Wellington author Denika Mead – who published her first book when she was 15 – answers three questions about her writing life.
Q. Have certain authors or books you’ve enjoyed been part of your inspiration to write? Why?
A. I love fantasy and dystopian novels. Like a lot of people, growing up, I loved Harry Potter. I also adored the Wings of Fire series by Tui T Sutherland.
More recently, I’ve been immersed in several book series, including His Dark Materials, The Hunger Games, The Inheritance Cycle, The Way of Kings and the Folk of the Air series.
Books have always been an integral part of my life and the characters within are inspirational to me. My connection with stories has motivated me to create and share my own characters and worlds.
Q. When did you start writing? When did you get serious about approaching publishers or indie publishing?
A. I’ve loved writing for as long as I can remember and it was my dream to become a published author. In 2018, I entered the Youth Laurette competition with two manuscripts. The prize was the publication of the author’s novel. I found it helpful to having a deadline to work to for the competition.
While neither of my stories won the competition, both of my submissions were finalists, which made me wonder if I could self-publish them myself. This sparked the beginning of my publishing journey.
Q. What are you working on at present? Are you going to publish it and when?
A. I am currently writing the last book in the Royal Orchid series, The Crystal Continent. I plan for it to be released in 2022. Along with that, I am editing a new fantasy manuscript called The Good King, which is due to be released late 2021.