I came to Canada after graduating from London University, with a History (Hons) degree and a Post-graduate Certificate in Education. For seven years I lived in Sackville, New Brunswick, where three of my children were born. My life and surroundings there were so different from those I had known in London as a student, that it was only after I had left the Maritimes that I realized what a deep, abiding love that region had evoked in me. It is still the place that I regard as my Canadian “home”.
Once my children were in school, I began teaching full-time. I’ve taught people of all ages from 10 year olds to adults in Canada, Britain and Thailand. For many years I taught for the Toronto (District ) School Board and then became an administrator, serving as Vice-Principal in several high schools. While teaching I developed a variety of teaching materials and wrote with colleague, Frances Parkin, text books for ESL students and a book for teachers, ESL is Everybody’s Business. I also wrote poetry and the occasional short story, as well as two mystery novels with a friend.
In 1998, I, my husband, dog and cat all moved to Northumberland County. For a number of years I volunteered for my local Library Board, Recreation Committee and Heritage Committee. During that time, I and a cousin wrote a family history for private distribution and I painted with two art clubs, but also wrote more seriously. Two writing groups kept me interested, productive and supported in my forays into short stories and poetry, which have been published in anthologies, on-line journals and newspapers. Then I became intrigued by a story about one of the earliest families of settlers in this area. Slowly my novel, Alone: A Winter in the Woods began to grow and develop.
This book was my chief focus for a long time, but I also sat on the Board of the Spirit of the Hills Arts Association. and chair the Spirit of the Hills Writers’ Group. The group initiated a radio series on the community station Northumberland 89.7 FM, in which I and co-host Gwynn Scheltema interview writers of all kinds: novelists, memoirists, editors, poets and publishers from our region and invite them to read from their work. Please visit our website http://www.wordonthehills.com where all our programmes from Word on the Hills are archived and available at any time and from anywhere.
Now that Alone: A Winter in the Woods has been published by Hidden Brook Press, with illustrations by Governor-General’s award winning illustrator, Jirina Marton, I am exploring possibilities for a new novel and writing more poetry with the hope of putting together a collection in the near future.