I am a writer. My literary credits include seven published books, numerous articles in magazines and local newspapers, a few unpublished poems and the occasional ribald rhyme, as well as the editing of two published books.
I have also milked cows, driven tractor, decollated chickens, trapped muskrats, helped in a small horse-logging operation and a lumber mill, split shakes, and fished for halibut and the mighty salmon off the Queen Charlotte Islands. I’ve worked as a bookkeeper, medical records technician and office manager, and operated a bed-and-breakfast featuring home-baked muffins, cornbread and biscuits. On the side, I’ve helped to organize writing festivals, book launches, parent conferences and a breakfast-for-kids program, recorded and transcribed oral histories and presented a workshop on research techniques.
Some of my experiences were occasioned by the need to survive, others by a desire to satisfy an insatiable curiosity about the many worlds that exist alongside my own.
My quest for knowledge (and the discovery of secrets) received a boost when I was eight years old and read my first full-length book, The Bobbsey Twins at Cedar Camp, by Laura Lee Hope. I never forgot the twins or their adventures, or the magic of being transported by words into someone else’s reality.
The writing of books has proved even more magical. My fact finding has taken me from high lead logging to farming salmon to harvesting cascara bark on the Sunshine Coast and led me vicariously from heart-stopping storms on the Queen Charlotte Straits to the terror and tragedy of war and revolution in Eastern Europe. I strive constantly to be diligent and open-minded in my research, which often means taking detours down unexpected paths that appear along the way, and sometimes altering a long-held belief. Such was the case when my romantic notion of Tsar Nicholas and Tsarina Alexandra was displaced by the knowledge that their mistakes, prejudices and ignorance ultimately caused the tragic deaths of millions of their subjects.
I love a good, fast-paced story that makes me laugh and cry and reflect and in which the characters are individuals that I come to know as real people. These are the stories I create--real facts, real people, real life—all bundled up in novels that won’t let you rest until you’ve reached the end.
Thanks for stopping in.