Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’m a farm girl — I grew up on my paternal grandfather’s farm in southwestern Saskatchewan. In my working life, I was a professional archaeologist and museum curator at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Regina, SK, so I have written several journal articles and book chapters in that capacity. “Our Bull’s Loose in Town!” is my first, and so far my only, adventure into popular writing.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The book is called “Our Bull’s Loose in Town!” Tales from the Homestead, and is based on my grandfather’s diaries and other documents and photographs. I probably wouldn’t have written the book if it hadn’t been for an entry one Sunday morning: “Had to round up the bull from the village in am” I thought, there’s a story there. The title also comes from that one event.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I’m a sporadic writer — some days I go at it for hours; other days, I can’t seem to put three words together that make sense so I just give up and find something else to do, usually trying to find some esoteric bit of trivia to work into the story. I keep at it, though.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I love historical fiction; two in particular inspired me to write my grandparents’ story: “These is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine 1881–1901” and “A Place of Her Own: The Legacy of Oregon Pioneer Martha Poindexter Maupin.”
What are you working on now?
I am working on my maternal grandparents’ story. My grandmother was born in New Zealand, grew up in England and immigrated to Canada in 1912. My grandfather was born in England and immigrated to Canada in 1913. This family history is a greater challenge because I have no diaries, only a few letters and photographs. However, I have two surviving uncles (both in their 90s) who have been very helpful in providing information and critical feedback.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’m rather new at this. So far, I’ve felt more comfortable doing presentations and book tours — I like the face-to-face approach more. I’ve also posted many stories about Abe and Addie (my grandparents) on my blog.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Keep writing. Don’t give up. Put yourself out there, as scary as that may be. Find a writing group. Take a class. And keep writing.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Keep writing. Don’t give up. Put yourself out there, as scary as that may be. Find a writing group. Take a class. And keep writing. (Am I repeating myself?)
What are you reading now?
Lee Child “The Affair.” Jon Krakauer “Into the Wild.”
What’s next for you as a writer?
Getting bolder at promoting my book.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Anything by Shakespeare and/or e e cummings; The Canterbury Tales (translated into modern English); and for laughs — Ogden Nash