Hi, I’m a Kiwi currently living in Bangkok, Thailand. I’m married to the lovely Kerry, and have two children Brendan & Melissa . I was raised in sunny Hawkes Bay, but have spent most of my working life in Wellington. Most of my working life has been spent in financial services, but I always had an ambition to write, something that became practical when I accompanied Kerry on a posting to India, which is a wonderful country.
I was lucky enough to have my first novel The Bone Tiki accepted for publication by HarperCollins New Zealand. It is a YA (young adult) fantasy set in New Zealand, and subsequently won Best First Book at the 2010 NZ Post Children’s Book Awards. It was first in what has become the Aotearoa Series. Four sequels have followed: The Taniwha’s Tear, 2010; The Lost Tohunga, 2011; Justice and Utu, 2012; Ghosts of Parihaka, 2013; and the final book of the series, Magic and Makutu, 2014. All follow the same protagonists, and are built around the concept of two parallel New Zealands – our modern world, and another magical world peopled from legends, historical personages, and the ghosts of ordinary New Zealanders.
I’ve also written a four book YA fantasy series set in India, through Penguin India. Entitled The Return of Ravana, the series comprises:
- Pyre of Queens (2010)
- The Ghost Bride (2011) [Indian title: Swayamvara]
- Souls In Exile (2011)
- King of Lanka (2012)
This series is due to be re-released by Quercus UK (beginning 2015). The series tells the story of a group of people whose lives are linked by one tragic past life, the consequences of which resonate in every subsequent life, with horrific results. Each book has a modern thread, and at least one past life section, and the whole is united also by echoes of the Indian epic, The Ramayana.
My third series is The Moontide, to be published by Jo Fletcher Books (an imprint of Quercus UK). The first book, Mage’s Blood, was released September 2012, and the second, Scarlet Tides, in September 2013. Unholy War was released in September 2014 and Ascendant's Rite in November 2015. Unlike the other two series, The Moontide is written for the mass market (rather than the teen market), and set in a fantasy world, rather than our world. It is an east-meets-west epic fantasy. A 4-book sequel series, The Sunsurge Quartet, is also contracted, with the first book set for release in 2016.
As you’ll note from the above, I like to ground my writing in mythology and history, both of which I’ve studied at university, and read extensively on. I like to ‘walk the ground’ I’m writing about where possible, to provide as immersive a reading experience as possible. My professional career has given me a strong grounding in planning and deadlines which has been of great assistance. Travel is an important part of writing for me, and I have lived in India and the UK, as well as travelled in South East Asia, Europe and America.
I’ve attended writing classes run by Frances Cherry and Chris Else respectively, which I found hugely helpful, and I’d recommend aspiring writers to seek similar classes out.
Away from writing, I love football (proper round-ball 11-a-side footy) especially my poor beleaguered Leeds United, plus movies, wine, travel, obscure music, and hanging out with Kerry and the kids. I read extensively, mostly fantasy and history.