Rachael King was born in New Zealand to a bookish family – her father Michael King (who died in 2004) was one of New Zealand’s most prominent authors, and her mother Ros Henry is a publisher.
After leaving school she embarked on a university education but was distracted along the way playing bass guitar in several rock bands and touring the country, and by a year spent travelling through Europe at the tender age of 21.
After finally gaining her Bachelor of Arts from Auckland University in 1994, she began working in radio, hosting an arts program on 95bFM and selling advertising, a career she continued through magazines, and which funded her growing passion for writing fiction.
Rachael completed a Masters in Creative Writing from the acclaimed International Institute of Modern Letters at Wellington’s Victoria University in 2001, after which she began work on The Sound of Butterflies, which was published worldwide and translated into eight foreign languages. In 2007 it won the Montana New Zealand Book Award for Best First Novel.
In 2008 Rachael was the Ursula Bethell Writer in Residence at Canterbury University in Christchurch, New Zealand, where she lives with her husband and two sons. Magpie Hall was published in New Zealand in November 2009, and Red Rocks, her first novel for children, in 2012. It won the Esther Glen medal for junior fiction, New Zealand’s longest-running literary award, and was short-listed for the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards.
Rachael is working on a new novel and is currently Literary Director of the WORD Christchurch Writers & Readers Festival.