I’ve been devoted to 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 gave me and my brothers for Christmas 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 proper 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, and a minor in political science. After my degree I took some graphic design courses at Mount Royal University in Calgary, and found my first production management job at Farm & Ranch, a newspaper based in Cochrane, Alberta which published editions in western Canada, the USA, and Argentina.
In 1996 I learned HTML through an online course, and 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 creative digital design publisher (Ilex Press) in Cambridge shortly after that, where I wrote sales presentations for the Frankfurt Book Fair, commissioned authors, and edited 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. I then 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.
Also after graduation, Humber College asked me to develop and teach a technology course for its publishing 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 for 18 years (remotely for the last three years), and I served on the program’s advisory committee for 15 years until I left for Europe in 2019.
After travelling and working remotely for a few years, I settled in Prague, one of the EU’s literary capitals, right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. I’m now offering the same services but to an expanded client base.
I’ll be offering publishing skills workshops throughout the EU and UK, starting soon.