Karen Simpson Nikakis

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Karen Simpson Nikakis
BornMansfield, Victoria, Australia
OccupationNovelist, lecturer in writing

Karen Simpson Nikakis is an Australian fantasy author, writer and poet who lives at Melton,[1] whose first fantasy novel The Whisper of Leaves (2007), has been described as an "impressive debut",[2] with the National Library of Australia describing her first book as heralding "the arrival of an exciting new talent on the Australian fantasy landscape".[3]

Early life[edit]

Nikakis was raised in the central Victorian town of Mansfield, surrounded by the mountains of the Victorian Alps. Her interest in fantasy occurred at age 19, when she read Tolkien's fantasy epic Lord of the Rings. She has since written a number of published academic essays on myth and fantasy writing.

She has worked as a secondary teacher, TAFE teacher and lecturer in business communications at Deakin University. She completed a Master in Education in young adult literature with her thesis being on The Purpose of Dragons in Selected Children’s Literature in the Twentieth Century and went on to complete a Ph.D in 1997 in fantasy fiction from Victoria University with her thesis on The Use of Narrative in Order to Break the Masculine Domination of the Hero Quest.[4][5]


During the 1980s she started writing picture story books, which she also illustrated.

Her first fantasy novel was published by Allen & Unwin in 2007 as The Whisper of Leaves, the first book in a fantasy series: the Kira Chronicles. A second book The Song of the Silvercades was released in July 2008.[1][6]

In 2008 she was appointed the foundation head of the bachelor's degree in Writing and Publishing for Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE.[1][7]



  • The Whisper of Leaves: Book 1 of the Kira Chronicles (2007) Allen and Unwin
  • The Song of the Silvercades: Book 2 of the Kira Chronicles (2008) Allen and Unwin
  • The Cry of the Marwing: Book 3 of the Kira Chronicles (July 2009) Allen and Unwin

Short Stories[edit]

  • The gift in Aurealis #40, Chimaera Publications, Australia, 2008
  • Redemption in Moondance – E-zine: USA[8]
  • Lovers in Smokelong Quarterly – E-zine: USA[9]
  • Song of the frog prince in Zahir #4: USA


  1. ^ a b c Amy Walker, Melton author spurs the imagination Archived 6 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, 25 August 2008 Accessed 15 November 2008
  2. ^ Donna Marre Hanson, THE WHISPER OF LEAVES Archived 21 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine, The Specusphere webzine, 7 December 2007. Accessed 14 November 2008
  3. ^ National Library of Australia, The Whisper of Leaves - K.S. Nikakis, catalogue entry summary. Accessed 14 November 2008
  4. ^ Allen and Unwin Author Profile Archived 11 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Allen & Unwin website, Accessed 14 November 2008
  5. ^ Karen Nikakis, K.S. Nikakis blog. Accessed 14 November 2008
  6. ^ Allen & Unwin, The Kira Chronicles Archived 29 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Publisher Promotional website. Accessed 14 November 2008
  7. ^ NMIT Meet the staff - Dr Karen Simpson Nikakis[permanent dead link], NMIT website, Accessed 14 November 2008
  8. ^ Karen Nikakis, Redemption, Moondance webzine, 2004. Accessed 14 November 2008
  9. ^ Karen Nikakis, Lovers Archived 5 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Smokelong Quarterly, Issue 5, August 2004. Accessed 14 November 2008

External links[edit]