What kind of education does a writer need?
Well, I thought a doctorate in classics would be a great help. So I enrolled at the University of Toronto and wrote my thesis on Greek philosophy to the background music of two crying, toy-throwing, dinner-and love-demanding kids.
Over the next decade I worked for the University of Toronto Press on a project to publish the works of the 16th century humanist Desiderius Erasmus. It was great, except that my husband was transferred to Argentina, which meant a long commute for me. Yes, you may call me crazy. I kept my job and commuted. My routine was: three months up north, three months down south. Did I mention that we had small kids? Those were chaotic years, but I managed to publish my first short story, and taught courses on Renaissance history at the University of Toronto.
After we resettled in Toronto, I was hired by the Department of History at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, a much shorter commute than to Argentina. Those were the Publish or Perish years. I performed like a trained monkey, putting out a book a year, and was rewarded with a Full Professorship, SSHRC grants, and with fellowships in Germany and the US.
Click here for a partial list of my non-fiction books.
I spent 1999/2000 in Los Angeles as a Getty Fellow and fell in love with the city, its museums, beaches and mountains. My novel, PLAYING NAOMI, builds on that experience and riffs on the Hollywood milieu.
My second novel, HEAD GAMES, looks back to my years in Argentina, then in the iron grip of a military government. But the junta's reach did not extend to the mysterious North Country, where the Quechua spirit still rules supreme. Back to About HEAD GAMES