I started writing as soon as I had learned to read, beginning in kindergarten with Dr. Seuss-inspired doggerel (One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish was a particularly strong influence). At age ten, I was attempting novels. I cannot not write; I call it a benevolent compulsion.
The first story of mine that ever saw print appeared in THE RED DEER ADVOCATE when I was 17, as the runner-up in a short story contest. My first paying sale was to a literary magazine called SECRETS FROM THE ORANGE COUCH, a few years later. Since then I’ve sold about fifty short stories in a range of genres: mystery, science fiction, alternate history, and fantasy. I’ve also sold poems, articles, and cowritten one play!
I got into print young not because I was some kind of teen genius—those first stories of mine were not very strong!–but because I was trying to sell stories, bombarding magazines like Asimov’s with submissions. I believe most writers want an audience for their work, and I was actively searching for mine.
As I continued to refine my craft as a short story writer, I began to work on books, too. My first novel is the ecofantasy Indigo Springs, which was released in 2009 by Tor Books and which won the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic. The sequel, Blue Magic, was released in 2011. A trilogy beginning with Child of a Hidden Sea followed, and its sequel A Daughter of No Nation won the Aurora Award for Best Novel in 2016. The final book in the series is The Nature of a Pirate.
For 2019 and 2021 I switched gears, from fantasy to near future science fiction–solarpunk, really–and changed author names, too. As L.X. Beckett, I have written Gamechanger and Dealbreaker, books that simultaneously manage to be fun romps and to be about surviving a 21st century shaped by pandemics, resource wars, climate change, cryptocurrency and the possible death of privacy.
Will you ever make a 4th hidden seas book ? I would love to see a fast forward of how Sophie’s doing, and her brother and sister how it all played out.
I would love to write more Hidden Seas Tales, though right now I am up to my ears in two secret projects! My dream was always to follow Bram and Tonio through a second trio of adventures, ones where Sophie and Garland were less central.