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About Zena Ryder

I was born in Britain and, after ten years in the US, I now live with my family in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. (The photo above is over a decade old and both kids are now significantly taller than me 😭 )


With my freelance writer slippers on, I write mostly about construction for magazines, websites, and businesses. I also have a PhD in philosophy.  (What? You think construction and philosophy is a weird combination?)


By 2021, although I had lots of experience writing non-fiction, I hadn’t written fiction since I was a kid. But, when it comes to writing fiction, I decided not to be stymied by utter ignorance and a complete lack of skills. (Why let mediocre white men have all the fun, right?) So I decided to write a complete first draft of a novel, NaNoWriMo-style.


I managed to 'win' at my unofficial NaNoWriMo, and then took a break from my draft for six weeks before re-reading it. Unsurprisingly, it needed a lot of work, but I decided to revise it with the goal of (eventually!) publishing it with a traditional publisher.


That didn’t work out. During revisions, I decided it was fatally flawed. (An historical fiction literary agent agreed.) So I started on a second attempt.


Over a year later, I finished the first draft. I’m now in the process of revising it (and revising it and revising it), before querying literary agents.


I’m a member of the Federation of BC Writers (FBCW), the Historical Novel Society, and NetGalley. You can connect with me on Instagram. I run a local group for writers, Central Okanagan Writers. (Yes, we have the acronym COW — because I like cows.) I also host an online group for novelists through the FBCW.


Other than writing, I like reading, running, watching hockey with my husband, and singing when nobody can hear me. 

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