I have always known I would write books. As my mother says, “You started reading at 2 years old, but you could talk a lot at 1 and a half! And you were teaching school at 4 and a half!”
At 12, I converted a Holly Hobbie recipe book into my first journal. (It’s where I derived the spelling of my name Bobbie!) I now have a cottage industry of journals filled with useless bits of my life but at least I don’t carry them around in my head.
My first real job was teaching French Immersion in St.John’s, Newfoundland, and then English at colleges in Montreal, but I really wanted to write. So I moved to Ottawa and landed a writing job in government communications.
It was 2001, and I loved the fact that I was finally ‘writing for a living,’ but I still wanted to stand in a real newsroom. That’s when I decided to do the journalism-print program at Algonquin College.
I was the first-ever Advanced Standing student (I started in year 2 of the 2-year program, as I had a university degree.) to be appointed Editor-in-Chief of The Algonquin Times. I also began taking photos, as part if the program and took an interest immediately, especially close-ups of people. One such close-up of a young boy won me 2nd prize for Best Student Photography from the Ontario Community Newspapers Association (OCNA). By the end of the school year, I had also won 3rd prize for Best Student Writing from OCNA, and I’d landed a placement at The Ottawa Sun. During my 6 months there, as a reporter, I published more than 100 news and feature articles, including front-page stories! I realized, however, that my true dream was to publish novels.
I started drawing and painting in January 2003 during the bestselling independent study known as: The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Illustration emerged as a new strength for me, particularly naïve art. My drawings do look like a little kid did them and that’s the kid that never left my heart. ;)
I returned to my writing job in the government as a communications advisor, but continued to work evenings and weekends on stories for young people, including the young at heart.
Years later, with 15+ years of communications writing and strategy behind me, I now write novels, sell my kid-like drawings and work as an independent message and social media strategist: a very happy ending!
I published my 2nd novel, Worthy, on November 2, 2015, a family saga about sin, secrets, shame and U-boats swarming pre-Confederation Newfoundland waters.
I published my first novel for girls age 8 to 12, Sing, Girls, Sing! in 2005 and its 2nd edition in 2009. I also participate annually in the 3-Day Novel Contest, averaging about 20,000 words every Labour Day Weekend, to produce content to work on throughout the year.