Anxiety in Hills of Heather and Bone - K.E. Andrews

19 May 2023

Anxiety is one of the major themes I wanted to explore in Hills of Heather and Bone. Characters dealing with mental health struggles isn’t something that’s talked about much in fantasy. Overall I wanted this to be a story with a main character people could relate to and really make her more human because, at its core, it’s not a story about people who have to go save the world or anything, but a family dealing with real things and trying to survive and find a place to call home.

I had known early on that I wanted to write a character who struggles with anxiety, even in a cozy story. Morana, the main character of HOHAB, deals with a lot of stress and anxiety throughout the story. Most of this character’s actions are influenced by things in her past and things she hasn’t fully dealt with or processed. While her experiences aren’t meant to fully encompass what it’s like to deal with anxiety, I wanted her story to reflect how internal and external stressors impact a character’s actions and choices. Mental health struggles look different for each person, and I wanted Morana to be an example of that. 

This isn't a story about overcoming anxiety or grief, but how to live and grow around them. The end goal isn’t that the main character is cured or is instantly healed because that doesn’t happen in real life. Some may ask, how can a story that focuses on anxiety and grief be cozy? To that, I say the cozy part lies in the characters being accepted as they are and finding comfort in those who can come alongside them and cry with them, empathize, and–even if they haven’t gone through the same thing personally–be invested in standing by them. In addition to that, I also wanted to show how there can be beauty and good things even in the midst of anxiety and grief.


About the author


K.E.Andrews has always been an avid reader, which sparked her passion for writing at an early age. Most days she spends her time daydreaming about stories and making mood boards. When she's not writing, she tends to her plants, plans out her next crafting project, and binge-watches shows on Netflix. She currently lives in Powder Springs, Georgia with her family and three cats.