I have been devoted to English-language literature, publishing, and technology for my entire life.
My Mom read to me regularly before I was born. I was able to read aloud from children’s books from age 1. As a child and adolescent I read lots and lots of books, magazines, comics, newspapers — kid’s stuff, adult stuff — everything.
I began programming on a Commodore VIC-20 which my Dad bought in 1980, and was fortunate to receive computer training in school from about the fifth grade on.
I discovered the DIY punk rock underground at age 14 and began publishing my own writing, drawings, collage art, and interviews in zines which were read and reviewed worldwide. Although I lived with my parents in the suburbs, I had a P.O. box at a local drugstore as I was corresponding with other writers, publishers, bands, and activists from all over the world and I was receiving and reading underground press zines, chapbooks, paperbacks, comics, newsletters, and newspapers.
I got my first paid job in 1990, working nights as a production clerk at a community newspaper in my hometown of St. Albert, Alberta, Canada. I was 17 and still in high school. I kept this job through my first two years at the University of Alberta, where I studied English Literature with a creative non-fiction writing specialization. After my degree I took some graphic design courses at Mount Royal University in Calgary, and then landed my first production management job at Farm & Ranch, a series of newspapers based in Cochrane, Alberta, which published editions all over western Canada, the USA, and Argentina.
In 1996 I learned HTML through an online course, and promptly moved into web design and development. After a year and a half managing a web design team at an agency in Edmonton, Alberta, I landed a job in the Canary Wharf district in London learning as much as I could working on projects for prestigious UK and EU clients until the dot-com crash in 2001.
I got my first publishing job with a digital photography and graphic design book publisher in Cambridge shortly after that, where I immediately began commissioning authors, writing sales presentations for the Frankfurt Book Fair, and editing numerous titles. Eventually I co-authored a couple of titles as well.
After a return to Canada in 2004, I graduated from the inaugural year of the Humber College Creative Book Publishing program in Toronto in 2005, then was asked to develop and teach a technology course for that program. Since then, the publishing industry has been through significant transformations, with the emergence of print on demand technology, ebooks, the Kindle, and online ebook retailers like Kobo. There have also been significant improvements in the software used to design books, ebooks, websites, and digital marketing materials. To accommodate all of these changes I have since developed an advanced technology class for the same program. I have now been teaching at Humber and serving on the program’s Advisory Committee for 14 years.
Also in 2005, I founded a Toronto-based creative agency, providing publishing, website design, and consulting services primarily to the Canadian and US publishing industries as well as to self-published authors.
I have been working remotely and travelling for the past 4 years, and have recently settled in Prague, one of the EU’s literary capitals, still offering the same services but to an expanded client base.
I’ll be offering publishing skills workshops throughout the EU and UK starting in the winter of 2020.