About me

(Photo by Adam Rotter, www.adamrotter.pl )

My name is Agnieszka Hałas (pronounced ag-NYESH-kah HAH-whass) and I was born on December 31, 1980, which means that I'm the same age as Harry Potter and I share my birthday with Voldemort!

I have a rather eclectic CV: I've studied biotechnology in Poland, graduated with a master's degree, spent four months on an internship in Moscow, Idaho, lived for four years as an expat in Heidelberg, working at the German Cancer Research Center, and ultimately defended my Ph.D. thesis in biological sciences (written in English) in 2010 at the Technical University in Kaiserslautern. After reaching the difficult decision that I don't want to pursue a scientific career any longer, I returned to Poland, married my longtime fiancé and went through a 180-degree career change. For the past seven years, I've been working as a freelance translator, translating all sorts of stuff ranging from medical results and scientific articles to literary works (I've had the pleasure to translate novels by Michael Cobley, James Dashner, Patrick Ness and Neal Shusterman into Polish, among other things). 

Most importantly of all (since that's actually the reason why this blog exists in the first place), I've been writing and publishing speculative fiction in Polish since my late teens. Over the years, my accumulated output has grown to just over 500k words of published work. While I'm by no means a well-known author in Poland (five of my six books were published by tiny indie presses, and the Polish market for sf & fantasy is a relatively small niche in itself), some people do read my work and like it (and even praise it on Goodreads).

In case you're wondering where I learned English: as a child, I spent a total of two years in the U.S., and in that comparatively short time I attended four different American schools (Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School and Thomas Paine Elementary School in Urbana-Champaign, IL, and St. Joseph Elementary School and Clarke Middle School in Athens, GA). I have fond and funny memories from all of them.

I love cats, music, and hiking in the mountains. I'm a big fan of symphonic metal and power metal. I hardly ever drink alcohol, but I fuel my writing with lots of green tea, preferably with ginger in it.

Oh, and if you still can't pronounce my first name, don't worry - it's just the Polish version of "Agnes"!

My more or less official bio:

Agnieszka Hałas is a Polish speculative fiction author who specializes in dark prose combining gritty imagery, magic and mythological topoi. She is best known for her fantasy trilogy Teatr węży (Dwie karty, 2011; Pośród cieni, 2013; W mocy wichru, 2013; all three to be reprinted in 2017) and the standalone novel Olga i osty (2016). Over the years, she has also published more than 20 short stories and novelettes in magazines and anthologies, as well as two story collections in book form.

She has a Ph.D. in biological sciences from the Technical University of Kaiserslautern, Germany, and works as a translator.

Nomination to the Śląkfa Prize (as Author of the Year), 2013

Text samples in English available on request: halas.agn[et]gmail.com

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