Māori author harnesses power of the internet

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

23-year-old Parehuia Shepherd, from Flaxmere, is a fantasy author for young adults who is making a name for herself in the literary world after her first novel Where Creatures Hide was named as must-read for 2018.

The first editions of Where Creatures Hide sold out on Amazon, which was quickly followed up by the sequel, Where Puppets Hide, about a girl who is sold to the circus.

"That's what I wanted to write about.  I wanted to write about someone that is constantly being wound up to perform but all she wants to do is break free so that's what the story is about," says Shepherd.

She was turned down by publishers, so started her own social media following and published the books herself.

"There is a huge Bookstagram community out there, especially on Instagram, which is where my main fan base is and so with me tapping into that it's just opened up so many doors for me."

She's currently working on her third book with the aim to finish a complete series of five.