About

IN A NUTSHELL

P. M. Freestone writes young adult fiction. Her debut fantasy novel, Shadowscent: The Darkest Bloom will be published by Scholastic in 2019.

IN BRIEF

P. M. Freestone writes young adult fiction. Her debut novel, Shadowscent: The Darkest Bloom will be published by Scholastic in 2019 and the sequel in 2020. She is a Clarion Writers’ Workshop (University of California) graduate, a Scottish Book Trust New Writer’s Award winner, and was selected for SCBWI’s 2018 Undiscovered Voices anthology. She holds degrees in archaeology, religious history and sociology, and a PhD in infectious diseases and international development. Originally hailing from Australia, she now calls Scotland home.

IN DETAIL

P. M. Freestone spent her formative years in Australia, then worked or studied on every continent except Antarctica (there’s still time). Her debut novel, Shadowscent: The Darkest Bloom is a YA secondary-world fantasy to be published by Scholastic in the UK in February 2019, and in the US later that year. It is the first in a planned duology.

A graduate of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop (University of California), Freestone’s short stories of imagined pasts and potential futures have appeared in various print and online venues including the anthologies Things a Map Won’t Show You and Where the Shoreline Used to Be (Penguin). In 2016, she was awarded a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award, and in 2018 she was one of the SCBWI’s Undiscovered Voices.

Neither of Freestone’s parents finished high school, but they instilled a love of libraries during her early years. Unabashedly nerdy ever since, she’s collected a motley crew of university degrees, culminating in a PhD in infectious diseases and international development. Before she became a doctor of something philosophical, she was an archaeologist. This led to excavating long-abandoned villages beneath the stony gaze of Easter Island’s moai, wielding a machete through the Belizean rainforest to map lost Maya temples, and donning a lab coat in the UK to restore ancient Roman armor and treasures from Celtic burial hoards.

Though she’s set aside her trowel and theodolite, she remains intrigued with all things historical and speculative. These days, that curiosity is sated by travel. Recent highlights include the Silk Road cities of Uzbekistan, the soaring skyline of Kuala Lumpur, and the snows of Kilimanjaro. She’s also a writing consultant for universities around the world, so gets to hear about all sorts of amazing research: from cutting-edge genetics to little known Renaissance poets. The rest of the time she resides in Edinburgh, Scotland, with her Irish partner, a rescued Romanian street dog who identifies as direwolf-corgi, and a menagerie of NASA-approved houseplants.

Image credit: Josephine Teng