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I started writing in Grade 2 when my favorite teacher, Mrs. Phyllis Matheson, showed up with a box filled with plot ideas. I was hooked. I completed my first novel, a YA murder mystery, the summer after high school graduation, but it wasn’t until I skipped class while attending Business College and hid out in the local bookstore that I stumbled upon romance. Historical romance to be precise. I devoured my first romance novel (Lisa Gregory’s Bitterleaf) and realized a genre existed that encompassed my love of history, human nature and relationships.
Shortly thereafter, I entered a 600 page paperweight in a contest put on by one of the big publishers. I was shocked and dismayed when I didn’t win (safe to say low self-esteem has never been an issue). Despite the setback, I kept writing whenever I had the chance, but with no idea what to do once I finished something, I didn’t make much progress. A sudden change in employment made me realize time was a-wasting! I made the decision to join RWA and my local chapter, Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada. After that, it was full steam ahead with some wonderful twists and turns along the way, including being one of the featured writers in a documentary about the romance writing industry titled: Who’s Afraid of Happy Endings.
A life-long Nova Scotian, I live near the Atlantic Ocean with my awesome husband (who is likely wondering what he got himself into by marrying a writer), a clownish golden retriever with a stubborn streak a mile wide, and my stepson.
I love writing stories about relationships and creating a sense of community around the hero and heroine filled with secondary characters who take on a life of their own. Themes of redemption can often be found in my stories. I love taking damaged characters and giving them a second chance.
When I’m not writing, I like to hang out with my close knit (read: crazy) family, the crew of writing pals who think my weirdness is completely normal, and a few longtime friends who haven’t been able to shake me yet. I also try to combat the ‘butt in chair’ syndrome with running, biking, strength training and trolling the local coffee shops. Okay, that last one may not help the ‘butt in chair’ issue, but it certainly makes me easier to live with.
Before realizing I wanted to be a writer when I grew up, my vocation of choice was to be a farmer.
I have an irrational fear of sharks. I’m convinced I could outswim Michael Phelps if I thought there was a shark in the pool.
I have always regretted not having a proper nickname. The one my brother called me doesn’t count. For the record, I still refer to him as Hamster Brain.
As a kid, I read the book Lad: A Dog by Albert Payson Terhune over a hundred times, circulating between the two copies at the local library.
I can’t sing. Not even a little. I can barely hum. If you hear what sounds like out-of-tune caterwauling and your ears start to bleed, that’s probably me. My apologies.
I’m a rabid list-maker. I’ll even make lists about the lists I’m going to make.
My writing is fuelled by skinny vanilla lattes.
My mother is convinced I can’t write a book without killing off at least one character. So far, her theory has proven correct.