2020 Snapshot: Isa Pearl Ritchie

Isa Pearl Ritchie is a New Zealand writer. She has completed a PhD in social science. She writes novels for adults and for young people. Her second novel, Fishing for Maui, was named one of the best books of 2018 in The Listener Magazine, and was a finalist in the the NZ Booklovers awards 2019.

1. Tell us about your recent spec fic publications/projects?

My recent spec-fic project is the Dreamweavers series. This is a middle-grade fantasy series with a somewhat Jungian focus on lucid dreaming and a big emphasis on dealing with anxiety. Awa and the Dreamrealm is the first book in the series which came out in November 2019, followed by Into the Labyrinth in Feb 2020. The third book in the trilogy, Facing the Shadow, comes out at the end of September 2020. It has been a super fun series to write and I’ve really enjoyed getting feedback on my drafts from a variety of young readers so I have the opportunity to make the books even better for the readership!

2. What has been the best publishing or SF community experience of your career so far?
Aside from getting great feedback from young readers, my best experience has actually been in becoming part of a wonderfully inclusive and supportive community of spec fic writers. We have supported each other through some challenging times and our group is a fantastic safe space. On top of this, we are collaborating in a collaborative shared-world cosy witchy fiction novella project – where all the books are based in New Zealand. These will also start coming out later in the year.
3. Which recent Australian/NZ work would you recommend to international fans interested in expanding their Antipodean spec fic knowledge?
I’d recommend the work of some of the people in our community such as Andi Buchanan and A. J. Fitzwater, Cassie Hart, and Octavia Cade for stunning and unusual fantastical speculative writing.

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