About Me

My Favourite Writing Spot: Southampton, Ontario
My Favourite Writing Spot: Southampton, Ontario

I’m like you. I always wanted to write a book.

From the time I read my first Nancy Drew mystery, I knew I wanted to write. Along the way, I had some short stories published (mysteries—no surprise) and then there was a long gap where I wrote unpublishable historical romances and learned more about life in the Middle Ages than I’ll ever need, and then there was parenthood and working (teaching high school English, then communications at college) and … well, you get the idea.

Did I have dreams of writing the great Canadian novel? Certainly. My early fantasies twirled around pithy interviews with Shelagh Rogers and visits to Morningside.  I only wrote fiction then, and looking back, I can tell you it was all pretty bad. In those days, the only way to get a book published was to submit it to an editor at a publishing house or to an agent and wait for, in my case, the rejection. I did a lot of research about writing and publishing hoping to learn the magic formula for success, and I still have the book shelves to prove it. 2016-02-20 09.49.21

Finally, in November 2009, I decided to tackle NaNoWriMo. I pounded out about 20,000 words of a romantic suspense novel and stopped. It wasn’t what I really wanted to write. Another project was tapping on my shoulder, asking me to wake up and pay attention. I’d spent many years teaching creative writing to high school students and for four years I’d written a column about writing for a magazine called, What If? Canada’s Creative Magazine for Teens (sadly now out of print.) I’d always wanted to write a how-to-write-fiction book for teens that reflected what I knew about teen writers and what they wanted to know. So, that’s what I did.

It turns out that I liked writing non-fiction. I did it every day for my freelance work, and, well, it just seemed to flow. I still wrote fiction, too, but Writing Fiction: A Hands-On Guide for Teens was the beginning of my writing and self-publishing adventure. I have no intention of stopping now!

On the personal side, I call myself a “late-blooming Baby Boomer.” After finishing a degree in English and Drama at WLU and working as an administrative assistant (temp and full-time) for many years, I went to teacher’s college at 39, had my first and only (no surprise!) child at 45, and published my first book when I was 60. I love reading books by Susanna Kearsley, Laurie King (the Russell/Holmes novels), Louise Penny,  Jacqueline Winspear and JK Rowling/Robert Galbraith, and I’m a big fan of classic English crime fiction. Movie tastes run from Iron Man to The Grand Budapest Hotel  to The Big Short and just about anything in between, including James Bond. I love magazines about science, history and archaeology (a big Time Team fan here) and, yes, Woman’s World comes home with me once in a while from the grocery story.

I hope you enjoy exploring the website and that you find what you need to help you write your story.

Heather

Take advantage of what I’ve learned about writing and publishing by checking out my personalized writing coach options. Arrange for your free 15-minute telephone chat to see if I’m the coach for you.There’s a writer inside all of us, let me help you find yours.