A little bit about me:
When I was a young reader dreaming of becoming an author myself, I remember
wishing to know more about the authors of the books I was devouring at the time.
Today, we have the internet, and I have my own author website. So I want to share a bit about who I am and tell you about some of my life experiences. I hope it will also motivate aspiring writers not to give up on their dreams. As you will see below, sometimes the path to becoming an author can be a surprisingly long and meandering one.
What did I study?
I took piano lessons from the age of five to the age of twenty and sweated through more than ten piano exams, not to mention countless festivals, recitals and auditions. Performance wasn’t my thing. I still get nervous every year at piano festival/exam time, even though it has been more than 30 years since I’ve taken a piano exam or competed in a piano festival. I became a piano teacher at age 16 and had a roster of 35 students before heading off to Carleton University’s School of Journalism at age 20. I still teach piano. With a heart too soft for journalism and a love of literature, I left journalism after second year to study English literature and graduated from Carleton in 1987 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. I continued studying English language and literature at the University of Western Ontario in 1988, where I graduated with a diploma in Honours Standing. After working that summer as a university student at Statistics Canada, I landed a full-time job in their Communications Division in 1989. I continued my literary studies part time and graduated from Western in 1993 with a Master of Arts degree in Canadian Literature.
How did I practice writing?
I’ve been filling notebooks with creative writing since I was seven years old, when I first decided to become a fiction writer. I was the editor of my high school newspaper. I’ve belonged to three different writing groups and have taken many writing workshops. In my 27 years working in communications (that’s where you help people in different organizations communicate effectively) I’ve written press releases, feature articles, newsletters, reports, brochures, speeches, TV scripts and even a video documentary. My favourite communications job was telling the story of Canada to Canadians as project manager for Statistics Canada’s books Canada Year Book and Canada: A Portrait.
What have I published?
Before Dog-Eared Books published Crash Course, the University of Western Ontario published my thesis on Canadian poet Phyllis Webb. The Bermudian Magazine published my long poem "Westminster Abbey,"the Ottawa Citizen and the Owen Sound Sun Times published my feature articles, as did several community newspapers, and the Old Ottawa East Newspaper The Mainstreeter also published my column “Artists’ Corner” in which I wrote about local artists and their work.
What else do I like to do?
Like most writers, I love to read. As a kid, I remember staying up way past my bedtime to finish reading “just
one more chapter!” My daughter and I have been members of a mother and daughter book club for several years.
Another way I like to tell stories is by scrapbooking. I love working with photographs and beautiful paper and writing by hand to help my family and friends remember their life experiences.
From age 11-18, I spent a lot of time with horses. I owned and cared for two of my own. One of my first paid jobs was leading trail rides on a farm in King City, Ontario.
I have been a runner since elementary school, competing in track, cross country and road races for decades. Nowadays, I tend to do more running than racing, but I still love it and run several times a week with a good friend. For many years, I was also an Ironman triathlete and marathoner.
I am married to a triathlete/lifesaving competitor and have two teenaged kids who are also competitive athletes. We enjoy doing outdoor activities together, and, happily, Ottawa is a great city for playing outside year round.