If you were to speak to my husband or my sons, they would tell you that I write about the things that worry me: the gist of potential nightmares. And they’re right. However, they might leave out the fact that I seldom lose sleep. I tussle with issues during the day—teasing them apart, thread by thread—until I can weave them into stories. My readers say that I engage, entertain, and challenge them. Autumn’s Grace, my first novel, which addresses palliative care, is available in print and electronic formats at Chapters-Indigo, Amazon, All Lit Up, and through my publisher, Inanna Publications.
My second novel, The Memory Boxes, wrestles with my worries about ageing and health care. I’ve created a story told through conversations among four seventy-something women who are fit, healthy and irreverent as they tackle a seemingly impossible project. These ladies went AWOL for two years after my head collided with a cement overhang in December 2014. They returned, noisy and opinionated, in January 2017, and then went AWOL for another few months after a second concussion. (Yes. You may insert expletives here!) This manuscript has spent time with a professional editor and is about to be released to prospective publishers and agents.
My third novel is also about something that worries me—literacy. I have created a bright, eight-year-old boy, Joey, whom I adore. He came to me at a workshop (2018) with Tawni Waters in San Miguel, then returned for a five-day seminar conducted by Jennifer Clement (2019). Revisions to the second novel meant that Joey played at the edges of my brain for a year. Last winter, I put him front and centre as I began to explore the problem of literacy. Joey made his third appearance in San Miguel (2020), this time for an intense five-day master class led by Susan Sutliff Brown. Her lessons have given me a sharper focus and a more finely tuned ear. Joey’s story will benefit.
The San Miguel Writers’ Conference is a magical space. I’m grateful to have met several talented writers there with whom I still correspond. And San Miguel has taught me that if there is magic to be made, it’s up to me.
(Updated January 29, 2021)