Karen Pearson is an author of novels for Young Adults. She has worked as an advertising copywriter and a features writer for glossy magazines. She has a Master of Arts in Creative Writing.
When did you first start writing?
At primary school. Being a big reader gave me a good vocab, and then a kind teacher said 'you write well' and a little kernel of pride lodges in your heart and before you know it, you're telling your friends 'I'm going to be a writer'.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in 70s suburbia. That's a very definite place in New Zealand. I think it influenced my writing in a big way because there wasn't a lot to do when you weren't at school. That meant I read a huge amount as an escape from boredom and a way of finding out about the world. Reading was such a haven for me when I was a teenager, it's a big part of why I write for young adults now.
Hope Fullerton-Smith's problems are adding up. A psychopath on the loose in her neighbourhood. A delinquent foster brother out to get her. A mute Russian girl sharing her bedroom... Hope's new roommate, Vera, needs help to dodge deportation. But it's not a good time to be sneaking around town and Vera's quest leads them toward a vicious trap. A thrilling tale that will grip you to the last page.
When Vika finds a rare black phantom crystal she's not the only one drawn to it. The school bullies kidnap her brother and demand the stone as ransom. Vika is lured into a mine to make the exchange and stumbles on a sinister industry beneath the ground. There seems no way out of the chamber of horrors without losing what's precious to her. And her own life is the very least of what's at stake.