Born in Wellington, New Zealand, Philippa has always had her head in a book. For this she blames her father who thought Lord of the Rings was suitable bedtime reading for an eight year old. At the age of thirteen she began writing fantasy stories for herself.
She first earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Political Science and then a Bachelor of Applied Science in Library and Information Science. So soon enough she found herself working in the magical world of libraries where she stayed for over a decade.
Her first professional sale was in 1997, and since then she has gone on to produce mostly novel length fiction. In 2006 she became New Zealand’s first podcast novelist, and she has voiced and produced Weaver’s Web, Chasing the Bard, Weather Child and Digital Magic as podiobooks. Her podcasts have won both a Parsec Award and a Sir Julius Vogel award.
She is also the co-author of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series with Tee Morris. Phoenix Rising debuted in May 2011 and The Janus Affair came out in May 2012. Phoenix Rising won the Airship Award for best written steampunk, and was the number eight best Science Fiction book of 2011 according to Goodreads.com. The Janus Affair was the seventh most popular science fiction book of 2012 on Goodreads.com. The series continues with Dawn’s Early Light in December 2013.
In addition she is also the author of the Shifted World series with Pyr Books, with the first book Hunter and Fox released in June 2012, and the second Kindred and Wings scheduled for August 2013.
When not writing or podcasting, Philippa loves reading, gardening, and whenever possible traveling. With her husband Tee and her daughter, she is looked after by a mighty clowder of five cats in Manassas, Virginia.
Smoke blew off the once-admired canals of the capital of the Empire of Arkaym. Several times the geistlord, who wore a coyote shape, had to backtrack as he found bridges broken before him and houses tumbled down everywhere. The Fensena sniffed at the bodies left to rot in the alleyways of Vermillion, but unlike a real coyote he did not pause to dine.
The fact that a five-foot-tall coyote was wandering the byways of the heart of the Empire in broad daylight would have been impossible to contemplate even just a few months before. Yet, here he was with the run of the place, and not a Deacon of the Order or a soldier of the Imperial Guard to give him pause. The Emperor of Arkaym had very little care for his capital, and had chosen instead to chase after the Princes who had risen in rebellion against him—and it turned out there were quite a few such princes
Papers rustled and blew past the coyote in the sharp wind. He caught one as it spun by him, his lightning fast paw pinning it to the ground. Through gleaming golden eyes the geistlord read—a skill he had taken pride in developing. It was the offer of a bounty; one on the head of Sorcha Faris. She was accused of sedition, treason and murder. More telling was the title they were giving her. “Arch Abbot of the outlawed Order” was written beneath the badly drawn picture of her. The Fensena had no love for the Deacons, but he knew what awaited him on the Otherside and had no desire to see this world burn.
As these dark thoughts filled him with dread, he moved on through the city and finally made it to the Bridge of Gilt. The canal that ran beneath it was clogged with all manner of dead and decaying things that made his nose twitch. Someone had tied offerings to one of the small gods on the railings; fruits, dead birds and something bloody and unidentifiable.
Still, the bridge was intact, and so he padded over it toward the Imperial Island. The coyote’s ears pricked forward as they traced running footsteps up ahead among the shops that lined the bridge. Though most merchants had long since abandoned their businesses for whatever safety they wrongly perceived elsewhere, a few brave held on. He could smell them huddled in their little shops, and hear them whispering.
A young woman was running along the bridge toward him, clutching something to her chest. The odor of fear was overpowering to the Fensena’s sharp senses.
It was a baby. She was cradling a baby to her chest as she ran. In the lowering light of sunset, her eyes were wide with terror. Finally, she saw the huge coyote standing in the middle of the bridge and skidded to a halt.