We think British Columbia is a pretty special place to live and also a great place to create wonderful children’s literature. readBC is a series of short interviews introducing our readers to our authors and illustrators and their craft. Read the complete series here.
For a list of books created and set in British Columbia, visit this page.
Region: The Vancouver, South Coast & Lower Mainland region
Where did you grow up, and does that place affect your writing?
I was born in Saskatchewan, land of big sky and open spaces, and I grew up in Burnaby, BC, near the mountains, oceans and forests. I know that both of these majestic landscapes helped cultivate my appreciation of nature, which in turn influences my writing.
Are any of your books set in B.C.?
Many of my books are about nature and wild creatures. I’m certain these books came out of living in such a beautiful (and wild!) province. I’m thrilled when my research allows me to visit the ocean or take a walk through a forest.
(Animal lovers can check out the wild animal sounds on my website. Click on the Kids Page.)
When did you know you wanted to write or illustrate children’s books?
I had been a primary school teacher for more than a decade when I was invited to take a short-term job, writing curriculum for the BC Ministry of Education. It was at this job that I discovered how much I loved writing and began to entertain the possibility of submitting a manuscript to a publishing house. You can imagine my excitement when the publisher called to say she would like to publish my book! And so, my writing life began.
What are you working on now?
I’ve been working on two books with very local subjects. Both are about growing food in an earth-friendly way. The first book is: Up We Grow! A Year in the Life of a Small, Local Farm. It’s a photographic book for 4-8 year olds that shows life over four seasons on a sustainable farm. It was researched and photographed on several BC farms, but mainly based on Glen Valley Organic Farm in Abbotsford. The second book is: Watch Me Grow! A Down-to-Earth Look at Growing Food in the City. It’s a companion book to the first one, and it celebrates urban agriculture and many amazing Vancouver gardens.
What’s your favourite place in BC?
Long Beach on the West Coast of Vancouver Island is a special place. My family and I try to spend some time there every summer. We are captivated by the beauty of the ocean and rainforest. I like to go there for my annual dose of writing inspiration!