P. M. Freestone writes young adult fiction. Her debut duology began in 2019 with Shadowscent: The Darkest Bloom and concluded in 2020 with Shadowscent: Crown of Smoke. She is now working on a new series.


P. M. Freestone writes young adult fantasy and speculative fiction. In 2019, her debut novel Shadowscent: The Darkest Bloom was published in English by Scholastic, has so far been acquired in seven other languages, and was a finalist in the 2020 Aurealis Awards. Freestone’s short stories for adults and young people have appeared in various print and online venues. She is a Clarion Writers’ Workshop graduate, a Scottish Book Trust New Writer’s Award winner, and holds degrees in archaeology, history, sociology and global health. Originally hailing from Australia, she now calls Scotland home.


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 published by Scholastic in the UK and US in 2019, with the sequel Shadowscent: Crown of Smoke following in 2020.

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 MG and YA 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 documenting long-abandoned villages beneath the stony gaze of Easter Island’s moai, wielding a machete through the Belizean rainforest to help map lost cities, 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 and by her work as a writing consultant for universities around the world, where she 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. She’s only ever met one cheese she didn’t like.

Image credit: Josephine Teng