I was raised by parents who revered the book. No, not the good book but any book. If you had a novel in your hand, their eyes would skim over you on the look for another kid to run an errand. It was genius that – it meant that my siblings and I all turned into avid readers. The other thing my family did was travel. We were forced to every few years when my dad, an officer in the armed forces, was given a new posting. In between we did it for fun, piling into the back of our avocado green station wagon and heading out for parts known or unknown.
I never did settle down. I took many jobs from high lead logger to restaurant cook to running day cares or touring classical musicians. In between jobs I studied to become a psychotherapist, because I loved the work, but also because I could fit my desire to write around it. I wrote poems and plays. Some of the poems were published and most of the plays were produced. The ones I’m most proud of are Death, the Musical, Fields of Crimson, and Shroom!
My partner and I left Nova Scotia and moved to North West River, Labrador, for what was intended to be a short adventure. Two years happily turned into five. While there I worked across the river on a reserve, Sheshatshiu, as a counsellor. I worked with families at a treatment centre and at the school. I fell in love with the extremely resilient children of that community. I also fell in love with the land, Nutshimit, as the Innu call it. I joined the Land Protectors and the River Keepers. When I wasn’t working or rambling I wrote. I had a few finished and unfinished novels on the go, but I started another one – one that wouldn’t let go – The Crooked Knife.
Now I’m back in Prospect, Nova Scotia. Still writing, still rambling and still reading.
Oh, and perfecting my bread making skills.
Author photo by Marion Stork
the crooked knife
The Crooked Knife
Constable Nell Munro is angry and in danger of losing her job. A teacher, Jay Tuck, has been found dead, a crooked knife nearby. A two-spirit Innu youth named Pashin is the main suspect, but Nell doesn’t buy it. Local activists implore her to keep digging but when she does, Nell is threatened and worse – so are the kids she cares about. Even when the lead investigator threatens to put Nell on probation for her big mouth, she keeps going. Who is responsible for the recent chaos on the reserve, and why do people who fight it end up either very quiet or very dead?
The Crooked Knife is set in Sheshatshiu, a First Nations reserve in Labrador and North West River, the settler town across the river from it.