After graduating with a Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education degree, Beverley moved to a small town to start her teaching career in Music and English. Throughout her teaching career, her marriage and raising two daughters, she travelled at every opportunity. This greatly expanded her life experiences and writing became a natural progression. Upon retirement and extensive research, she published her first literary, genealogical narrative. Writing books has become her passion ever since.
She is a member of The Word Guild (winner of the Historical novel category in 2013 at Write! Canada). She is also one of the founders of The Three Dreamers' Press, a unique writers' group.
Some people know what they want to do with their life from an early age. I didn’t. I confess that I did try to write a story at age 10, but I couldn’t spell. Vowels confounded me and the rules of spelling had too many exceptions. After passing the Grade Eight piano exams, I was joyful, for a moment. I could quit music lessons and get on with my life, but what would that be? Teaching seemed the only alternative. How narrow was my world at that time.
Nine weeks in Mexico City changed my outlook. I caught the travel bug. Life could go on. I’d become a high school music teacher, and spend summers travelling. Almost. I did get my qualifications to teach music, kindergarten through grade thirteen. Over the next twenty years while teaching positions were scarce, I supply taught. I also married, had two daughters, taught dozens of music students, played the organ and directed the choir at church, did the gardening, sewed, cleaned the house, painted and wall papered– the standard things.
Then I was asked to do a music and English maternity leave for a year. English, with my spelling? When I discovered, yes, I could teach English, yes, I really enjoyed it, and yes, it was possible to study English through distance education, I got a computer and, as the cliché goes, “It changed my life.” Packages of cassette tapes and books would arrive each semester, and alongside family and work, I gained the necessary credits in English. It took many years, but I had a great role model in my mother. She had graduated from university with her B.A. the same year I began my University program. She also had a desire to travel. Learning was her goal; experiencing life was mine.
Before my marriage, I travelled to Japan and Mexico. Between university and teacher’s college I was able to spend thirteen weeks backpacking in Europe through a program called SERVAS. Our honeymoon was in England, France, and Holland, a year after marriage when we could almost afford it. My husband and I took our girls on three extensive trips across Canada and the U.S. We went on a house boat for a week each summer for fifteen years. We travelled to Newfoundland, B.C., and England. I managed to participate in four builds with Habitat for Humanity (three in El Salvador and one in Iqaluit). Two Caribbean cruises, and a European cruise were squeezed in somewhere. The National Archives in London, England saw me for three straight weeks and Portugal was my final destination before Covid 19 lockdown. In all, I’ve been blessed to have travelled on more than thirty trips.
These trips have not been in the first-class sections of anything. All the money I might have spent on smoking, jewellery, wine, clothes, tattoos, better cars, and manicures was saved and spent on travelling. All of it in preparation for writing.
‘What do you write?’ some ask.
I reply: "BOOKS mostly".
Gladys & Jack, and Kate & Ozzie made use of the research I had been doing for years. Before Ancestry, it was necessary to go to primary sources like Records Offices, Archives, and libraries. As convenient as on-line research is, it’s not nearly as exciting. Although these two books have been deemed Historical Novels, I would put them into a Genealogical Narrative Creative Non-Fiction category if such a thing existed.
Summer of Ice, my third book, is a Novella suitable for young adults through to adults. How do you write as an Inuit senior in an environment you’ve only experienced for nine days? My one word answer is compassion: love and empathy for our fellow human beings. The idea for the story came to me in the midst of our Habitat build. What would happen if...?
No One Told is another novel, suitable for young adults and adults. This began as a NaNoWriMo challenge, and yes, I wrote 50,000 words that month. Never again, mind you, because without a clear plot plan and definite names for the characters, rewriting takes too much energy.
It was an interesting experience doing an on-line writers group through U of P where writers from around the world asked questions about the setting from such different perspectives. I came to realize Canadians do have a unique culture. The structure and interior layout of church sanctuaries for one, are very different in Australia. Why being Catholic or Protestant made a difference to the children of Ontario, was not understood by those from the U.S. or South Africa. So maybe those writers learned something about our Public and Separate school systems. I certainly learned things from other writers through those dialogues.
Oh, Brother! Confessions of a long-suffering sister. This memoir has been the most difficult book to write emotionally. It has taken years to place my brother in God’s hands, and finally, for now, he is stable. It seemed every time I thought of ending the book, something else would happen. I’d write another chapter. Finally, I said, ‘Okay, enough,’ But the story isn’t over, though the book is finished.
These days I snatch an hour here and there to write. I read Christian non-fiction and fiction, literary fiction, and non-fiction research materials. I read chapters aloud to a reader friend, and send chapters to another author friend. My two writing buddies, Helen and Sara accompany me to the lake for writing retreats. We take turns making meals, we’re at our computers all day, breaking for walks and snacks. After dinner we read to each other, our measuring sticks to validate our writing, and our motivation to improve. We’ve learned to give and take critiques, life’s challenges, restoring our souls in prayer and friendship.