I am an adventurer at heart. But, if asked, I never would have imagined climbing a mountain, sailing the North and South Pacific or trekking across the north of England – but I did all those things and more.
I was born and raised in a remote farming community in northwest Alberta, Canada, where the Boreal forest rises up to a ridge of hills that sweeps down to meet the great prairies. Books have always been an important part of my life and as a child it was my passage to places I never imagined existed. When young, I often looked out upon the Clear Hills dreaming of the day when I would go over their peaks to the other side, to experience the vast world beyond. Maybe, had my bedroom window faced south, I might have imagined myself leaping over the steep banks of the mighty Peace River. In the end I went south.
After leaving the security of my little farming community, I became witness to a multitude of social issues – problems that I never knew existed. I write about these topics, firstly to get an insight into what others face, but also to provide readers with a better understanding of those challenges through fiction.
When I left my job in finance and moved aboard our sailboat, Wyntersea Productions, I thought that it was the perfect time to start sorting through my boxes of writings and begin assembling them into manuscripts, for surely there would be little to distract me, aside from the lapping of the sea against the hull of the sailboat, the warm breeze singing in the rigging and the gentle sway of the ocean to lull me into a dream-world. Before I had a chance to organize my writings, the ocean beckoned me and I left the security of Vancouver Island’s, inside passage, sailed to Alaska, then down the west coast of the United States, to Mexico,
before going south and west among the many islands within the South Pacific:
After pausing for a long rest
in New Zealand I went north again to the islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia, and ended my sailing journey in Australia. After the anchor was dropped for the last time, I began compiling my notes into manuscripts and in 2013 published my first novel.
Not one to pass on an opportunity, In 2012, I set off on another adventure, a self-guided walking trek, Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk, across the north of England. I walked the entire width of England, from St Bees, in the west, to Robin Hood’s Bay, on the North Sea. This quintessential English walking excursion begins by climbing St Bees Head, a mirror image of Robin Hood’s Bay on the opposite coast. Before long I was in the Lake District, where the scenery was at its most rugged. The landscape of Eden Valley offered a softer look, with no great climbs or descents, and glimpses of the moors, and the North Sea, in the distance.
It is strange, the emotion that one feels when completing such adventures, sad in a way when I realized that it was done, yet exhilarating at the same time. I had achieved something that only a person who had travelled the same journey could relate to and I finished my adventures without a welcoming party to celebrate my success; not that one was needed for I knew what I had done. I had sailed the North and South Pacific, and walked 200 miles across the north of England. Those memories are now tucked deeply inside me, to relive again and again.
Then, weighed down with a box full of video, I sorted and edited and produced 30 travel documentaries.
“Writing is my passion and delight and I write something almost every day. My novels are primarily fiction, drawing on social subjects that touch close to my heart. When I’m not writing I spend time in the kitchen going through old family recipes, cooking up something yummy, and dreaming up my next story. I am a lover of animals and nature and enjoy being outdoors.”
“Most recently I have begun writing youth and young adult novels
under the pen name
Writing for young adults is a refreshing change.”
go against the grain,
develop an insatiable curiosity,
establish a sense of purpose,
grasp new complexities and
be sensitive to others,
for every person has a story of their own.