I am the events that have shaped me, the people who have influenced me, the sum of the tastes that attract me and the culture that defines me. I am the causes I feel passionate about and the people I will fight for. I am the darkness inside me, woken by the light that finds me.
Born and raised in Rotorua, Aotearoa (New Zealand), geothermal gateway to the centre of the earth, my childhood was a juxtaposition of harsh realities and beautiful fantasy. My adulthood has been entirely London, city of colour and culture, history and darkness, where I’ve learned that words are tools we can carve and twist to shape worlds in the imagination of those around us.
My passion for writing had existed as a distraction to life and school work since I was 9, writing short stories and tales for my friends during class, but was solidified at sixteen when my mother forced me to enter a national competition, and I placed as one of the country’s top finalists, despite entering a piece that was blatant fantasy, pushing the boundaries of the given topic to its limit. My fascination has always been to produce believable dialogue, and paint accurate pictures on my reader’s minds, immersing all of their senses in the story I am telling.
This blog is a collection of creative short stories and poetry, and my reflections on life and the world from what I hope is an inspirational and gothic standpoint.
But I don’t just create shorts. I write for online magazines, reviewing a wide range of alternative, cultural and music events, and I write novels. Recently one of the manuscripts I have been working on, “Loretta of the Lamp”, was shortlisted and placed as a finalist in Hollywood’s Tracking Board global Launch Pad Manuscript Competition, in partnership with Ridley Scott’s production company Scott Free, which is kind of cool!
Following the success of Loretta of the Lamp, my urban gothic fantasy, Emmeline, was published.
Emmeline’s world is torn apart by the disappearance of her last living relative, which leads her to an encounter with the Ferryman of the Dead, and the start of a journey to finding out who she really is.
Even cooler, ‘Emmeline’ is set on the streets of London, my favourite city in the whole wide world. You can follow Emmeline’s story here
But, BACK TO THE BLOG…
I know a blog can sometimes be confusing to look through for a specific starting point, so if you are new to this tale and want to catch my favourite pieces of writing first, here is a current selection of my top favourites….
This list will probably change from time to time, and I’m always keen to hear your thoughts and feedback as to your own favourites!
With love, from this side of darkness, JR Manawa xxx