Meredith Katie Hoogendam is a writer, artist and mother, with former incarnations including high school teacher and radio host. Though focused on parenting and homeschooling, she remains professionally and personally concerned with environmental issues and educational theory and practice. Spirituality, feminism and identity are ongoing topics of interest for her. Her poetry, essays and artwork have appeared in Geez Magazine, Mutha Magazine, and Topology, among others, as well as two of Northumberland County’s own Hill Spirits anthologies. Katie has just completed her first chapbook, Mothertongue, a collection of poetry on motherhood, mourning, and identity, to be released on November 2nd at a poetry party in Camborne, an event open to the public.
Kurt Palka was born and educated in Austria. He began his working life in Africa where he wrote for the African Mirror and made wildlife films in Kenya and Tanzania. While working as a journalist, he covered the war in Vietnam and events in the Middle East for television. He has worked on international stories for CTV and GLOBAL TV, written for American and Canadian publications such as the Chronicle Herald and the Globe and Mail, and worked as a Senior Producer for the CBC. CLARA (originally published in hardcover as PATIENT NUMBER 7) his fifth novel was a finalist for the Hammett Prize. He is also the author of THE PIANO MAKER and THE HOUR OF THE FOX, published in July 2018 by McLelland and Stewart, is Kurt’s seventh novel
Michael Croucher came to Canada with his parents in 1953 at the age of nine. He was on the Metropolitan Toronto Police Department for 18 years, and served with The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit investigating organised crime. His police career and his early life in post-war England have been major influences on his novels. He’s always loved short stories, wrote them for decades before he took on novels at the approach of retirement. Bravo’s Veil, his first novel was published in 2012, his second, Diamond Run in 2015. He is working on a third and continues to produce short stories. An award –winning writer, Michael reverted to Independent status in 2017.
Roma Colbert, has been a resident of Cobourg since retiring in 1999. Since then she has volunteered with the Northumberland Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity, PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary, Cobourg Ecology Garden and Cobourg’s Communities in Bloom Committee. She is passionate about animal welfare, the environment and her chosen community. Roma’s interest in writing stems from her love of reading, which led to a love of words. Her desire to talk about the many community needs and animals in care she encountered through her volunteer work, led her to worry she might be monopolizing conversations. Putting pen to paper seemed a sensible solution. And she found she loved it. Writing and revising and trying again, trying to paint pictures with words and in doing so, strengthening her bonds with the community and its inhabitants.
Marnie Hare Bickle has been fascinated by words and music for as long as she can remember. She studied piano and voice and taught herself to play the guitar so that she could perform her own songs at school, church and community events. She wrote her first poem for her parents when she was eight years old. Her work in early childhood education sparked her interest in children’s literature and she used her own poems and songs for teaching. She still runs a music studio with ove20 students in Port Hope, but that hasn’t stopped her from editing the memoirs of John David Ford, a relative of her husband’s, whose long forgotten memoirs were found in the attic of her home. It’s been three years since Marnie was here to tell us about finding a treasure trove of John Ford’s papers in their attic and now her book is about to be released by Blue Denim Press.
This week we welcome back Cynthia Reyes and Lauren Reyes Grange. Her new book, Myrtle the Purple Turtle, was inspired by an experience her 4-year old daughter Lauren had at school. As with all her books so far, Myrtle originated in Cynthia’s family. Cynthia’s books for adults are about unusual homes, the people who love them, and the life events connected to these places. She is the author of the bestselling A Good Home, and An Honest House, winner of the Diamond Award for Book of the Year (2016). Her children’s picture book “Myrtle the Purple Turtle” has received acclaim from parents, teachers, librarians and most important of all, the book’s target audience: children.
Lauren Reyes Grange is Cynthia’s daughter and the recipient of the original Myrtle story. But she not only prompted the story, she is now a strong force behind the marketing of the book.She is a Toronto-based marketer with more than 8 years experience.
Sharon Ramsayhas lived a very varied and multi-faceted creative life. She has been a poet, a teacher, a potter, a painter in watercolours, a maker of drawings, collector of words and a raconteur. Recently she has turned her attention to creating children’s stories. Her first book, Edward Covered is now in print and her second story is to be released shortly.
Cindy Stone divides her time between writing and practicing as a registered psychotherapist /Ericksonian hypnotherapist and Reiki Master. She is an advanced student of Baguaquan, an internal martial art, Qi gong and meditation. Cindy has always been fascinated with transformational journeys and the incredible power of the mind. She is the author of, The Incidental Guru: Lessons in Healing from a Dog, published by Stewart House, and Fitzhenry & Whiteside. She co-wrote the screenplay for Expecting, a “Dram-edy” directed by Deborah Day with an ensemble cast including; Colin Mochrie, Deb McGrath, Barbara Radecki and Valeri Buhagiar. Cindy’s debut novel, SCORPION from The Myriad Series won Book of the Year, from Book Talk Radio in the UK and was chosen as one of 12 Best Book Picks for 2018 by Spirited Women Inc, in LA,; a global Women’s Empowerment Group.
Meet Grace Young who has been blogging weekly at IntoFullBloom.net for over two years now. She has self published one book The Crow and the Dove and is planning to release a second in the near future. Grace is 19 years old and trying to make her dreams come true by becoming a full-time author and spreading her message of hope and positivity.
Ted Staunton has written more than 40 books for young children, middle grade readers and young adults and has received prizes for many of them. He was born in Toronto and studied at the University of Toronto. When he went back there to teachers’ college in 1981, he wrote a story called Puddleman for one of his courses and rather to his surprise it was published. Puddleman was a picture book but he has since written many stories for older children and young adults. Some of the most recent are Who I’m Not which won him the John Spray Mystery Award, Jump Cut, and Power Chord.Ted speaks and performs at schools and libraries across Canada and frequently takes his banjo with him. He also teaches courses on Writing for Children at George Brown College and the Haliburton School of the Arts.