When I read a book, I want to be taken away to another world, but I want to learn something too. Historical fiction really fits the bill for me, and that’s why I write it as well.
I’ve had six short stories published, two of which have won awards. You can read these stories on this site. I also helped write and edit a book of collected memoirs called Stories United: Harvesting Elders’ Wisdom, which has sold almost 1200 copies. I hold workshops on memoir writing and I read my poetry and prose at open mics. Some of my published poems are on this website.
But far and away my favourite activity is writing well-researched historical fiction based on the lives of my ancestors. I have been blessed with ancestors who have fascinating stories that need to be told, and, since this is fiction, I get to add my own spin and pump it up just that little bit more.
While doing family tree research, I came across the story of the Dean family, who were pioneers in Nova Scotia in 1795. From their lives I have written four novels: Book 1: The Serpentine Garden Path (the Deans’ unconventional courtship in England), Book 2: The Gardener’s Wife (The Deans’ life at Ellon Castle in Scotland), Book 3: Letters from the Gardener (the Deans’ life in Ireland), and Book 4: A Garden in the Wilderness (the Deans’ first year as pioneers in Nova Scotia). This last book is now available from the publisher Borealis Press in Ottawa (free shipping in Canada) at borealispress.com
Book 1: The Serpentine Garden Path, The Gardener’s Wife and Letters from the Gardener are available at http://www.smashwords.com and a hard copy of The Serpentine Garden Path can be ordered from http://www.amazon.com
I am currently writing a novel based on the life of a different ancestor, Michael Eisan, a Loyalist who settled in Ship Harbour, Nova Scotia after the American Revolution. Its working title is The Loyalist. You can read more about the research behind all these books in my blogs.
I am a member of the executive of Victoria Writers’ Society, where I am in charge of the organization of critique groups. Critique groups are a great way to get feedback on your book without paying a fortune for an editor.