Author & Poet

Helen Lowe


Photo: Peter Fitzpatrick

Daughter of Blood Cover


Daughter of Blood, the Wall of Night Book Three, was published in the USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand in 2016.

For Reviews — see the Daughter Of Blood page, here.

Find out more: Voyager, USA or Orbit, UK

The Heir of Night ANZ Cover

The Heir of Night won the David Gemmell Morningstar Award 2012, a major international award.  To 'read all about it', please click here.

And remember to keep checking in on my blog for more 'hot off the press' news. 



For updates on writing progress for The Chaos Gate, you can check on my blog: go to Categories in the far-right-hand side and look under About My Books or About What I'm Doing

If you're a UK reader and wanting information about the availability of The Wall Of Night Book #4, The Chaos Gate, click here



National Writers' Forum, 17-18 September:

Presenter - Masterclass on "Building Fantastic Worlds

"My highlights were Helen Lowe’s session on Building Fantastic Worlds (utterly worth getting myself out of bed on a Sunday morning) and Chris Cleave’s session on Writing Psychology."

~ Dionne Joseph, The Big Idea, September 20, 2016

WORD Christchurch Writers & Readers Festival, August 24-28

Panelist (with Tania Roxborough & Ben Sanders; compere Vanda Symon) - "Making It Overseas"

Lincoln Writers' Salon, May 3 

Guest speaker.


The Skiffy and Fanty Show, Episode 292: I talk Fantasy and Worldbuilding  with Kate Elliott and Courtney Schafer, hosted by Paul Weimer, 14 March

Functional Nerds, Episode 264: I chat with John Anealio and Patrick Hester, 23 February

Guest Posts:

Supernatural Undergound: Five Magical Kisses from "The Wall of Night" Series, 1 May

Fantasy Cafe: Women in SF&F Month — Women as Leaders in Fantasy Fiction, 15 April

Supernatural Undergound: Five Romantic Moments From "The Wall Of Night" Series, 1 April

Campaign for the American Reader:  Writers' Read — I Discuss Station Eleven, 14 March

Karen McMillan - Author: Five Fun Ways New Zealand Features in The Wall Of Night series, 9 March

Campaign for the American Reader: Daughter Of Blood Takes The Page 69 Test, 4 March

Fantasy Faction: Five Legendary Swords Of Fantasy Fiction, February 22

Write and Take Flight: The Road To Story, February 8

The Dark Phantom: It's All About The Characters, 3 February Aikido & The Art Of Falling, January 27

SF Signal: Writing Heroines: Malian, Myr, and Daughter Of Blood, 26 January


Civilian Reader:  I return to another  favourite site for an indepth Q&A

Fresh Fiction: Conversations with Authors — Meet Helen Lowe, March 31

Tales From The Scribe — I am interviewed by Tarran Jones, 29 February

Research, process, & writing compelling characters — an interview on My Bookish Ways, 29 February

Keeping track of storylines and facing challenges — a BooksellersNZ interview, 18 February

Daughter of Blood Described in 140 Characters, Or Less! — my interview with The Qwillery, 27 January

AMA: Ask Me Anything! — with Reddit Fantasy, 26 January

Pumpkin pie, existential angst, & Captain America — an interview with Sharon Stogner & ismellsheep, 26 January

Earthquakes, Prussian Generals, Ursula Le Guin & More — I Am Interviewed by Romantic Times, 25 January

Accomplishments, Influences, & Inspiration -- the I'm Shelfish interview, 20 January


New Look US Covers for The Wall of Night series: An Exclusive Feature on SF Signal!

In the lead-up to publishing Daughter Of Blood, my US publisher, HarperVoyager, decided to give the whole Wall of Night series a fresh look.

The new-look covers were revealed in an exclusive feature on Hugo Award-winning genre site, SF Signal. You can check out the feature — and the covers! — here:

[EXCLUSIVE] Making Covers New: Creating An Epic Look For Helen Lowe’s THE WALL OF NIGHT Series

Cover Reveal Time: Daughter Of Blood

The first look at the US and UK/AU/NZ covers for Daughter of Blood happened mid-year:

Orbit cover reveal (UK): July 13 — the cover appeared first on the Orbit blog and subsequently on my own site: UK Cover Revealed!

HarperVoyager cover reveal (USA): August 1 — the US cover featured simultaneously on my blog and on the Supernatural Underground, where it generated quite a bit of attention. :-)

Daughter Of Blood, The Wall Of Night Book Three: Publication Date

I now have a publication date for Daughter Of Blood, which is to be end of January 2016 in both the USA/Canada and UK/Australia/New Zealand.

My post announcing the date, which has a little more detail, is here.

Event: Celebration of Christchurch's Sir Julius Vogel Award Finalists & Winners

On June 13, the writing and reading community celebrated Christchurch's Sir Julius Vogel Award finalist and winners with an event at Fendalton library, and I was honored to be the keynote speaker. To read the speech, click on:

Keynote Address

For my write up of the event itself, see:

Event Fun


Daughter Of Blood, The Wall Of Night Book Three, Completed

On  31 March I finished writing Daughter Of Blood, The Wall Of Night Book Three and the edit was finished in early December. The manuscript is now with my US and UK publishers and should go into production soon. 

WORD Christchurch Writers & Readers Festival 2014, 27-31 August

I was  thrilled to be part of the very exciting WORD Christchurch Readers and Writers Festival, compering the "Supernaturally" event with Elizabeth Knox & Laini Taylor

The 2014 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Services to NZ Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror

I am very honoured to have been nominated for and received this award. To read my acceptance post, click on "The Sir Julius Vogel Award 2014 For Services To Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror". The full list of 2014 winners is here.


The Gathering of the Lost  made the final shortlist for the international David Gemmell Legend Award 

The award is given for the best novel, published in the preceding calendar year, in the epic, heroic, or high Fantasy genre. To see the 2013 shortlist announcement, click here; you can read my official Gemmell Award finalist's interview, here.

New Review for The Gathering of the Lost: (Click on the review name to read the review.)

*Founding Fields: "A brilliant sequel to a brilliant debut. The Gathering Of The Lost is even more entertaining and rewarding than its predecessor."

To see other The Gathering Of The Lost reviews, click here.


The Heir of Night ANZ Cover The Heir of Night won the David Gemmell Morningstar Award 2012

To 'read all about it', please click here.


The Gathering of the Lost (The Wall of Night Book Two) was published in the USA, UK, Australia and NZ in March/April 2012

The USA/AU/NZ blog launch post is here; the UK launch here.

"Tuckerization": Cheryl Graham was the lucky winner of the draw, here, to give her name to a character in The Wall of Night Book Three—currently in production.

There was also a realtime launch at the UBS, University of Canterbury, reported in full on Beatties Bookblog here as well as less formally on my own blog, here.

Reviews for The Gathering of the Lost: (Click on the review name to read the review.)

*SF-Site"Helen Lowe's Wall of Night series has the potential to become a classic right up there with the likes of George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire ..."

*RisingShadow: "The Gathering of the Lost... is ...entertaining epic fantasy at its best ... it's everything you expect from a sequel and more - it's bigger, better and more complex."

*Radio New Zealand "Afternoons": (the GATHERING review begins ca. 5.50 minutes in) "I loved this book and I didn't want it to end."

*SFFANZ: "... an excellent sequel to The Heir of Night ... a book that demands to be read and takes the story in a direction I had not anticipated."

The Heir of Night has Two New Reviews, Too:

*Burning Bright"This is certainly one of those novels that causes the outside world to cease to exist and Malian will firmly plant herself feet first into your imagination... I can’t wait for the next nail bitting adventure."

*SF Signal"Strong Female characters in a world where they aren’t unusual for being so; evocative, poetic language; excellent evocation of themes ... The Heir of Night is well worth your time."


Publication of L'Héritière de la Nuit (The Heir of Night) in la belle France

I am very excited that L'Héritière de la Nuit is now available in French and in France, again under the Orbit title. You can even follow my French publisher on Twitter on @OrbitFr

New Zealand Book Month:

18 March: Flights of Fancy—Kiwi Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Horror

This SpecFicNZ organised Book Month Event was a great success, with Diane Berry, Jennifer FallonAmanda FitzwaterLiz GatensJane HigginsHelen Lowe and Paul Mannering all reading at the Air Force Museum in Wigram. You can read a report on the event here.

“The Great NZ Book Race”:

Also for NZ Book Month, students from Katikati College (Bay of Plenty)  and Papanui College (Christchurch) supported their local writers by reading, reviewing, and then passing on books , from person to person, until they reach the other school by the end of Term Three. Their aim was to get their book read and reviewed by the most New Zealanders. Find out more by clicking this link—but Thornspell was one of the books featured and you can see its feature page here.


Ursula Bethell / Creative New Zealand Residency in Creative Writing 2012, University of Canterbury

I have been awarded the Ursula Bethell / Creative New Zealand Residency in Creative Writing at the University of Canterbury for 2012, jointly with poet, reviewer and editor, David Eggleton of Landfall. I will hold the residency from January - July 2012 and am honored to have been selected for so prestigious an award.

The Heir of Night To Be Published in Germany as Die Erbin Der Nacht!

The Heir of Night is now to be published in German—as Die Erbin der Nacht in 2012 by publisher Blanvalet. You can see the very exciting cover on my blog, here.

Amberley Friends of the Library Writers' Tea Party

On Sunday, September 11, I spent an enjoyable afternoon at the Hurunui Memorial Library in Amberley, reading with my fellow authors, James Norcliffe and Joanna Orwin. You can read the full account here.

"Kind van de Nacht":

The Heir of Night was published in The Netherlands, as Kind van de Nacht (Luitingh), on July 18.

Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Novel:

The Heir of Night won the Sir Julius Vogel Award 2011 for Best Novel, jointly with Lyn McConchie's The Questing Road (Tor.) The Award was announced at the ConText convention over 3-5 June. You can read more here.

Tales for Canterbury:

The “Tales for Canterbury” anthology put together by Cassie Hart and Anna Caro as a fundraiser for the Canterbury earthquake has now been published and includes first publication of my short story, The Fountain. To find out more and purchase your copy, read more here


I attended ConText: the 32nd NZ National Science Fiction & Fantasy Convention held in Auckland, Queen's Birthday Weekend, 3-5 June 2011 as a guest and had a fabulous time. To read more, check out my ConText reports, here and here.

NZ Book Month: Dan Davin Literary Foundation Tour:

I very much enjoyed my NZ Book Month tour to Wakatipu & Southland as a guest of the Dan Davin Literary Foundation, during the week of 21-27 March: you can read my full report here.

"Heir" Now Released in the UK

On March 3, The Heir of Night was released in the UK. You can read the launch day posts on both Orbit and my own Helen Lowe on Anything, Really blog. 

And there are 5 recent UK reviews to read [click on the title to access the review]: SFFWorld; Salon Futura; Civilian Reader; BookChickCity and Walker of Worlds.

Review from SFX:

The Heir of Night was reviewed by SFX Magazine ahead of its UK release on March 3. And it's a nice review, with the reviewer describing Heir’s take on the traditional epic fantasy as “refreshing”  and a “well-told tale that gives several new twists to a tried-and-tested formula.”  Overall, Heir is summed up as an “enjoyable read.” (Go the "Heir!")

"The Heir of Night" Wins A Single Titles' Reviewers' Choice Award 2010

On 16 February, I received the following email: 

"CataNetwork reviewers have chosen your book as one of the best books that they have reviewed for Single Titles this year.  Thank you for sharing your talent with all the readers as you entertain us with your stories.”

I was very pleased to receive this accolade for The Heir of Night—and also read the original 5 star review, here.

Read some recent reviews for The Heir of Night at the Bookbag (UK), here, and The Road Well Travelled, here.


Reviews and Interviews for The Heir of Night

The Heir of Night was a "Best Read" of 2010 for Christchurch City Libraries—check out "Simply the Best Books of 2010" here and also here.  And over in Australia I was the November "Author of the Month" for Angus & Robertson Edwardstown (Adelaide.)

More blog reviews have come in from: One Librarian's Book Reviews, Fresh Fiction, Specusphere, Tarran at Angus & Robertson and Fantasy Book Review (UK). Click on the links to read the reviews.

Interviews are available to read from Over the Edge Books, Christchurch City Libraries, Angus & Robertson, and SFFANZ. A podcast of my radio interview with Lynn Freeman of Radio New Zealand's Arts on Sunday programme is available here. Again, click on the links to read or listen.

For more, earlier reviews and interviews, see below the Big Idea item.

Armageddon—Saturday 23 October:

I attended the Armegeddon Expo in Auckland on Saturday 23 October, 11.30 am-12.30 pm at the Whitcoulls Stand, Stall 45, ASB Showgrounds for a signing. Read my blogpost here.

Big Idea Guest Post on John Scalzi's Whatever 21 October:

I presented a guest post on the Big Idea behind The Heir of Night and The Wall of Night series on 21 October—you can read "all about it" here.

More Reviews and Interviews for The Heir of Night:

The Heir of Night has had its first professional (also non-electronic) reviews from Library Journal and Publisher's Weekly. Library Journal was enthusiastic, stating that: "

Lowe’s first novel, a series opener, calls to mind the inchoate evil of Barbara Hambly’s classic  “Darwath Trilogy” (The Time of the Dark; The Walls of Air; The Armies of Daylight) and reinvigorates the epic fantasy with appealing characters and a richly detailed world.”

Publisher's Weekly was more temperate, describing The Heir of Night as:

" ... a mostly standard fantasy tale ... [although] Lowe clearly portrays Malian's difficulties in leaving home and facing up to a vital if unwanted birthright, adding depth with descriptions of the stoic and proud Derai warrior culture."

I've also received a few blog reviews, as well, and done some interviews recently, ahead of the launch of The Heir of Night in the USA on 28 September, and in Australia/New Zealand on 7 October. These include:

Blog reviews from:, Rising Shadow, Bookloons, SFFANZ, Fiction Kingdom and SFRevu. Click on the links to read the reviews.

Blog interviews with RisingShadow, Fiction Kingdom, and Galaxy Bookshop (Sydney), as well as a radio interview with Women on Air, Plains 96.9FM. Again, click on the links to read or listen.


A New Review for Thornspell!

Ahead of reviewing The Heir of Night, RisingShadow also reviewed Thornspell—and gave it 5 stars! You can read the full interview here.  Or click here to read the excerpt on my blog.

Christchurch Writers Festival (9-12 September): Cancelled

Sadly, the Christchurch Writers' Festival had to be cancelled because of the damage done by the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that struck Christchurch on 4 September. But I will be doing an interview for the Christchurch City Libraries’ blog next week: the great team at the library are trying to catch up with as many writers as possible who would have been at the festival so Christchurch bibliophiles don't entirely miss out!

Worldcon (2-6 September)

Worldcon 68 in Melbourne was a blast and I had a great time. You can read about my experiences on my blog, here and here, with some addiitonal photos here.

I also posted about attending Worldcon on my UK/AU/NZ publisher, Orbit's, blog on September 14, here, and about attending the Hugo Award ceremony—on my US publisher, Eos's site—here.

Author Quote

I've had my first author quote on The Heir of Night, and it's from Robin Hobb:

“THE HEIR OF NIGHT by Helen Lowe is a richly told tale of strange magic, dark treachery and conflicting loyalties, set in a well realized world”

– Robin Hobb


Plains 96.9 FM: Most Popular Podcast Award

Plains 96.9 FM: Most Popular Podcast Award

The radio station where I do my interviews on the Women on Air programme, recently gave out its annual awards—and I won the award for "The Most Downloaded Single Podcast of the Year."

The podcasted interview was with Karen Zelas, editor of Crest to Crest: Impressions of Canterbury Poetry & Prose (Wily Publications, 2009.)

Incidentally, Women on Air was the most downloaded programme on the Plains 96.9 FM website.


The Advanced Readers' Edition of The Heir of Night got a mention on John Scalzi's Whatever blog.

Locus: May 2010—People & Publishers

Reported the sale of UK/Australian & New Zealand rights to The Wall of Night quartet to Orbit (Little, Brown & Co, UK).

I'm now On the NZ Book Council Website —

You Can Check Me Out Here!  Cool, huh?

NZ Book Council April E-Newsletter

I featured in the "5 Easy Questions" interview with an author (in this case, me!) in the NZ Book Council's April E-Newsletter — & you can see the first ever NZ sighting of the cover for The Heir of Night, as well. Heir is to be published by Eos (HarperCollins USA) in the States and Orbit (Little, Brown & Co / Hachette) in Australia & New Zealand in October. Orbit will also publish a UK edition in March 2011. You can read the interview here.

Poetry Reading:

On Wednesday 7 April I read as a guest poet at the Canterbury Poets' Autumn Season at the Madras Cafe Bookshop. My fellow guests were NZ's inaugural poet laureate, Michele Leggott, whose wonderful collection, Mirabile Dictu, came out from Auckland University Press last year, and Nick Williamson, author of The Whole Forest (Sudden Valley Press). This is the Canterbury Poets' 20th anniversary of running the very successful autumn season.

An Evening with Andrea Levy

The Long Song - cover

On Thursday 25 March I had the great pleasure of hosting "An Evening with Andrea Levy", the Orange and Whitbread prizewinning author of Small Island (Headline), for Women on Air at the Our City Otautahi event centre. The event was sold out and the evening focused on discussion of Andrea's new novel, The Long Song, which has already been longlisted for this year's Orange Prize for Fiction.  Andrea's warmth and wit shone through as she spoke of her research and the evolution of the story and the character of the protagonist, Miss July. A fabulous evening.



NZ Book Month: Writing Fantastic Fiction

On Saturday 17 October I ran a workshop at the Christchurch Central Library on the essential elements of 'fantastic world building' in SciFi-Fantasy. This sold-out workshop focused on structure and keeping writing 'real'.  A NZ Bookmonth event.  


"Spinning Gold" National Conference of Children's Book Writing and Illustration, Wellington, September 18-20 

I appeared as a panelist at the above event, discussing "the fine art of selling your work" with fellow panelists John McIntyre (The Children's Bookshop), Noel Murphy, (NZ Book Council) and Frances Plumpton (Richards Literary Agency). As with the rest of the conference, there were both common themes between the panelists (e.g. be professional; love what you write and write what you love; respect those you work with) as well as unique perspectives based on the sector each speaker came. And as with the publishers' panel the previous day, there was general agreement that you can't tie down the x-factor that makes a "Harry Potter" or a "Twilight" mega bestseller.

The overall "Spinning Gold" programme was excellent, with many fascinating speakers — from Martin Baynton who has bought back the film rights of all his books and is busy making tv series such as Jane and the Dragon, Brian Falkner on promoting your book, and this year's NZ Post Children's Book Award author, Kate de Goldi, whose focus was on the importance of "just writing". Whose lead to follow? In the end, I think we can do worse than listen to William Shakespeare:

" thine own self be true; and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any ...[other] ..." Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 3

Fantastic Voyages: Writing Speculative Fiction, Thursday 17 September

Tim Jones and I were delighted to draw a standing room only audience for this evening event at Toi Poneke, the Wellington Arts Centre. Ably chaired by Lynn Freeman of Radio New Zealand's "Arts on Sunday" programme, Tim and I read from Transported and Thornspell respectively, discussed our writing, why we love writing speculative fiction, how we've gone about getting published, both in NZ and internationally, as well as that perennial favourite, future directions! The discussion was lively, with Lynn and the audience both keeping the questions coming. Unity Books supported the event with a book table and both Tim and I were pleased to sign books and chat with audience members afterwards — with the stalwarts going on to Wellington's Fidels café for coffee.

You can read more about the evening on Tim's blog, with related blogs here: Anna Caro, Jenni Talula and Sally McLennan

Note: There's also a podcast on Anna's blog.

Our thanks to Lynn Freeman, Unity Books, the Wellington Arts Centre and Random House New Zealand for their support for the event.

Arts on Sunday — 12 July @ 2.30 pm with Lynn Freeman

I appeared on a panel discussing SciFi-Fantasy writing with my fellow Sir Julius Vogel Award winner, Russell Kirkpatrick (Best Book, Adult for Dark Heart, HarperCollins), Tim Jones (Transported, Random House), and publisher Lorain Day (HarperCollins). The discussion is on podcast.

Hagley Writer's School: Saturday 13 June

Hagley Writer's School was founded in Christchurch in 2008; Morrin Rout is the director and the founding tutors were Bernadette Hall and Fiona Farrell. Morrin asked me to speak with the 2009 students about my own journey to becoming a published writer — which I did, "warts and all"—but the students seemed to enjoy the narrative and had plenty of questions along the way. Like many in the NZ writing community I think it is a great step to have a South Island writing school and look forward to what emerging writers of such talent will being to NZ writing in future.

Marshland's Primary School: Tuesday 9 June

Marshland Primary School has a group of students who are already writing and I was invited along to talk to them about my own experience of being a writer and to answer their questions about Thornspell, which they had been looking at with their teacher. And because their teacher told me that the group had been working on "conflict" in writing, we also worked through some ways in which conflict could be revealed through the storytelling process. Afterwards the Marshland students, like the Strathallan pupils in Auckland, had a lot of relevant and thoughtful questions, so our hour and a half together passed really fast.

Sir Julius Vogel Award

ConScription: 29 May ? 1 June

Recently I attended ConScription, the 2009 national Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention in Auckland, where I ran a session on "Kid's/YA Lit's Hot: What Makes It Rock" and participated in three panels: Building Fantastic Worlds with Julie Czerneda, Future Directions in SciFi-Fantasy: Beyond Harry Potter with Julie Czerneda and Barbara Clendon, and Being A Writer with Julie, Nalini Singh, Russell Kirkpatrick and Tee Morris.

All the events were a lot of fun and there were also some great displays that I got to attend as part of the convention. My favourite was the exhibition of (largely) medieval weapons and their use by the Dawn Reavers. I was very impressed by both the array of authentic weapons and the knowledge and skill of the Reavers.

You can see some photos here and read my friend Joff's excellent review on the entire convention here

Strathallan College: 29 May

On Friday 29 May, while in Auckland for ConScription 2009, I visited Strathallan College at Karaka school and spoke with Year 6 and 7 pupils, as well as meeting with a group of older pupils interested in writing. I talked with this latter group about the process of writing, getting started, and getting published, and to the Year 6 and 7 students about writing Thornspell — which they had been working on in class — and how exciting it is to see my book "out there" in the world. All the students asked lots of smart of questions, which was great, and the feedback from Head of School Carolyn Shapcott was that the kids had a really good time. I'm glad because I know I did!

HelenThe class

CPIT: 23 May

On Saturday 23 May, I visited Frankie MacMillan's CPIT class in creative writing as a guest, speaking to the students about developing character within the context of writing Thornspell. Everyone in the class was either already writing or wanted to write so the discussion was very focused.