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For as long as I can remember, I've had the soul of a gypsy. Having lived in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia, and Haiti, I seem most comfortable when there's change brewing on the horizon.
My adventure into the world of writing began just as my life was coming to an end, or at least it seemed that way for a time. When I was 15, I was diagnosed with Recurrent Idiopathic Pericarditis. Overnight, I went from a typical teenager with great parents, growing up in Cochrane—snowboarding, mountain biking, and playing any sport with a ball—to being laid up in bed for weeks at a time in terrible pain. Living in the deep north, we were 8 hours away from an MRI machine and for a while, things didn't look so good as doctors struggled to figure out what was happening, and why. The pericarditis would come back a few times a year throughout my teenage years and for a while, I lost my way. I remember being rushed via air ambulance to Toronto and my Ante Linda had sent along a book for me, The Sword of Shannara, by Terry Brooks. I wasn't a reader back then, and when I finally succumbed to the boredom (imagine being in a bed for weeks in a world before the Internet), I finally cracked the cover and my world was forever changed.
Life doesn't always end up the way we think it should, but isn't that part of the ride? Hard lessons are sometimes necessary to prepare us for the next big adventure as we journey towards leaving this world a little better off than when we arrived.
After finishing the original Shannara Trilogy, I started writing. I can't remember when exactly I started, but I do remember having a plethora of ideas as I tended to do a lot of daydreaming, especially in school. I spent years writing books that will never see the light of day as I cut my teeth learning this new craft. To this day, if I don't get my ideas down on paper regularly, I feel out-of-sorts.
My greatest challenge as a writer stemmed from the fact that I loved to write massive stories, and conversely, struggled to no end with the countless tiny details of flushing out something great. Shortly after moving back to Canada from Haiti, I reconnected with an old friend, Darryl Frayne. I knew Darryl was just about the complete opposite of me, in that he loves to mine the gems found beneath the extra words that don't belong on the page. He works down in the weeds, pruning and clipping and shredding and planting and changing the paths as required to develop great story. The magic that unfolded was...well, I suppose you can be the judge.
In the in-betweens, I married my high school crush back in 1998. Joy has added all manner of color to my life and to this day, makes life an absolute thrill ride. When our son came along in 2004, well, I love viewing the world through his animated features and cannot wait to see how he is going to leave the world better off than when he arrived.