I am a writer and mother of four amazing kids who are all taller than me and often more mature. I was born and raised in Vancouver, did my undergrad in English literature at UBC – with a year abroad at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
I met my husband while working one summer at a law firm – where I was supposed to be falling in love with the law. Instead I fell in love with a lawyer. We have shared an exciting life so far – sailed our boat from Vancouver to Hawaii and back, traveled around Europe and the southern U.S., spent a year in France, tried our hand at farming. For ten years we lived in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. Finally, we drove west and have settled in the Okanagan where we hope to stay put, at least for a few years.
My writing career began with an epiphany in the Graduate Reading Room at UBC, where I was deconstructing a play by Ibsen. In a flash of insight it occurred to me that I wanted to learn to write like him rather than pick him apart. That was my first and last semester in comparative literature. I quit and found a job as a researcher and editor for a woman writing a book all about women and power. And I began to write.
During a seminar at the Surrey International Writers’ Conference, one of the presenters claimed that every writer must write “a million words of crap” before they get to the good stuff. Over the almost-twenty years of writing I have done, I believe I’ve filled my quota. I’ve amassed enough rejections to wallpaper a decent-sized living room, but I’ve also had lots of success. My career began in newspapers and magazines and, once I had children, led to a monthly column for B.C. Parent Newsmagazine.
I published some short fiction and began writing a book review column in the Sherbrooke Record newspaper. Creative non-fiction led to a National Magazine Award, and with the help of two Canada Council grants I have written two fantasy novels (see Fantasy Fiction). The first one, The Beggar King, is being published by Thistledown Press and will be on the shelves in the spring of 2013.
One day a stranger asked what I did for a living. I told him I was a writer. “Do you write poetry?” he asked. I gasped in horror. “I could never write poetry,” I said. I was destined to eat my words (as I often do) and become a poet. A chapbook of my work, published by Leaf Press, is coming out shortly. And so I am a poet, a writer of fiction and non-fiction, freelance editor, leader of creative writing workshops, bookstore haunter, seeker of stories and beauty and spirit and strange connections and ways to make people laugh and cry.
As of the summer of 2011, I have begun studying for my Master’s degree in creative writing at UBC, in the optional-residency program.