in the presence of the unbelievable? When Telena delved into the dusty books she could never have guessed her own dark journey with these mythical names had but begun.

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