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Joan Kilby
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Joan was born in Vancouver, Canada, and spent an idyllic childhood on a rural property near the ocean. Much of her free time in those early years was spent on horseback or perched in trees, dreaming the hours away. There was no library in town but Joan’s mother, an avid reader, took her to the bookmobile and every week Joan would stagger out with an armload of books.

When she was eight or nine she decided she wanted to be a writer and for years filled countless "scribblers" with stories, poems, and cartoons. Despite those early dreams, the environmental movement of the early '70s engaged her youthful zeal and she turned to science in university. Eventually Joan earned her Masters of Science in marine biology, after taking a couple of years off to travel, first backpacking around Europe then sailing through the South Pacific. She worked for about 10 years as an environmental biologist both in Australia and Canada in government, university, and private consulting.

When she met her husband they were flatmates in a communal house in Vancouver. They shared living space for a year, each lamenting to friends the derth of good romantic prospects. Then he traveled throughout Asia while Joan traveled to Nepal and Thailand. When they returned they took one look at each other and thought, "Hmm, where have you been all my life?" They were married in December, in a blizzard, and not long after that migrated to the sunny shores of Australia.

Joan loved her work as a biologist, whether it involved breaking through the sea ice to scuba dive in Atlantic Canada or being bitten to a swollen pulp by black flies in northern British Columbia while studying wild salmon populations. She won’t even mention the agonies of fear she suffered at encountering poisonous snakes while monitoring rivers and streams in Australia.

But it wasn’t until she rediscovered writing, and romance writing in particular, that she realized the difference between a career and a calling. Her first book she wrote longhand in a spiral notebook through nine months of morning sickness with a hyperactive toddler at her feet. But she never doubted that the effort was worth it, or that someday she would be published. It took seven complete manuscripts before she got that magical call from an editor.

Now her children are all in school and Joan writes full-time. Unless she’s close to a deadline, she tries to keep evenings and weekends free for her family, believing that maintaining a balance in life is important. Joan’s other interests include gourmet cooking, swimming, reading, walking, and people watching. She firmly believes one must experience life in order to write about it, and takes every opportunity to travel and try new things.

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Photo: Joan Kilby
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