In 1981 I stumbled across the charming mountain town of Nelson, British Columbia, and never left. Here, I’ve raised kids while juggling myriad jobs, most of them involving books. In my early years here I had a used bookstore; for a time, I worked at the local independent bookstore; for the last 30 years, and to various degrees, my place has been at the Nelson Public Library.
That’s where I met Morty Mint of Mint Literary Agency. I’d just finished my first book, and I was figuring out what to do next. Luckily, Morty knew exactly what to do. He’s been my agent ever since.
Treading Water was published by McArthur & Company in 2005. It was chosen as a “Heather’s Pick” shortly after publication. The book made the top of W. P. Kinsella’s honourable mentions for the Amazon/Books in Canada First Novel Award shortlist. In 2010 it won the One Book, One Kootenay Librarian’s Choice Award.
Wind Tails (McArthur, 2007) followed; for me, this book was a way to weave the stories and characters I’d been collecting into something new, and a little experimental. It was shortlisted for the 2008 Ontario Library Association Evergreen Award. In 2009 Wind Tails was released in the U.S. by HarperCollins/Avon under the title Far From Home.
The story in Sounding Line, published by McArthur & Company in 2009, draws from my Nova Scotia roots. This is a community I know, the famous 1967 U.F.O. crash at its centre the stuff of local legend and a part of my family’s summers when I was growing up. It was great to work closely with some of the residents of Shag Harbour to write this novel. Sounding Line is also a “Heather’s Pick”.
Flying with Amelia (McArthur, 2011), demanded authenticity in terms of research, voice, and cultural nuance, a challenge I found engaging, and, if occasionally daunting, always exciting. It’s quite a challenge to write a collection of linked stories that spans a century and a country, and I loved the research.
In fall 2013 Cormorant Books (Toronto) became the new distributor of my novels and released Flying with Amelia in trade paper in spring 2014.
I’ve also co-authored four regional photographic books (Ward Creek Press) and illustrated seven children’s books for Polestar Press and for Bluefield books., among others. On the side I’ve worked as a journalist, writing features, news stories, and editorials for more than twenty years, and consulted on a number of book projects. What can I say? Books and words are just never very far away.