- Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I grew up in a vast agricultural region and began writing punny science fiction stories with green aliens in them around age seven. Some childhood faves were the Nancy Drew mysteries, C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy, and L’Engle’s Time Trilogy, though I read pretty much everything I could get my hands on, and I made up songs and stories whenever my nose wasn’t stuck in a book. In my twenties, I wrote mostly speculative fiction that explored gender roles and women’s lives--stuff I thought nobody would publish because I had read so few speculative stories with women as the main characters, so I shied away from submitting my work to publishers. I wrote songs too, which I recorded and performed all over--probably in a coffeehouse or at a festival near you!
The first major milestone in my writing career occurred almost 15 years ago, when a friend convinced me to enter the Writers of the Future international speculative fiction contest for emerging writers. My novelette, The Assignment of Runner ETI, won Third Place. That recognition boosted my confidence enough that I then sent out my first novella, The Last Letter, to Aqueduct Press. They published it, and with two pro sales under my belt, there was no stopping me! I set out to write a novel--and another novella--both of which got published in the past year. The novel, Transformation Junkies, is a speculative, feminist adventure tale of two women on a quest for satisfaction in their lives. The story also features a loser vampire, ancient gods, precocious herding dogs, a touch of romance, and humour.
The novella, Lift-Off, is an inspiring and heart-warming pre-space adventure novel with a bit of romance. It’s a fun ride--a lot like a rom-com--but in book form, and it is set in the near future, so there are some quirky, futuristic surprises for the reader. Also, the story is set in the three days leading up to New Year’s Eve, so it’s a great winter holiday read, too.
Like most artists, I’ve had a lot of day jobs over the years--teaching high school, at-risk teens, and ESL, editing for magazines, editing audio for film and television, waitressing, and doing admin in countless offices. Unfortunately, I was exposed to chemicals at one such office almost ten years ago, and my life changed drastically. I got chemical sensitivities and M.E., which--nutshell--means I have severe chronic pain, cognitive issues, and energy limitations. In a matter of weeks I went from being able to hike, workout, run long distance, sing and perform, to being bed-ridden for months. So, that was a sea change, to say the least, and it has taken me several years to learn to manage symptoms and adapt to a very different life with M.E.
These days, I live a rather isolated hermit-like existence due to my health issues, and I write very little now and very slowly, but I still love writing and do it whenever I can. People still dig my stories, too, and I’m really grateful about that.
What else can I tell you? I love to laugh, I live in British Columbia, and I serve a Feline in perpetuity. Thanks for joining me here--nice to meet you!