Kenna McKinnon


Kenna McKinnon is a freelance writer and self-employed medical transcriptionist, interested in physical and mental fitness, music, writing, reading, drawing, and cooking for friends. She lives in a high rise bachelor suite in the trendy neighborhood of Oliver in Edmonton, Canada. Her most memorable years were spent at the University of Alberta, where she graduated with a degree in Anthropology with Distinction in 1975. She has lived successfully with schizophrenia for many years and is now a senior woman, member of the Writers' Guild of Alberta and the Canadian Authors Association. She has three wonderful children and three grandsons.

Kenna is the author of SpaceHive, a middle grade sci-fi/fantasy novel; The Insanity Machine, a memoir with co-author Austin Mardon, PhD, CM about our journey with schizophrenia, including the latest research available at the time of writing; DISCOVERY – A Collection of Poetry, all released in 2012; Bigfoot Boy: Lost on Earth; Short Circuit and Other Geek Stories in memory of her son Steve Wild 1968-2012; soon to be released Red Herrings, a mystery eBook, and Benjamin and Rumblechum, a children's chapter book published by Mockingbird Lane Press. Many of her books are available in eBook and paperback worldwide on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and selected bookstores and public libraries.

Smashwords Interview

Describe your desk
I live in a bachelor suite in a high rise apartment building in the trendy Oliver area in Edmonton, Alberta. My desk sits next to a large window that overlooks downtown in this city of approximately 1 million people. As a self-employed author and businesswoman, I work from home. My desk reflects that, being a large cherry-colored slab of wood from IKEA, well organized in a corner of the living area, with computer monitor, keyboard and mouse, speakers, two telephones, a remote control, a scanner, a black & white printer, a bookshelf and a small filing cabinet. Everything I need is within arm's reach.

There's plenty of lighting. A green and oak Circa clock on the wall faces me and the blue office chair in which I sit. A giclée print of the north Saskatchewan River with downtown Edmonton in the background hangs above the clock, as well as an old Coca Cola trivet, my business license, and a plaque that says, "First My Sister Forever My Friend." The stereo speakers are to the right of my desk and a lovely round terrarium sits on one of them, threatening at some time, I suppose, to drown my music system.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Though I was born in Toronto, Ontario toward the end of WWII, my mother set forth west when I was six weeks old and eventually we settled with my soldier/farmer father in the Peace River district of northeastern British Columbia. I was raised on a small mixed farm in an isolated hamlet called North Rolla, approximately 23 miles north of Dawson Creek, B.C. The majority of our neighbors were of Norwegian descent and we were Canadian Scottish ancestry, which put us at odds with the predominant culture of the district. There was a little Lutheran church in the area that we did not attend, and many of the otherwise fun activities that take place in a small community weren't participated in by my parents.

I attended a one room school called North Rolla Elementary, with about 12 students from Grades 1 to 8 attending, and one sometimes novice teacher to control the classroom, which was easily done in those days because the teacher ruled the classroom and was an important part of the community. I studied well on my own while the teacher attended to more needy students or the older students as I progressed through the ranks.

I think the fact that I was isolated at home and given the role of supervising my two younger brothers and younger sister influenced me to a great extent and I began writing and telling stories as a way of escaping the lack of excitement in my life and to entertain my siblings and classmates. I early learned to focus my attention and entertain myself by creating stories in my head and on paper. Initially, writing and telling stories were almost an escape from the tedium of life on a small, isolated farm. To this day I entertain myself very well and often lose myself happily for many hours, usually at night, in a solitary activity such as writing.
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