For thirty-eight years of my writing life, I had a day job. I juggled a career, family life, and my writing passion; the juggle was neither easy nor fully satisfying. In 2004, having launched my daughter and published two major works and countless articles, I decided to retire from physiotherapy. Two more nonfiction books quickly followed and Beacon Literary Services, established in 1997 to help others get published, took on a greater role offering coaching towards publication and more services for writers of all levels and genres.
I believe writers need practical assistance, current information, and support from published authors throughout their journeys to publication.
I am the author of books for writers, including Book Magic: Turning Writers into Published Authors and Crafting Irresistible Query Letters that Result in Publication, and other nonfiction books. My many articles have appeared in international, national, and regional publications, as well as online. Also, I have been a contributor to the Encyclopedia of British Columbia's blog and a reviewer for the Canadian Book Review Annual Online.
I have experienced every aspect of Canadian publishing — commercial and self-publication, print and electronic publishing, as well as print-on-demand. My first non-fiction book, Through a Canadian Periscope; the Story of the Canadian Submarine Service (Dundurn) appeared in 1995. My second, Deeply Canadian: New Submarines for a New Millennium (Beacon Publishing), was released in the fall of 2000 electronically (commercial) and in print, and was re-released in a revised second edition in 2014. Sing a New Song: Portraits of Canada’s Crusading Bishops, followed in 2006, also from Dundurn. James Douglas: the Father of BC is my first young adult biography, again from Dundurn (2009), and my second to be selected for Books for Everybody. My publisher, Dundurn, re-released Periscope in celebration of the centenary of the Canadian Submarine Service in 2014.
Since early 2001, I have chosen to self-publish (Beacon Publishing) some of my other books using print-on-demand (only once), a short-run printer, an online service (Blurb.com), and in-house. This has resulted in two books and five mini-guides for writers, speakers, and teachers, one for a health authority, six travel memoirs, six family legacy books, and seven photo portfolios.
I'm not only a successful author, but also an accomplished professional speaker and trainer who has instructed for Vancouver Community College and the Surrey Writers' School. I have also spoken at writers' and teachers' conferences throughout western Canada, including the Surrey International Writers’ Conference nine years running. My many presentations include Pitching Articles in a Cold Climate, Crafting Irresistible Query Letters that Result in Publication, Book Magic: Turning Writers into Published Authors, and Raising Your Online Presence: Building Your Visibility and Tribe Before Publication
In June 2010, I retired from speaking in the education sector to concentrate on writing more books, travel articles, and my photography. I continue to enjoy my coaching practice and also facilitate the evening group of the acclaimed Port Moody Writers' Workshop, of which I had been a member for over twenty-five years. Periodically I speak for writing events, though not as many as I once did.
Currently, I am a proud member of the BC Association of Travel Writers, the International Travel Writers Alliance, and the Federation of BC Writers. I have also recently belonged to the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers, Photoclub Vancouver, and the Travel Media Association of Canada.
...from inspiration to publication!™