I first wrote thank you letters to my grandmother as a preschooler, on a giant Underwood typewriter. I later entertained my cousins with pages-long handwritten letters, packing the envelopes so tightly that they had to be taped shut. I never thought of myself as a writer though, having had any inclination in this area stamped out of me by a rigid school structure. For a time, my only conncection to the writing world, other than letters, was the X marks the spot poems I wrote to my children at Easter, for their chocolate egg hunts.It wasn't until I did a writing exercise from one of John Bradshaw's books that I realized that I really was a writer, after all. I read the classics as a teenager, such as those by Tolstoi and Camus, which I filched out of a box of books stored in the basement by my older sister. Later I studied Hemingway's style. I took a writing course in the mid 1990's from the Ottawa Writing School, Quality of Course, and it was there that I gained the confidence to write my first novel, a children's book. During this time I also bicycled with my family, going on week-long bicylce tours, carrying our gear with us and camping along the way. That may have been the influence that led me to placing the heroine of Teacher on the Run on a bicycle. I took a Japanese flower arranging course, in French, while living in Montreal as a newly wed, and that fanned my interest in the ways of the east. I belonged to a writer's group for four years and the members really helped me to keep on writing. I have been a teacher for seventeen years and like to instill my passion for writing in the children. My most challenging and rewarding teaching assignment was in 2005, when I taught English to newly arrived Afghani students, who were so appreciative of any help at all, and cooperative, and courteous. I also teach Japanese students, who are the most motivated of any I have ever taught.
My biggest passion, though, outside of my family, is writing. Yes, a writer has only one chance to make her mark in the world, only one lifetime in which to accomplish this. A writer is constantly aware of the hands of time.
Altruism is a unifying theme that runs through my novels. In Teacher on the Run, Whitney offers herself up, to kidnappers, in lieu of her student, Rinji. In Rain, Emily raises her cousin Maggie's adopted twin daughters. In Do Not Call, Aphrodite forgives and helps the man who has scammed her out of her savings. In The Painter, a man buys his lover's paintings, anonymously, so that she will not die, unknown. In The Firefighter, a woman saves a boy from a burning building, then must come to terms with where obligation ends, and interference begins.
I am a member of the Headwaters Writers Guild, and find much inspiration, while writing with the group, at a local coffee shoppe.