Even before I could read, I decided to write a book.
I chose The Tale of Peter Rabbit because it was one of my favourite library loans, and I began diligently copying it on lined paper, letter-by-letter rather than word-by-word.
Timothy Findley believed this book of “mine” to be a masterpiece. “It tells the story of an individual who is willing to give up its life for a carrot stick,” he said.
I do still draw much of my inspiration to write from other people’s stories, and I remain fond of stories about trouble-makers (though Peter preferred lettuce, beans and radishes). But now I can distinguish between authoring and plagiarising!
Currently my writing hours are divided between short- and long-form works. My publishing summary outlines my regular freelance gigs. I’m also working on book-length projects. A collection of twelve stories set in 1999 about forks in the proverbial wood (but no bunnies). A series of essays about the intersection between life and books, how we learn (and don’t) from what we read. And a set of companion pieces about fractured family life, revolving around questions of perspective and justice.
Writing is how I make sense of the world. And over the years, I’ve become more interested in inhabiting different viewpoints. Looking beyond the familiar. Slipping into the skins of Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, Mrs. Rabbit and Mr. McGregor. More interested in the unsung heroism of the Mrs. Tittlemouses of the world. In how we take what we have learned, years ago and yesterday, and make something different out of today.