I was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada on September 22, 1980 – I guess that’s as good a place as any to start a description of my life. I didn’t last long in Newfoundland, though, as my parents whisked my sister and I away to Ottawa in 1983. I’ve been living in the same neighbourhood ever since.
My interest in stories goes back as far as I can remember – my mother assures me that I started reading at a very young age (Hooked on Phonics worked for me?). I think I still have a copy of The Little Engine That Could lying around somewhere. From there I moved on to mystery stories, like The Hardy Boys and Encyclopedia Brown. But it wasn’t until my early high school days that I discovered a real passion for books – when I first read The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. That led, naturally, to The Lord of the Rings, and I realized that my personal tastes were very much in tune with the fantasy genre.
I guess that it wasn’t much of a leap from there to acquire an interest in writing stories of my own. My grade 9 english teacher, Mr. Mageau, was the first person that I recall pointing out to me that I had a talent for writing. And my grade 11 (and 13) english teacher, Mr. Fromow, helped foster that talent – each of Mr. Fromow’s classes started with a 5-10 minute period where the students wrote in their writing portfolios. There were no directions or rules or instructions at all – just write. About anything. It was a very eye-opening experience for me, and I think that was what first spurred me to write for enjoyment.
Despite that awakening, it wasn’t until my final year of university – when I was living, once again, in St. John’s for a year, attending teacher’s college – that I attempted to write a novel. You won’t find that novel available on this site, but I considered it a major accomplishment, and a milestone in my life. It led to the novels that are available on this site.
My real life, on the other hand, has not progressed as smoothly. I entered university, in 1999, to study electrical engineering. It was a choice based not on what subject I enjoyed, but rather on what I felt presented the best job prospects. But it didn’t take long at all to realize that I would never be happy spending the rest of my life designing computer circuits or hydro vaults. So I made the fairly dramatic change to study english literature. Armed with my Bachelor of Arts, I then attended teacher’s college to become a full-fledged high school english teacher – just like those that had inspired me before.
A new problem arose then – there weren’t really any teaching jobs to be had. I spent a few years supply teaching, but that wasn’t paying the bills (I didn’t actually have any bills, since I still lived with my parents – which is probably worse). So somehow, I was able to luck into a contract job with the department of Public Works, working as a project manager for real property construction projects. I’ve been doing that work ever since. I don’t know if it’s some sort of cosmic joke that the universe is playing on me, but I ended up in a job that is normally done by engineers. When I was an engineering student, nobody ever told me that project management was a potential career path.
I enjoy my work, and I enjoy my writing, and I suppose that that’s all that I can really ask for.