Welcome to the Dragon's Pen, the blog of an aspiring kiwi author ... chatting about reading, writing, querying and publishing

Who am I?

I'm Ruth Peoples, writer and aspiring author, I write under the names Libby Stedman (childrens), Penelope Gryffin (YA fantasy) and Elizabeth Leyland (historical).

You can contact me at:  

I'm a writer of fiction. My favourite genres are speculative fiction - especially fantasy, steampunk and clockpunk - and historical romance. 

I dabble in short stories, but the novel is where my heart lies.

I love medieval history. Mythology and legends  excite my imagination like nothing else, especially the ancient tales of Welsh, Germanic and Greek origin. Fairy tales tickle my creativity too. When writing fantasy I often find I've unconsciously borrowed and melded ancient themes and symbolism into my own work. As they say, there is nothing new under the sun, just the same things reborn.

My whole life I have "dabbled" in writing. When I was little I traced pictures from books and made up my own stories to go with them, then progressed to writing stories for my younger siblings. When I was fifteen my parents gave me an electric typewriter for my birthday and I began to write my first book. It was never completed, but it marked the beginning of my love affair with writing novels.

I adore words and the magic they possess when wielded by a skilled writer. There's no greater thrill than having the power to touch the heart of your reader and envelope them in a world of your own creation. This is what I aspire to. This is why I write.

Over the last few years I've had a number of short non-fiction articles published in Christian magazines and newspapers.

In 2007 I got serious about writing fiction.

In 2008-9 I wrote a Christian/Chicklit novella and a historical novel (MG). Both are maturing on a flash-drive.

In 2009 I had a short story published in an anthology of inspirational writing, titled FUEL FOR THE SOUL.

In 2009 and again in 2010 a friend and I collaborated on plays for a group of amateur actors. These were staged in August '09 and '10 respectively.

In August 2010 I won the Doreen Paul Trophy for Children's Writing. The winning story, Reluctant Sacrifice, is a YA fantasy, an original dark fairytale.

At present (2011) I'm in the process of re-working a YA fantasy novel, TREMORGAN'S GIFT, and writing a YA steampunk novel, MERCY ME.

My children's folktale THE MAID AND THE FIERCE DRAGONS (illustrated edition) is due to be e-published later this year. An audio book of the story will also be produced.

I'm President and co-founder of The Mad Scribbler's Tea Party (a critique group) and Secretary of the Dunedin Writer's Workshop.

I live in Dunedin, New Zealand, with my hubby and our four children.