One secret is deadly. The other will heal the world. But which is which?

If you love dystopian dilemmas, a clash of complex female characters, and dark, sapphic romance, read Watch Over Me now.

Dark f/f Dynamic

With a dark, sapphic, slow burn, age gap, and morally grey power imbalance subplot, this 'ship touches on similar psychological tones seen between Eve & Villanelle (Killing Eve), and Nancy & Diana Leatherby (Tipping The Velvet).

Near Future What Ifs

Think Black Mirror with advancing tech and could-be-coming dystopian solutions for social dilemmas. This story is for adult fans of The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Handmaid's Tale.

Thriller Twists

Racing plot twists, moral dilemmas, high stakes, crimes a-plenty, dark themes, a dash of near-death and almost-kisses, and you've got the measure...

Here's the blurb... After stealing medication for her secret sister, Yara is forced into RePay – a terrifying TV game show that will determine her fate.

Her only hope for freedom lies in surviving a risky biotechnology trial within the sterile walls of Watch Over Me, where ruthlessly passionate head engineer, Ms Wilding, reveals an unnerving agenda.

When Wilding’s controlling obsessions turn curiously personal, Yara must summon every ounce of willpower to outwit her captor and resist the pull of forbidden attraction in their dangerous game of cat-and-mouse. Failure means forfeiting her only chance to save her sister in an off-record bargain with Wilding’s celebrity arch-enemy.

But what Yara uncovers during her incarceration at Watch Over Me, proves she’s not the only one closely guarding a life-changing secret that will challenge alliances, and alter the course of freedom.

But whose secrets should stay hidden, and whose should be revealed to the world?

Only 30 days to decide.

Book 2 Coming 2024

Sign up for an ARC!

With no way to know who’s telling the truth, you'll be questioning who the real enemy is.

By night, I write.

Well, this is awkward because I'm a debut author, and so far, I can only tell you about my day job...

Kate is an advocate for multi-hyphenate living. Never one for the 9-5, she defines herself as career creative with a patchwork of passions.

Kate Hennessy is an award-winning, internationally published photographer and videographer, with features including VOGUE Italia. With a prior background in performing arts and a degree in education, Kate now helps people to craft stand-out images and video content to take their business branding and marketing to the next level. She has photographed best-selling authors, award-winning performers, and British royalty, but especially loves working with anyone who loves using their imagination.

Kate formerly co-presented a radio show for 92.2FM producing features on business and mindset. She also enjoys composing music, creating AI art, and not-so-secretly wishes she was either a princess or a musical theatre star. Kate lives in rural south-east England with her older partner, Amanda, where life never stands still and sleep is rarely all night on account of their two young daughters.

One day, Kate hopes to add best-selling novelist to this bio. Can you help?

Sapphics, secrets & survival.

In a nutshell. Or a microchip.

After stealing meds for her illegal sister, Yara is forced into RePay–a TV show which determines her sentence. She bargains for her freedom, but must survive a biotech trial & its dangerously passionate head engineer, Ms Wilding, who harbours a secret of her own.

  • New Adult/Adult

  • First in series: Book 2 – Tempest – coming late 2024

  • Dystopian tropes: near future | biotechnology advances | oppressive government | resistance movement | surveillance | ambitious career women in STEM | secrets

  • Sapphic romance tropes (subplot): slow-burn | forbidden love | age gap | CEO | power imbalance | rich/poor | researcher/subject

  • Spice level: 🌶️ slow-burn sexual tension | kissing | light touching | no sex

  • Why you need to know: This novel touches upon some dark, psychological themes including obsessive ambition, possessive behaviour, ownership, control, and aspects of Stockholm Syndrome. This is a novel about an unethical f/f relationship whereby morally grey romantic feelings arise between two adult women with a significant power imbalance (researcher and her enforced research subject), which drive positive change within both characters. It is not a traditional romance novel and these themes raise questions about compassion, empathy, consent, and love.

WHY I WROTE THIS NOVEL

Tech + Humans

I have forever been fascinated with how the world will look with technology beyond our time – not so far off it feels implausible, but close enough to feel it coming. With AI changing the shape of human existence on a daily basis, I'm glued to the raging debate. But my question remains, which is more dangerous – the tech or the humans?

In Watch Over Me, I explore whether we can use AI biotechnology to eradicate crime.

'Have no doubt, my flower, my software will iron out all our human failings.' - Ada Wilding

Love These | Love This

If you love...

Ambitious women with a dash of dark, slow-burn, sapphic power dynamics. The arc will conclude in the book 2 in 2024.

If you love...

A racing plot with multiple twists to keep you guessing, near future tech, moral dilemmas, high stakes, secrets and lies, in the vein of Blake Crouch.

If you love...

Dystopian sci-fi that doesn't feel too far off. You'd love a flavour of The Hunger Games or Divergent, but with lesbian leads, and adult themes.

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Why You Should Still Be Reading Dystopian Fiction

June 14, 17083 min read

Why You Should Still Be Reading Dystopian Fiction

Whilst dystopian fiction once held a prominent place in readers' hearts, its popularity has waned in recent years. Factors such as saturation and fatigue, the pursuit of escapism and hope, changing market trends in traditional publishing, and real-world overlap have contributed to its decline.

However, the cyclical nature of trends suggests that dystopian fiction may find renewed interest in the future as societal dynamics continue to evolve. Now, more than ever, the real world needs solutions that might begin in the imagination of a dystopian writer.

So, here's why I'm not yet done with dystopian fiction.

The Enduring Relevance of Dystopian Fiction: Why We Should Still Read It:

1. It reminds us to reflect on societal issues.

Dystopian fiction serves as a powerful mirror, reflecting many of the societal issues and concerns of our time. By presenting exaggerated and often nightmarish versions of reality, these narratives force us to confront uncomfortable truths about our own world. They explore themes such as authoritarianism, social inequality, environmental degradation, and loss of personal freedom. Through these narratives, readers gain a deeper understanding of the consequences of unchecked power, enabling them to engage critically with contemporary issues. Fiction is a safe way to explore the potential direction of humanity.

2. We learn to cultivate critical thinking.

Dystopian fiction stimulates critical thinking by challenging readers to question existing power structures and societal norms. By envisioning futures where oppressive systems are the norm, these stories encourage us to reevaluate our own assumptions and beliefs. They prompt us to consider alternative paths and possibilities, and to imagine a world that is fairer and more just. By engaging with dystopian narratives, we exercise our analytical skills, fostering a greater sense of agency and the ability to navigate complex moral and ethical dilemmas.

3. It inspires empathy.

Dystopian fiction often features characters who face immense challenges and hardships, yet continue to persevere. Through characters' struggles, we might find inspiration in their resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity. These stories also cultivate empathy as we witness characters navigating difficult choices and grappling with the consequences of their actions. By connecting with these characters, readers become more empathetic towards others in their own lives and develop a deeper understanding of the complexities of human nature. This can have a positive impact in the real world.

4. It encourages societal action.

Dystopian fiction can act as a catalyst for societal awareness and action. By presenting cautionary tales of potential futures, these stories inspire readers to consider the implications of their actions and the trajectory of society. They serve as a call to action, urging us to take responsibility for shaping a better world. Dystopian narratives can fuel conversations and activism, driving us to challenge oppressive systems, fight for social justice, and work towards a more equitable society. By reading and discussing these stories, we become catalysts for change, driving forward progress and transformation.

Conclusion

In a world that grapples with complex challenges, dystopian fiction remains an invaluable genre. By reflecting on societal issues, cultivating critical thinking, inspiring resilience and empathy, and encouraging societal awareness and action, dystopian narratives provide us with the tools and inspiration to shape a brighter future for all.

And this is exactly why I'm not yet done with dystopian fiction.

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Kate Hennessy is a sapphic author, writing in the speculative space.

Kate Hennessy

Kate Hennessy is a sapphic author, writing in the speculative space.

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Click Here If You'd Like Content Warnings

This is a speculative dystopian novel with some challenging themes and potentially upsetting content, including:

Elements of F/F dark romance due to a morally grey power imbalance between a researcher and research subject (no sexual content beyond kissing, no non-con content), with an obsessive/possessive infatuation and controlling behaviour - this will suit psychological dark romance readers (without spice) but isn't suitable for those who do not enjoy power imbalances.

Enforced participation in gamified life-threatening physical challenges including near-drowning and electrocution (no gore or excessive violence).

Needles (brief mention)

Fight/assault (non-sexual on-page, suggested sexual off-page)

Death (non-graphic)

Very mild bad language and blasphemy

Separation from family

PTSD

Terrorist incident (bomb)

Child illness (non-life threatening) and isolation

Trauma (suggested, off-page)

Blood (non-violent)


Bring back dystopian fiction. It offers safe exploration of oppression. It fosters critical thinking, promotes empathy, inspires change, and cultivates social awareness. The real world needs solutions that might begin with a writer and their reader. It reminds us of our power for change.

- ME, I SAID THAT.

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Sapphics, secrets & survival.

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