Born in New Zealand in 1989, I have spent most of my life in a book - either reading it, or writing it.


I wrote my first chapter book when I was 12, and earned a Diploma in Creative Writing when I was 17. I graduated university with a BA in English & Media Studies in 2010, and started work as a Teacher Aide at Whangaparaoa College in Auckland. While there, I was inspired by my literary-challenged students; I 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 my obsession while I 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, I earned over a million reads and over twenty thousand followers on Wattpad. Meanwhile, the manuscript of my next scifi novel, The Knowledge Keeper, was shortlisted for the NZ Storylines Children's Literature Charitable Trust’s Tessa Duder Award in 2016.

Around that time, the first self-published book of Generation Icarus was noticed by Dr. Rod Fee, the director of the Eunoia Publishing Group. After he reached out to me, I signed both Generation Icarus and the Keeper series with Eunoia’s latest imprint acquisition: Steam Press. All self-published copies of the books were immediately withdrawn from sale worldwide, and are currently going under significant revision and improvement. The first book, retitled Air Born, was completed in early 2017 and was launched in NZ on 23 September 2017.

Whilst rewriting the first book of Generation Icarus with the guidance of the Steam team, I was also finishing my 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, I graduated with a first class Master’s degree in English.

The second Icarus book, Take Flight, was released in NZ in October 2018. Generation Icarus 3: Sun Strike is currently in the final stages of production, and is due to be released in late 2019. The Russian and Chinese editions of Air Born were also released in 2018. The series has been optioned for adaptation to the screen.

© 2012-2018 J L Pawley

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