I began work on my first novel, The World on Either Side, in 2008—when it was called An Elephant in the Restaurant and won the Random House Student Award for fiction. I gave up on it for a few years, but went back, because I loved Valentine, my sixteen-year-old heroine. I also loved the setting—Thailand. Today, the novel barely resembles the one I started with—which is a really good thing.
Writing a book (finally) that people want to read is more meaningful than I can adequately express. I discovered public libraries in grade two and since then, reading has been one of the great loves of my life. My brother and sister can attest to that and found me a fairly boring sibling, always with my nose in a book. My children have made the same observation.
When I’m not reading, writing, editing or teaching, I try very hard to get out of my head. To that end, I went skydiving with my son to celebrate his 21st birthday: an experience that seemed out of body, as well.
I’ve lived in Calgary and Toronto (or the GTA), where I live now with my husband, our youngest son, a calico cat and a Siberian retriever. My two older kids have left home but still haven’t cleaned out their bedrooms. I’ve been an actress, a waitress, a belly dancer, and an English/Drama teacher. Currently, I am the Executive Editor at The Rights Factory, a Toronto literary agency.
I have a BA, BEd and an MA from the University of Toronto, where I am an instructor in the School of Continuing Studies Creative Writing Program. I recently completed a certificate in Creative Writing from Humber College and believe passionately in life-long education.