In spite of my broad Australian accent, I was born in London. My parents migrated to Australia when I was 18 months old, so my first memories are of the small country town of Mansfield (population 2000), in NE Victoria, Australia, where I grew up. The town is between the snowy peaks of the Blue Ranges and the waters of Lake Eildon, and this beautiful area gave me a deep love of landscape.
I was extremely shy until I finished secondary school and was forced to overcome it when I started my University studies. I had no idea what to do after school and 'fell into' teaching, something I've never regretted. A love of words and landscape turned me into an English and Geography teacher, which has been very useful to me as an author of Deep Fantasy.
After completing my teaching degree, I chose a secondary school on the other side of the state, in the small town of Terang (population 2000) where, on the first day, I met a lovely guy in the staffroom, who I later married. So, good choice of school! After four years, we relocated to Melbourne and I developed a study habit.
I completed a Grad. Dip in Teaching English as a Second Language and then a Grad. Dip. in Literacy. This second Grad. Dip. got me interested in Children’s Literature and why so many children's books (and those for adults) featured dragons. This led to a M.Ed (Hons) in the purposes of dragons in various narratives, which in turn got me interested in mythology, and initiated my Ph.D in Campbell’s monomyth as applied to a female hero.
Somewhere in these years of study, raising two children, teaching and lecturing, I wrote The Kira Chronicles. I was 38, so not one of those writers you read about who starts their first novel at 5! The trilogy was published in 2007 by Allen and Unwin, Australia. I continued to write fantasy and pitch it to publishers, but it didn't fit neatly into their categories. It wasn't epic, high, dystopic or paranormal fantasy. It wasn't dark fantasy or steampunk either, nor magic realism. I had no boy wizards, mages, elves, werewolves or half-demons roaming city streets. My stories have romance, but they're certainly not Romance. The more I analysed my works, the more I realised how much my studies of Joseph Campbell (via the Ph.D) and Carl Jung (via the M.Ed) had affected me. So, the description I coined for my narratives was Deep Fantasy.
Deep Fantasy encourages you to look a little closer and dig a little deeper. It delivers all the things good fantasy should (brilliant secondary worlds, heroes you love), and in addition, uses metaphor, symbolism, motifs, and the mythic archetypes explored by Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung, to create a second layer of meaning. Deep Fantasy stories should be a great read, but they should also resonate on psychological and spiritual levels.
I might have been slow to begin, but my head has been bursting with stories ever since. I now write, publish, and market my Deep Fantasy books full time. My stand alone novels include: The Emerald Serpent, Heart Hunter, and The Third Moon. I have now completed my Angel Caste series: Angel Blood, Angel Breath, Angel Bone, Angel Bound, and Angel Blessed and am currently reintroducing cut material into The Kira Chronicles trilogy, editing and updating them, and relaunching them as the six book The Kira Chronicles series, in 2018. I have another series 'brewing' as well.
You can find my Deep Fantasy stories on Amazon and other digital platforms through Draft2Digital, and links to my free Deep Fantasy short stories through my books. I love getting your comments, questions, reviews, and feedback.
Karen Simpson Nikakis