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Rachael King

Rachael King was born in New Zealand in 1970 to a bookish family – her father Michael King (who died in 2004) was one of New Zealand’s most prominent authors, and her mother Ros Henry is a publisher.
After finally gaining her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Auckland she began working in radio, hosting an arts program on 95bFM and selling advertising, a career she continued through magazines, and which funded her growing passion for writing fiction.
Rachael completed a Masters in Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters at Wellington’s Victoria University in 2001 and began work on The Sound of Butterflies (2006). In 2007 it won the Montana New Zealand Book Award for Best First Novel and it has been translated into nine languages. Another novel for adults, Magpie Hall, was published in New Zealand in November 2009 to critical acclaim.
Rachael King’s first novel for children was released in 2012. Red Rocks tells the story of Jake, who finds a sealskin and takes it home and hides it under his bed, unleashing an ancient spell that threatens to destroy his family. A retelling of the Celtic selkie myth, the idea came to Rachael as she walked her first baby son around Wellington’s wild south coast and thought it a place where magic could happen. Rachael now lives in Christchurch with her husband and two young sons.
Selected bibliography:
  • Magpie Hall (Random House 2009).
  • The Sound of Butterflies (Random House 2006).
  • Red Rocks (Random House 2012).
  • Lilian Ida Smith Award 2005/2006.
  • Hubert Church Award 2007 for Best First Book of Fiction, Montana Book Awards for The Sound of Butterflies.
  • Ursula Bethell Residency 2008 in Creative Writing (Canterbury University).
  • Long-listed for the IMPAC Dublin award 2010. 
Other resources:


Storylines Trust Te Whare Waituhi Tamariki and Friends of Storylines Te Pou o Te Whare Waituhi Tamariki together form New Zealand’s only national organisation working year-round to promote New Zealand children’s and young adult literature through activities that include a major national Story Tour to schools, early childhood centres and communities, and awards for writers, illustrators and those who work in the area of New Zealand children’s literature



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