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About J L Pawley

Born in New Zealand in 1989, J L Pawley has spent most of her life in a book - either reading it, or writing it.


She wrote her first chapter book aged 12, and earned a Diploma in Creative Writing at 17. She graduated university with a BA in English & Media Studies in 2010, and worked for a while as a Teacher Aide at an Auckland high school. While there, she was inspired by her literary-challenged students; she wanted to write a book even they would want to read. This novel evolved into the YA scifi series Generation Icarus.

Writing the series remained her obsession while she continued working in the real world as an online university teaching assistant, and for the Auckland public libraries. After dabbling in self-publishing for a few years under the label Nineteenth House Publishing, she earned over a million reads and over twenty thousand followers on Wattpad. Meanwhile, the manuscript of her next scifi novel, The Knowledge Keeper, was shortlisted for the NZ Storylines Children's Literature Charitable Trust’s Tessa Duder Award in 2016.

Around the same time, Generation Icarus was noticed by the Eunoia Publishing Group. They signed Generation Icarus with Eunoia’s latest imprint acquisition: Steam Press. All self-published copies of the books were immediately withdrawn from sale worldwide, and underwent significant revision and improvement. The first book, retitled Air Born, was completed in early 2017 and was launched in NZ in September 2017.

Whilst rewriting the first book of Generation Icarus with the guidance of the Steam team, J L Pawley was also finishing her original postgraduate research and thesis, titled “The Rise of Social Ereading: Interactive Ebook Platforms and the Development of Online Reading Communities”. Following this, in 2017, she graduated with a first class Master’s degree in English from Massey University.

In 2019, pending the publication of the final Generation Icarus book, she earned her Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Secondary) and has since been working as an English and Media Studies teacher. As of 2023, she is also working towards her PhD in English Education with a focus on adolescent literacy and book reading, with the support of a Massey University Doctoral Scholarship.

She would like to thank her family, friends, and the Generation Icarus fanbase the Flight Fam for their continued love and support.

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