I’m a 35-year-old mom of two living in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, surrounded by a whirlwind of household chaos and unfinished projects and books and cat hair. My career path meandered through academics, carpentry and administrivia before I lucked into my current wordsmithing gig with the federal public service.
· I’m aiming to follow in the footsteps of the understated, underexplained, deeply spooky books I love best.
· My current project is a YA ghost story about a teenager under attack by a poltergeist, inspired in part by the haunting of Esther Cox in late 1800s Nova Scotia. There’s plenty of commentary on the case—most of it by men, most of it focused on reporting the observations of witnesses, and some of it downright obnoxious—but Esther herself is conspicuously silent, which got me to thinking.
· I have lots of practice rejigging and overhauling my own work in response to feedback. I passionately loved writing classes and workshops right through grad school, but it’s writing and editing in the day job that has really normalized rewriting for me. When I get to doubting myself during this process, I find comfort in extended zombie metaphors.
· Heeding the incisive wisdom of two saintly real-life writing buddies and a handful of generous readers I’ve met online has brought me to version 4.2. At this point I can no longer see the forest OR the trees when it comes to this story, and although I remain irrepressibly confident in its awesomeness, if I can make it MORE awesome, I am by god gonna do it!
Things I love
· Thinky and stylish SFF, both in print (Ursula Le Guin, Lois McMaster Bujold, Tolkien) and on screen (Battlestar Galactica, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Star Trek TNG, Babylon 5, Dr. Who).
· Introducing my kids, 4 and 6, to geeky awesomeness like The Hobbit, Harry Potter, Jim Henson fantasy movies from the 80s, A:TLA, Dr. Who, and She-Ra.
· Anything genuinely and thoughtfully scary – but I’m very picky about what qualifies. Some things that hit the mark for me: Pan’s Labyrinth, Silent Hill 2, Coraline, Wait Till Helen Comes, The Walking Dead (broke up with the show after s2 – TOO scary), The Ring (American adaptation more so than the Japanese original, surprisingly), Garth Nix’s Abhorsen series.
I’m much more interested in supernatural horror than the real-world psycho/slasher/stalker variety (to quote Neil Gaiman’s Sandman: “You’ve told them that there are bad people out there. And they’ve known that all along”) – but the supernatural has to have something to say about the real world if it’s going to have any punch.
· Thinky and stylish personal essays (e.g. Ursula Le Guin, Kameron Hurley, Lev Grossman) – especially about SFF, horror, writing, parenting and feminism.
· Making things: home improvements, stained glass, quilting, knitting, crochet, pottery…
· Singing: occasionally karaoke, but more frequently belting out Bon Jovi/Les Mis/Barrett’s Privateers in the car with the kids.
· Gardening, i.e. home improvement with plants, mostly ornamentals. Also botanical names – I don’t know why. I think I just enjoy the illusion of power (it shouldn’t matter what the horrible invasive weed du jour is called, but somehow I feel better when I know!)