I’m an Orthodox Christian and a young adult writer. I love my faith, my family and my writing, not necessarily in that order.
I was born and raised in Toronto, where I discovered books early – I remember my folks reading to me, and beginning to devour them myself as soon as I learned the alphabet. By the middle of Grade one, I was already partway through the Grade Three reader (it was a lot more interesting than the Grade One reader, and I still remember some of the stories) and by Grade Three there was no stopping me – even being held up for ridicule by the teacher because I didn’t hear her calling on me for an answer to a question didn’t stop me.
My other passion was animals – we had dogs, first a border collie named Nemo, who herded my brother and me until she died of old age when I was twelve. Then we got a cat named Tommy. He didn’t stay with us long, he felt we weren’t quite the family for him. Once he’d found another home, we spent a summer with a raccoon – Raffles, which was an entire story in itself. After that our cat Smoky joined us and he lived with us, as Dad’s cat, until his death in the late 1970s. Echo and Toby, two purebred Golden Lab Retrievers joined the family in about 1972, and gave us a lot of years of love and companionship and laughter. They also knew their place. Smokey was boss and he never let them forget it. By the time Echo and Toby had gone, I was in Victoria, and Mum and Dad adopted two feral cats – Frick and Frack, whom my husband and I inherited on my parents deaths, in 1986 and 1987.
I moved to Victoria, BC in 1979, to attend university. While I’d been a Christian before I moved, my faith really started to deepen and grow out on the west coast, due in large part to an active group of Christians on my residence floor. I graduated with a degree in psychology and then got married, and started writing for publication soon after that. I didn’t break into print until 1990, and for ten years published in small, local magazines, and had one short story accepted – David’s Gargoyles. In 2003, we became Orthodox Christian when All Saints of Alaska mission opened, and in 2004, I had Keeper of the Light accepted for publication by Conciliar Press. Royal Monastic followed in 2008 as did Feral, from Orca Book Publishers in the same year. I’ve since had an Akathist to St. Mary of Egypt published and write for OCN blog – the Sounding. I’m the author of the OCN official response to Jefferson Bethke’s “Why I hate religion but love Jesus” spoken word video which, as of July 2012 had 122,000 hits. I’m rather proud of that.
Part of the reason for the delay in book publishing was raising two kids, seven cats (including, after 87, Frick and Frack) and ten rats. The rats long since have gone to wherever it is good lab rats go, and all seven of the original cats have also gone to their reward. We acquired Minou and Gidget in 2005, when my brother in law asked us to take them. Gidget went to the Rainbow Bridge in 2010. After having seven cats from 1984 to 2003, we had a couple of years free of animals, then adopted Gidget and Minou in 2005. Gidget died of old age in 2010, and we acquired Tibby, a peach faced lovebird in 2011. He met with an untimely accident the following year, and then Sam, a lovely all black young cat moved in with us (we had no say in the matter) a few months after Tibby died. Currently, Minou lives on the top floors of the house and Sam commandeers the main floor, basement and yards. It works – Minou is shy and reserved in his old age, Sam loves being around people.
The kids are grown – both daughter and son are out on their own and working. Daughter is head of maintenance at a small hotel here in town, son is a reservist awaiting transfer to the regular forces and training as a medic. I write, edit, coach writers and am active in church. The other half of the comedy team, my husband, works part-time as a independent contractor and systems analyst for the provincial government, in their land titles office.
I still enjoy reading as much as I did in Grade Three – although not too many people hold me up for ridicule when I get lost in a book these days. I also enjoy playing Myst-type games on the computer, and Pharoah-type games, board games, walking, gardening and socializing with my friends and family. I bird watch on a relaxed scale – I have the books, but am not obsessive about recording the ones I see. I enjoy the wild life around us – deer, raccoons, squirrels, snakes and the occasional party, but mostly I’m very boring and quiet and if they ever made a movie of my life, they could sell it as an insomniac cure. Enjoy the writing, don’t worry about the author – she’s really not as interesting as the stuff she writes about!