I started writing way back in 1985. I was a young mom and I found I needed a creative outlet when my daughter went down for her nap. I borrowed my mother's old typewriter and clacked away for an hour or so each day. I had no idea what, if anything, would come of these stories, but it was an outlet that soon became an obsession. Sixteen years later I had one full manuscript finished and several other works in progress. I started to think that maybe, just maybe, I could find a publisher. Little did I know that the road to publication was not as easy as I thought. Another seven years, many rejections, and much heartache later, I finally signed my first contract. It was a steep learning curve - one that I am still navigating.
Around the same time that I decided to seek publication, I also went back to work as a public school teacher. I have a fine art and theatre background so when I got offered the job as the sole art and drama teacher at our local secondary school, I was sure God had placed it right in my lap. My first drama class was a mixture of grades, experience, and enthusiasm and I just couldn't find the right material for some kind of show. I decided to let the students write their own short skits and I tied them together with a set of scenes featuring aliens watching the human activity from above. 'Look Who's Watching' was a hit with the audience and spurred me on to write more plays for my students, many of which have been published with various play publishing houses.
My eldest daughter is turning 29 this summer. I can't believe that so many years have flown by since I wrote those first tentative bits of narrative. A lot has happened since. My first book And the Beat Goes On came out in 2008. Since then My Mother the Man-Eater (2010), Play It Again (2011), and Wind Over Marshdale (2012) released. A serialized novel called Neighbors is currently coming out in separate instalments and I am working collaboratively on another serialized novel called Colony Zero.
I have also been privileged to see several stage plays in print. Ebenezer's Christmas Carol (2010), Dorothy's Road Trip (2012), The Western Tale (2012), Little Red in the Hood (2012), A Midterm Eve's Phantasm (2012), and Hook's Nemesis (2013).
Finally, I recently self published a devotional book called Life Is a Highway, based on several speaking engagements, and an illustrated children's book called The Sleepytown Express, based on a 1930s song by Haven Gillespie. I also signed a contract for the sequel to Wind Over Marshdale called Lone Wolf.
During this time I've moved fifteen times, lived and worked in five provinces and territories, raised four children, homeschooled for nine years, supported my family while my husband went back to school, and went into full time ministry. Phew! My head spins just thinking about it.
My writing journey had a slow start. Sometimes I wish I would have been more proactive about seeking publication sooner. I have so many more stories to tell and time is slipping away! I just need to stop and reflect on the goodness of God, however, and consider that everything happens according to His perfect timing. I would not have been ready any sooner for the demands of promotion and online marketing that now take a considerable amount of my time. Family, church and work responsibilities simply would not have allowed it. I am grateful for the small measure of success with which God has seen fit to bless me. And I look forward to the next leg of the journey...