I was born a prairie girl during World War II, the very war that removed our family from Saskatchewan, carried us two provinces away and plunked us in the middle of dense forests, hills and lakes. We arrived by train in Fort William, Ontario, Canada on the western shore of the largest of the great lakes, Lake Superior on a snowy long weekend in May, 1941. I grew up loving the outdoors and learned to swim and fish at a young age. I rode my bike everywhere and always enjoyed a vivid imagination. The forties and fifties were in that wonderful era of childhood freedom. Freedom to play, explore, be a free spirit - as long as I was home in time to help with supper.
I was destined to be a writer. It just took a few decades of working with numbers before I finally reached my destiny - working with words. My golden years are truly golden. I'm getting to do what I love to do most. Write. Write to my heart's content. With a great deal of reading thrown into the mix. My husband and I live in the Ottawa area now where our three adult children, a few grandchildren and one great-grandchild reside. Life is good.
My writing roots, in all fairness, go back to the hours I spent at the Mary J.L. Black Library on the corner of Brock and Brown Streets in the area of Fort William known as Westfort. I loved that place. The one and only time I ever played hooky from school was because I felt I deserved to spend my birthday at the library reading. My parents didn't agree however and I was suitably punished.
My dad loved reading western novels and my mother loved poetry. Her favourites were the poems of Henry Wordsworth Longfellow. We always seemed to have good books around the house. And of course there was always the Mary J.L. Black. By the time I was ten, I had discovered Dickens and would lose myself in all those stories set in England.
When I reached high school, it was decided I would take the commercial route rather than matriculation. I missed out on so much English literature while learning shorthand, bookkeeping and rapid calculations. All those things helped me earn a living, then supplement the family income while my husband and I raised three children.
When I was in my forties I decided to pursue business administration at college. It wasn't long before I realized I loved the English part of the course more than the business. I also got much higher marks for my compositions than for my bookkeeping assignments. I started my first novel while in my late fifties after we semi-retired and moved to Blind River, Ontario. It was during this time that I enrolled in a comprehensive writing course with the Canadian Writing School. My tutor lived in British Columbia and helped me work my way through my first bite by a major New York Publishing House. She was also there for me when I later received the first of many rejection letters. I went on to write two more novels and attended numerous week longwriting/publishing/editing programmes, and weekend workshops. I decided to take the self-publishing plunge and with the help and guidance of my faithful editor Sherrill Wark, owner of Crowe Creations, I have now successfully published five novels and am currently working on numbers six and seven.
Three of my published novels are romantic suspense and two are probably best suited to the contemporary romance genre. I promote my books as being "Canadian stories in Canadian settings by a Canadian Author."
As for style, I know I give my editor ulcers sometimes and I hear my tutor's voice in my ear everytime I change POV (point of view). However, I've noticed that a lot of the more recent authors who have books on the best sellers lists don't play by the rules either ... and I like it. Sometimes I want to know what the other person is thinking. It's fun, when it doesn't spoil the plot, being a part of the tension that's building and knowing what's going on in the other person's mind.
In most of my novels, the characters are fifty-five plus, or they are going to reach it before the story is over. People over fifty-five have had time to build character. To have a history. They've seen more and experienced more, yet still have time to do a whole lot of living. They make for more interesting characters. And a lot of my readers seem to agree. They keep asking for more.
I like to add some humour to my stories, even the suspense novels. I think it keeps my characters human. In most books, I also have a sense of family. Children often play a role in my books. Because my characters are older, they either have children or grandchildren and sometimes those kids are more intuitive than some of the adults in the stories.
The last paragraph of the cover blurb on my first novel, Fire in the Foothills, probably describes my writing style in all of my books best
"A colorful thread of humor, honesty, and raw emotion weaves through this tale fraught with suspicion, murder and hope."