Renny deGroot is a first generation Canadian of Dutch parents. She is a published poet, song lyricist and novelist. Her debut novel, Family Business, was shortlisted in the Literary Fiction category, for the 2015 Emerging Writer Prize. She studied English Literature at Trent University. Her strong Dutch roots continue to influence her while the love of her Canadian homeland with its beauty and freedom, flavors all that she does.
Renny lives in rural Ontario, Canada with her Great Pyrenees and Chocolate Lab.
What do you read for pleasure?
I love the classics; Dickens, Eliot, the Brontes - they are like comfort food for me. At the same time I'm inspired by the modern novelists that look at some of the same situations I'm interested in - so Michael Crummey, Wayne Johnston and others from the east coast of Canada really wow me.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I started out on the east coast of Canada, in Nova Scotia, but our family moved to Ontario when I was quite young, so did most of my growing up in Toronto. I believe that my greatest influence came, not so much from the geography, but from the heritage. My family is Dutch and I was raised in the way they grew up, with some modifications specific to the times. At the same time, I do think that the multi-cultural aspect of Toronto has served to show me varying perspectives and given me a love for being with all kinds of people - especially when it is time to eat.