“What if…?” It’s the beginning of every story. What if you met a blind woman in a used clothing store? What if you were a seven-year-old boy struggling to survive in Africa without parents? What if you had a magic spoon? What if dogs could talk or pigs could fly? Being a fiction writer means constantly wondering, imagining – how does it feel to be somebody else? It’s a lot like being nosy…
I live in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, and I’m a writer, a former teacher, a badminton player, and a mother.
I grew up in Truro, NS (Janet Mingo) and went to Acadia University; I love my bike, travel, France, potato chips, Georgia, picture books and my family (not necessarily in that order). I’ve been writing for young readers since about 2000; it was a long and winding road until the publication of my first picture book, RAINBOWS IN THE DARK, in 2005, by Second Story Press of Toronto. I have two middle grade novels out from Red Deer Press – THE POWER OF HARMONY, (2013) and ROCKET MAN(2014). I’ve also written sixteen illustrated chapter books for Caramel Tree Readers. THE KING OF KEJI, a picture book set in Nova Scotia’s beautiful Kejimkujik National Park, illustrated by Patsy MacKinnon from Cape Breton, was published by Nimbus in 2015. My newest book, also a picture book, is SKY PIG, with intricate Plasticine illustrations by Suzanne Del Rizzo (Pajama Press, 2016).
My young adult novel, A HARE IN THE ELEPHANT’S TRUNK, (Red Deer Press), was a Finalist for the 2011 Governor General’s Literary Award (Children’s Text) and also a finalist for the 2011 Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature (as was THE POWER OF HARMONY). Proceeds from HARE have been shared with Wadeng Wings of Hope, Jacob Akech Deng’s foundation through which he raises money to build a school in Sudan; the first two classrooms in the school were completed in the winter of 2013. Jacob now works as the Minister for Youth and Information in South Sudan.