I’m a native of Newfoundland and now live in the British Columbia Fraser Valley with my husband David and our dog CoCo. The best thing about my coast-to-coast life, in this, Canada’s 150th anniversary year, is that I get to write stories set either on Canada’s Pacific coast (modern-day suspense) or the Canada’s Atlantic coast (historical suspense.) I am a member of both the Federation of BritishColumbia Writers and the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland &Labrador. I love to get up at 3:30 or 4:00 in the morning and go to my computer where I spend numerous hours crafting characters who tell me their stories.Among the writers who have influenced me are: Louisa May Alcott, Wayne Johnston, Anne Marie MacDonald, Kate Morgan, Jonathan Franzen, Barbara Kingsolver, Stephen Leacock, and Maeve Binchy.
Second on my list of the things I enjoy most in life is reading. Among the best books I have read lately are: Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, The Crimson Petal and The WHITE by Michel Faber, Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, and The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. To catch a glimpse of other authors who inspire me, click to see My Personal Literary Canon.
Among my other many interests are: nature, tai chi, line dancing, walking, dogs, Mozart, and all things Newfoundland and Labrador… not necessarily in that order.Oh, I also enjoy watching television. Not something that everyone admits to, I have discovered. In fact, it amazes me that the multi-billion dollar television industry can survive, supported only by our middle class income! :~)
From the Beginning…
I was born and raised in Placentia, Newfoundland, and am very proud of my Newfoundland heritage. I now live in British Columbia, but regularly watch NTV news and read the monthly Newfoundland Downhome Magazine.
My first love was books and I learned to read by following my busy mother around the house, pointing at a word and saying “What’s that word, Mommy?” As soon as she told me, I repeated the procedure. I was too young to go to school, but wanted to go so badly that, one day, I followed my older sister right into her grade one classroom. The teacher, Sister Mary Marilyn, was very kind—she even let me read to the class—but then she sent me home. After an interminable year of waiting, I was old enough to attend.
I loved school. To this day, I am very grateful for the excellent education provided by the Presentation Sisters and lay teachers of St. Edward’s Elementary and of Sacred Heart and Laval High Schools.
I attended three universities: Mount Allison (B. Music) in NB, where I met my wonderful husband, David; the University of Manitoba (Cert. Ed.) in Winnipeg, where I taught music in the Fort Garry School Division; and the University of British Columbia (M. Ed.) in Vancouver where I began my BC teaching career as a substitute teacher.
For many years, I taught grades four to seven at Capitol Hill Elementary School in Burnaby. My duties included: language arts (reading, writing, drama, public speaking), music (choir, recorder, orff, guitar, musical Production and direction, concerts, assemblies), as well as all other subjects in the intermediate curriculum.
And now, I am channelling my love of books and the many skills I acquired as an educator into my second career: writing!