I was born and raised in Ottawa, Canadaís
capital, the middle child of seven. My family descended from Scottish,
Irish, and English pioneers who settled in the Ottawa Valley when it was
still mostly uncut forest. Family stories infected me with a fascination
for history ó but above all I loved the hints of adventure and mystery in
I began reading early, as soon as the
Ottawa Public Library opened its magic doors for me. I began writing when I
was old enough to hold a crayon. Eventually I graduated to a manual
typewriter and then an electric. I now use a computer, but the thrill of
chasing a story hasnít changed.
After earning a degree in history at Carleton
I studied library science at the University
and worked in libraries for nine years. Although I discovered I wasnít
cut out to be a librarian (not organized enough), I still love libraries,
their richness and generous openness and even their smell, and they are
among my favourite places.
Quitting my library job to raise my son
James, I soon found more time to write. After taking a few literary wrong
turns I decided to go ahead and write what I love to read: fantasy and
mystery. I have been doing that ever since.
A while ago I went back to
for a diploma in journalism. Then I worked for a local newspaper, the New
Hamburg Independent, where I developed a great respect for small-town
journalists. From there I moved to the communications office at the
University of Waterloo, where for 12 years I wrote about quantum mechanics
and the history of war and peace, and other serious stuff.
Now I write to please myself. Mostly I
deliver novel-length fiction, although I have written a couple of
non-fiction books and some short stories.
I am married to Eric Bow. Our family includes son James, daughter-in-law Erin (both published writers), two
granddaughters, Vivian and Eleanor, and Pooka, a small but fierce grey
Updated September 29, 2015