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Natasha Bowen Books In Order

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Publication Order of Skin of the Sea Books

Skin of the Sea (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Soul of the Deep (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Natasha Bowen
Natasha Bowen was born in Cambridge, England to a Welsh mom and a Nigerian Yoruba dad. She grew up in Cambridge with very little exposure to her Nigerian heritage, which she’d later connect in life and use in writing her first novel.

Natasha’s always been obsessed with reading and stories. Writing was just a natural step that came early on. She remembers illustrating and writing little homemade books at around the age of seven. She wanted to create stories readers could get lost in.

The Nancy Drew series were the books that made her want to become an author. She loved the fast paced action and all the drama in them.

She studied Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. After she graduated, she moved to East London where she ended up becoming a teacher.

“Skin of the Sea”, her debut novel, was inspired by African folklore, her Nigerian heritage, Yoruba culture, and her love of mermaids. Natasha wrote the novel while teaching in a school full-time.

She would write the book sometimes before school and during any free time that she got in a notebook, even during assemblies. She included mythological creatures of Central and West Africa including Senegalese fairies called Yumboes, Ninki-Nanka, a river monster, Sasabonsam, giant vampire bats, and Bultungin, which are shapeshifters that could turn into Werehyenas.

If she needs a break from writing, she will spend more time drawing or researching, which she usually combines in a project book, adding in articles and photos along with notes of her own.

Natasha loves making notes and drawing and has a bunch of journals filled with diagrams, sketches, and facts. These range from the arrival of the Portuguese in West Africa, the different African kingdoms, to sharks, plants, wildlife, and more.

She’s even become interested in cartography, and she finds that drawing maps is a break from writing but will still add to the story.

When Natasha is deep in a draft, she will often wake up during the night to scribble down descriptions, ideas, and even character conversations. If she doesn’t, she’ll forget them in the morning.

She also needs to talk a lot. She often spends hours talking out the characters and the plot through with her kids or a couple of her close friends. Often, they do not get the chance to say all that much. It’s really more about hearing herself talk about it that straightens it all out in her mind or builds upon things that she’s already considered.

Natasha first became interested in underwater worlds and mermaids after she read “The Little Mermaid” by Hans Christian Andersen when she was only just a kid. It was the first book that she had ever read by herself, at the age of six. She wanted to write the story she wanted to read, which included West African traditions and Black mermaids.

Since Natasha is a very curious person, the research process was a long and extensively detailed. As nobody’s ever done learning. She read a bunch of history books (focusing on Black scholars), videos, articles, and conversations with friends. While she was researching, she also talked to this one Ifa priest in order to learn more about the Yoruba and Orisha culture.

She started researching African civilizations, like the Kingdom of Benin, and West African mythology after she found out that a goddess of the Ifa belief system, Yemoja, was believed to follow the very first enslaved Africans to gather their souls home after they had died. Once she found that Yemoja followed the very first enslaved, that got her hooked.

Some say she followed them to offer comfort, while others say she wrecked the slave ships, and others think she gathered their souls up to return them back home. This last belief caught her. And made her think what if Yemoja created others just like her to help her in doing this? And what if one of her creations saved a boy instead of his soul? The novel unfolded from there.

Natasha is obsessed with German and Japanese stationery and spends a stupid amounts of money on notebooks, which she features on a secret Instagram account she has. When she isn’t busy writing something, she is reading, being watched carefully by Milk and Honey, her cat and dog.

“Skin of the Sea” is the first novel in the “Skin of the Sea” series and was released in the year 2021. This is a powerful new imagining of one devastating time in history, that is told through the eyes of an unforgettable and bold heroine. A way to serve, a way to survive, and a way to save. Simi prayed to the gods, just once. Now she serves them as Mami Wata, a mermaid, collecting the souls of the ones that die at sea and blessing their return journeys back home.

However when a living boy gets tossed overboard, she goes against some ancient decree and does the unthinkable. Simi saves his life. And there is punishment awaiting anybody that dares to defy the gods.

In order to protect the other Mami Wata, she must journey to the Supreme Creator in order to make amends. However all isn’t like it appears. There is the boy that she rescued, that knows a lot more than he really should. And there’s something shadowing Simi, something that would much rather see her fail.

There is danger lurking at each and every turn, and while Simi draws closer, she has to brave vengeful gods, legendary creatures, and treacherous lands. Should she fail, she risks not just the fate of all Mami Wata, however also the entire world as she knows it.

Fantastical creatures and some vengeful gods form a vivid backdrop to this original and rich story of one girl’s journey of finding herself. Fans of the book found this to be a thought provoking, engrossing, and beautiful novel that will knock your socks off and leave you wanting more. This is one of the most original and epic fantasy novels, and Natasha has crafted this world filled with imagination and heart. Natasha’s poignant supernatural romance stands out for its sensuous prose.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Natasha Bowen

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