The year was 2001: a young man had died, a hero had barely escaped with his life, and suddenly there were dark forces on the rise. 

So ended Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - and for the first time in my eleven years, I found myself with an absolute need to know what came next. But Order of the Phoenix had no official release date at that point, and I had no access to the Internet to spend hours upon hours searching for fan theories and reading fan fiction (as I would do in later years). 

As a result, I took up pen and paper and continued the story myself. 

I didn't know that fan fiction existed. I never intended for anybody to read the stories that I was making up then (and nobody ever did). All that mattered was that I was satisfied for the time being. The story was going on, even if it wasn't the real one. 

I didn't know it then, but this was the beginning of a long journey for me. 
Renée Shantel was born and (mostly) raised in Sydney, Australia, where she still lives today with her mother, brothers, and numerous pets. She started writing at the age of eleven, for no better reason than she was tired of waiting for the release of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and has entertained dreams of being published ever since.