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Wellington Teen To Publish Third Fantasy Novel

Last year, at the age of 15, Denika Mead published her first book – closely followed by a second during lockdown. Now she is set to release the third in the Royal Orchid series in November 2020.

The Death-Hunters is the first in the trilogy. It is a fantasy story for children aged 8 to 14 about a teenager named Ivy who falls through a portal into an icy wasteland. There, she fights off a dragon and magician with the help of her new friends, a kea and a snow-mouse.

Into the Flames is the prequel to the series and was released in April 2020. It tells the story of Ivy’s parents and their battle to save their baby from the dragon Reshana.

On November 12th 2020, Denika will release The Ghost Warriors, which follows Ivy’s adventures as she fights to protect Earth and her new home from an army of undead warriors.

Denika’s books have been well received:

Denika’s writing shows a wonderful level of maturity. Her dialogue flows effortlessly, which is a talent in itself. William Dresden, YNZW Scary Tales judge

…wonderful blend of magical realism and fantasy. Mead is definitely a young talent to watch. Lee Murray NZ Youth Laureate judge,

These are great books for young adult readers, full of mystery and magic. Children’s Bookshop in Christchurch

Denika has created a fascinating world full of danger and critters both cute and terrifying. A.J. Ponder, New Zealand high fantasy author

In her first year of independently publishing, Denika has visited school groups and sold her books through bookstores and local markets. She was a finalist in the Best New Talent category in 2020 for the Sir Julius Vogel Awards, New Zealand’s fan-voted awards for excellence in science fiction, fantasy and horror. Over the past few years, she has won and been a finalist in several youth writing competitions, including being a two-time finalist in the New Zealand Youth Laurate award 2018.

Denika has been amazed at the positive feedback on her series and says receiving emails and photos from young readers has been a huge highlight. “I didn’t expect to receive such an incredible response.”

Denika is a home-schooled student in Wellington who combines her love of writing with completing her NCEA assessments.

She says she fully intends to keep writing and, while she is not sure if she will be able to work full time as an author, she is going to try.

For more information on Denika’s writing journey and where to purchase her books, you can visit her website

The Death-Hunters, Paperback, 214 pp, 127 by 203mm, ISBN: 978-0-473-49185-7, $20 RRP

Into the Flames, Paperback, 132 pp, 127 by 203mm, ISBN: 978-0-473-51237-8, $15 RRP

The Ghost Warriors, Paperback, 127 by 203mm, ISBN: 978-0-473-54526-0, $20 RRP

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