My mom always gave her kids a choice: help with the housework or read a book. (Clearly she knew the value of reading.) I opted to read, of course, and I still choose to read when I should be doing housework. In fact, I’d rather read than do almost anything else.
When I was teaching elementary school I discovered – not surprisingly – that I had a huge passion for children’s literature. (Thanks Mom!) This inspired me to try writing my own books and I’m now the author of eleven novels for teens and two illustrated children’s books.
I’m not sure why I choose such sensitive subjects to write about, but my novels all explore complex themes such as religious polygamy, teen pregnancy or self abuse. I’ve received a number of recognitions and awards for them. My illustrated books deal with lighter themes, the grizzly bears of Grouse Mountain and a grandmother who celebrates the cultural diversity of her grandchildren.
I am passionate about wildlife and have had a few very close encounters. In Uganda a mountain gorilla brushed up against me while I was on a trek and on the island of Maui I was practically knocked over by a giant sea turtle when I was standing in the water. Orca whales visit my community and although I love to view them from the shore I would not like a close encounter with them while paddleboarding or kayaking. I dream of visiting orangutan in Borneo and sloths in Costa Rica.
I currently live in North Vancouver, British Columbia and when I’m not writing (or reading!) I can be found hiking, snowshoeing, practising yoga, Zumba dancing or hanging out with the grizzly bears and reindeer at the Grouse Mountain Refuse for Endangered Wildlife.