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Carrie Martin is a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature and Knowadays, with a background in graphic design and a passion for words. She lives on Vancouver Island with her wee family, where she likes to mix-it-up with different kinds of writing. Her scary stories have appeared in many horror ezines and magazines, and in the Copperfield Review, a journal for history readers and writers. Her stories for children have featured online and in the knowonder! print edition: The White Sail. In her first media job, she edited educational videos and wrote some voiceover scripts too. And her latest work mixes fiction with education, in a history adventure comic series, produced by Toy Theater.

cats and cookies

And now for some first-person backstory

I was a child once. It's true. With...reoccurring nightmares of dinosaurs, volcanoes and werewolves. Embarrassing Eighties haircuts and chocolate hair gel. A videogame controller with only one button, and cassette tape computer games, screeching like banshees as they loaded. Endless doodling, marble rolling, soccer playing and biking, racing home as the streetlights blinked on. Cheesy horror flicks galore: zombies and werewolves and mutants. Choose Your Own Adventure books and Nancy Drew mysteries. And, inspired by a typewriter, a dream to be a story writer when I grew up (when I wasn't picturing myself as Dr. Dolittle).

But first I had to fly across the ocean a couple times—and do some growing up.

Horror books sucked me in over the years (King, Rice and Koontz). But for a while I traded reading for drawing, wore stripy tights, Doc Martens and a nose ring, and left school for Bradford College. There I studied Art and Design then Graphic Design. This was a time before computers. A time when layouts and letters were all hand-drawn and giant turkeys ruled the earth. Then I started work and had to use a computer. How I hated those cumbersome plastic beasts. But I loved my first job because I got to draw cartoons and make videos for kids.

Like a numpty, I flew away...

To Toronto, where I faced a rude, corporate awakening. Scrambling by in a frenzy of tiny yellow folders, video cables and late nights. I learned a lot in the years that followed—from giant tradeshow booths to itty-bitty icons, and even how to print on metal parts—but "slick city chick" didn't stick. Skyscrapers morphed into fields of beans, with a husband and baby appearing somewhere in between. (Where'd they come from?) Turns out, babies aren't the most riveting conversationalists, and a trip to the library had me back into books. Branching out into all kinds of genres and topics, rediscovering picture books, and ultimately rekindling that story-writing dream.

I started with the course Writing for Children and Teenagers through the Institute of Children's Literature and kept reading and learning and pecking at the keys. Experimenting and gaining experience (with a whole lot of distractions in between).

Then we drove west for a week, to a little lakeside town, nestled between the misty mountains of Vancouver Island. Where everything eats your plants and poops in your yard.

Finally settled, I upped my skills with a proofreading course (no longer am I a confused Canadian caught between dialects). Wrote a wacky middle-grade book and learned how to self-publish. And then I really lucked out, with an educational comic series I researched and wrote for Toy Theater's Library for Kids. Pablo's incredible art really brings these time-travelling adventures to life, and I'm stoked with the end result.

Logo for Library for Kids

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