A graduate of the University of Toronto with a PhD in English literature, I taught English Lit and Creative Writing at the Toronto French School, followed by a stint teaching Literary Travel at UofT’s School of Continuing Education.
An experienced writer with expertise in travel writing, profiles, book reviewing, medical, historical, and social issues, in 2006, I read the works of nearly 50 first-time writers and selected the long and shortlists for the Books in Canada/Amazon.ca First Novel Award. I’ve traveled widely in Asia, the UK, Europe, Canada, Mexico, and South America, and have lived on three continents. Currently, I reside in Toronto.
Credits: Travel writer, photographer, reviewer, and frequent contributor to The Toronto Star, The National Post, The Medical Post, The Canadian Jewish News, Chatelaine, and several other publications. Guidebook contributor: Literary Trips: Following in the Footsteps of Fame.
1. What got you into travel writing?
My first published piece was a book review, my second was travel—based on a family vacation. Reviewing and travel writing remain my main interests and sometimes I combine the two, by writing about the places where writers lived—like DH Lawrence in Taos.
2. What’s the most challenging part of being a travel journalist for you?
Making a business out of my passion for travel.
3. What is one thing [equipment or personal item] you can’t go without on the road?
A good pen and notebook—very old school.
4. What’s your most unusual and/or memorable travel experience?
Too many to mention, but the best is meeting people who’ve become friends—they were children and now are adults. Not sure if this is unusual, but it is memorable to be welcomed like family.
5. How did you learn about NATJA and why did you join?
On a press trip to France, I met a NATJA member who sang its praises.
6. What is the best piece of advice you could give to a rookie travel journalist?
Think twice, this is not as glamorous as it sounds. If you are committed, remain curious, polish your contacts, and develop a specialty.