Where do you live?
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Tell us a little about yourself (your education, family life, etc.)
Writing a book had never really crossed my mind until recently. Growing up, my passion has always been primarily in music, but I tend to dabble here and there, wanting to explore as many ways to artistically express myself as possible. I’ve always been very practical and I studied Management and Information Systems in university, which led to a career in IT support, so all the “artsy” stuff is what keeps me going on the side.
I’ve lived in the Ottawa area almost my entire life. Outside of being a mom and my career, I enjoy singing and dancing (both which I studied for many years), I’m a musician in a concert band, and I perform regularly in local musical theatre productions. In fact, my illustrator (Darren Bird) and I met while performing in a small ensemble for a local theatre group. Just a few months later, we appeared in a production of “White Christmas” in which he played Phil Davis, and I was Rita, the showgirl. It was during this production that I first saw some of Darren’s illustrations, and that’s when I seriously considered that maybe I might be able to, one day, see my book in print.
What is your genre?
When and why did you begin writing? (What inspired you to write your first book?)
I’ve actually been writing almost all my life, but I didn’t really appreciate the power of the written word until I was in middle school. It was at that time that I began to enjoy reading, and I started keeping a diary. In high school, I explored journalism – and I almost pursued journalism in university – and then I ventured into poetry, “fan fiction”, and script writing.
THE LITTLEST KNIGHT actually came about because I really wanted to write something for my son. I used to write a lot of poetry, but for some reason, inspiration in that genre hasn’t come so easily to me in recent years, so the next option was to try and come up with a children’s story. My husband and I enjoy our annual trips to the Sterling Renaissance Festival, so that gave me the setting for the story. Then, the characters started to form as I observed the differences in personalities and the relationships between Cole and his pre-school friends.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The most difficult part of writing anything for me is coming up with the initial idea. Once I have that starting point, I can build upon it, but it has to be a concrete enough idea that I can start visualizing the story in my head.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think I needed to hear positive feedback from at least half a dozen people before I realized that I had actually done a good job. I’ve considered myself a writer for a long time – writing is the easiest way for me to express my thoughts – but now I feel like I can actually call myself an author.
Do you have to travel much to market your book(s)?
I haven’t traveled to market the book, but I’ve pounded the pavement a bit, and I’ve done a lot of research into marketing on the internet. Personal connections can count for a lot when self-publishing, and we received our first international sale within a day of releasing the book. (Since I’m in Canada, that sale was to the U.S.) I’m still looking forward to the first overseas sale.
Who designs your book covers?
Darren and I worked together to design the book cover.
What is your current project?
Right now I’m working on translating THE LITTLEST KNIGHT into French, and I have a follow-up story in my head. (I just need to come up with that initial concrete idea on which I can build the entire story.)
What, if anything, are you reading now?
I just recently picked up a copy of Dan Brown’s Inferno. I don’t often get much time to read, but I really enjoy his novels.
And, as part of our son’s nightly bedtime routine, we read children’s books in both French and English almost every night.
What books and/or authors have influenced your life most?
One of the books that I absolutely adored when I was little was “The Tall Book of Make Believe”. It’s a compilation of short stories and poems written before 1950. I still have the book, and I remember all the mischief making by the characters in some of the stories. I think this book helped me tap into my imagination because you can’t really appreciate those stories without being able to picture everything vividly in your mind.
I also really enjoyed all of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s works while growing up, and the Winnie the Pooh stories by A.A. Milne.
Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Would you be kind enough to share a little of your current work with us?
All I can really share is that it will be another “Littlest Knight” story.
Do you have anything else you would like to share with my readers?
Reading is so important in any child’s life. Read to your children, and encourage them to use their imagination by making up stories of their own. You may even want to write those stories in a journal for them, so they can see just how creative they are.
For me, the combination of writing and other artistic outlets has made my life so much richer, and I can only hope that everyone else can find their joy in these things as well.