I was born in England in the mid-1950s and, with my parents and two sisters, moved to Canada in 1968. We settled in an isolated community a couple of hours north of Ottawa where I completed high school in the nearby town of Deep River before attending the University of Toronto.
I graduated with a degree in Landscape Architecture but soon found my real passion lay in the graphic arts and publishing. In the early ‘80s I was Art Director for Hamilton Cue Magazine—this was back in the day when ‘paste’ literally meant getting messy with dollops of contact cement or hot wax, and when ‘cut’ often required the precision of a scalpel-wielding surgeon. The digital age has since made those antiquated production processes completely redundant.
I took a break from working in print media when my husband, two small children and I left the city and moved to a remote pulp and paper town in Northern Ontario. The winters were long and nasty and the summers were short and buggy; there was plenty of time to pursue new interests. Having always enjoyed working with fabrics, I began making wall hangings for my children’s rooms. When their walls were amply covered, I fine-tuned my techniques, tested the marketplace and developed the art form that I have remained committed to ever since.
We moved to Nelson, British Columbia, in 1994. Two years later, I opened an art and furnishing gallery downtown which, for the next decade, brought all my design, art, marketing and business skills together under one umbrella. I loved it! It was during those years that my decorating consulting business began which, eventually, led to my writing and publishing my first book, Nest Building: A Guide To Finding Your Inner Interior Designer.
I closed Redfern House & Gallery in 2006. Since then—while exploring a variety of other vocations, including retail, ad sales and real estate, as well as travelling and successfully launching my two sons into the world—I have continued to work with my Fabric Art and, in 2013, I published The Fabric Of Nelson, a collection of over 80 pieces of my work depicting life in and around Nelson.
I have always enjoyed writing and the computer/Internet age provided me with the opportunity to test the waters by blogging on a variety of topics … from home décor and job hunting to art and social media. But, there’s always been a novel percolating inside me—two, in fact—and eventually I had to write them.
I published Talking To Myself in 2014 and now I’m ready to launch my second novel, Dear Teddy. Both tales are about love and relationships and they both draw heavily on life experiences … mine or those of people I’ve been around.
As an old-school publisher and layout artist, my steepest learning curve has involved coming to terms with e-books and e-publishing. After decades of fixed print media where every font, image or heading remain exactly where you placed them, it is challenging to come to terms with the movability and fickleness of e-book text and layout. Smashwords has, of course, been my guide and resource guru throughout the journey.