Short version:

I'm opinionated, obsessive about my favourite things, and am probably a changeling. Someday, I'll return to wherever the heck it is I really come from but, until then, I'll be writing books and watching you sleep. No, seriously. And not necessarily in that order.

Photo courtesy of: Katie Leonardo

Long version:

When I was seven, I wrote a story about a baby mammoth that outwitted a sabre-tooth and made it drown in its own pit of boiling water, and I thought: "Hey! I like this story thing. I'll write more of them". Of course, because of my complete lack of the ability to focus for things that weren't for school, I didn't finish a single of the masterpieces I started that year. Because of this, I decided to shelve that whole write-a-thing idea and went on with being the adorable little kid I was.

Photo courtesy of: my mother

As you can see, this adorable thing is fact and not just me flattering myself.

While I was in the midst of being an adorable nine-year-old, my parents dropped the bombshell that we were going to move from out beautiful acreage in Alberta, Canada to some random house in Huntsville, Alabama, which was probably small and ugly because it was in the city. Actually, the announcement went like this:

Me: "...and I told my friends that we wouldn't move until after I'm done grade nine." (my school went from kindergarten to grade nine)

My parents give each other a significant and worried look.

Mom: "Actually, we're moving this year."

Me: *bursts into tears*

True story. 

My dad had set his heart on going to bible school. Apparently, the only one that would do happened to be situated halfway across the continent, so we moved. But let me put this into historical perspective. 

About a month before we were set to leave the country (and six days before my tenth birthday, no less), I was sitting in the living room, watching a fascinating TV show that was telling me how to make a miniature sarcophagus out of cardboard, when my mom burst in and changed the channel on me. What then followed was some random news report about planes crashing into these two random towers and I couldn't understand why my mom had to take over the TV right at that moment, instead of waiting for me to gain all the necessary sarcophagus-building knowledge. Of course, I didn't say all this to her because 1) she was my mother and 2) she looked oddly upset about these planes.

That's right, guys. We crossed the border a month after 9/11. I would be surprised that they let us in, but I was just too adorable to deny access to our southern neighbour, the U.S. of A.

During our (nearly) three years in Alabama, I was homeschooled by my dad, which isn't nearly as terrifying as it sounds, and I started writing a fantasy novel.

For the sake of eyeballs everywhere, that novel is now sitting in a trash heap somewhere, decomposing with what small dignity it has left. But it got me thinking: "You know, it would be cool if I became a writer. I hope the cover artist doesn't get my main character's hair colour wrong."

We moved from Alabama, with only minor emotional scarring, to Edmonton, the capital of the province of Alberta (that's right guys, the capital isn't Calgary, it's Edmonton). Somehow, I proceeded to survive high school. 

I don't mean this in the usual "high school is the doormat of hell" kind of way. I mean this in the "Christian schools teach weird things" kind of way. Which is not to say that I'm not a Christian, far from it, but I absorbed a lot of bogus things there that I'm still trying to unlearn. An example:

If I had to group the kids in the school, I'd say that there were three groups: the model Christians, the kids with issues that were there because their parents wanted them to be reformed by the model Christians, and the rest of us. Guess who everyone said all the nicest things about? Guess who were considered the most talented? Guess who were seen as the most successful?

Forgive me, but I'm a little bitter. It took me about four years before I finally realized that the reason I hated myself was because I felt like I had to do all the right things for God to love me. Yeah. That's not at all what the Bible says. And that's not what I believe anymore, except for the times when it creeps up on me without my noticing. At that point, though, I point it towards the incinerator and boot it in with vigour.

The summer before my first year of university, I had this really trippy dream which contained an entire backstory for a novel. In chronological order. It was pretty dang awesome, and I started planning and writing right away.

But just writing the story wasn't good enough. I wanted it to be published. No, I passionately desired to publish my best story to date. Ever since that first novel attempt in Alabama, I'd been hooked and had worked on stories more or less non-stop (including what is probably the most terrible first draft of a novella ever, which I wrote in one year and I now regret ever showing my relatives). I'd really liked all those previous stories, but this story was The One. It was probably the best darn idea I'd ever had, and I knew I would publish it.

And then I got stuck.

And then I took a writing course and learned how not to be stuck.

And now I'm working on a book series so that I can get my ten early novels out of the way so that I can do that book justice and show it to the world just as I've reached the end of my apprenticeship, so to speak, and can start being the awesomely famous novelist that I've always known I would be.

Because, let's face it, I'm not going to be this adorable forever.

Photo courtesy of: Jerad Hampton

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