I was born in Ottawa, and for the first nine years of my life lived a typically Canadian childhood. But my father, an electrical engineer, had served in the Royal Navy during WWII and as a consequence had developed the wanderlust. He moved to Canada just after the war, met my mother and married, then in the early fifties took off with his new family for what was then known as the Belgium Congo. After returning to Canada he settled down for awhile and had a family of six kids, of which I was the fourth. But my father wasn't content to remain in one place forever, and in 1968 we departed from Quebec for Pakistan. We lived in Sukkur for the first few months of our initial stay, then moved to Khaipur. My father was working for CIDA (the Canadian International Development Agency), putting the final touches on a thermal power plant. While in Pakistan we journeyed the country from top to bottom and saw much that few tourists are ever likely to see. From Pakistan we went to Iran, where my father worked for NIGC (the National Iranian Gas Company). We were located in Isfahan for most of our stay, though we spent time visiting outlying areas and Tehran. This was in the early seventies, at the time of the Shah, and some years before the revolution that would dramatically transform the country. After Iran we returned to Canada for a short period, then went off to Tanzania. Our first stay there was in Marangu, the jumping off point for many of the climbs up Kilimanjaro. Later we moved down to Moshi, to a house that had a front yard view of the mountain. While in Tanzania we ventured to places like Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Arusha, N'gorongoro Crater, etc. Following Tanzania it was back to Canada again, then off to Pakistan once more, this time to live in Lahore.
Aside from living in the aforementioned countries, we also visited places like Britain, France, Greece, Kashmir, and Kenya.+
Although living overseas compromised my education in some respects, I would never trade that time for anything. I learned so much about the world and myself during that time, things I could never garner from books or TV shows. Living in developing countries, experiencing them first hand and being thoroughly immersed in wildly divergent cultures changed my perspective on life. Those moments have filtered into all of my writing in some way or another, and inform my social conscience every day of my life. And though everything was not wonderful when I was growing up, and though there were times that were decidedly difficult, I nevertheless cherish all of my memories of those days.
After we settled back Canada my father continued to undertake overseas jobs, working in such places as Argentina, Columbia, Zaire, and Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, I pursued a different course in life, undertaking various jobs as I pursued writing and art. I've done things like build greenhouses, tutor art, help construct custom homes, freelance art, commissioned paintings, graphic art, child care, construction, word processing piece work, and more. During all this I continued to follow my dream of being a writer, but it was a long time before I felt confident enough about anything I had written to consider it worthy of submission.
One of my early efforts, a short novel called "Zero-Option," won first place in a competition held at the Pine Cone II SF convention in 1989. For some time after that I worked on drafts of several books that were intended to be a series, but it wouldn't be until 2006 that I would finally get one published. This was "In Darkness Bound", a SF political/military drama that serves as the foundation for several more interrelated novels. I was quite proud of the book, having worked on it for nearly three years, but I confess that things have not turned out as well as I had hoped they would when I got it published. Rather belatedly, I discovered that my publisher was not all it claimed to be, and had a reputation that was far from stellar within and without the industry. Moreover, said publisher did nothing to promote my work and put such a high sticker price on the novel I had written that it has been virtually unsaleable. Accordingly, I acquired the digital rights to my book and have since had it published by mobipocket.com, where sales have been somewhat better than they have been for the hard copy version of the book.
Currently I am shopping around a new SF novel, related to "In Darkness Bound," but wholly independent of that novel. I am also seeking a publisher and/or agent for a young adult fantasy trilogy, the latter of which I have high hopes for -- it being some of the best material I believe I have ever written.
As well as writing I am continuing to paint and pursue other art projects. At some point I hope to write and illustrate a children's book, but that is something for later down the road.
Those interested in reading some of my work or viewing some of my art can visit my website at www.freewebs.com/lindsaybrambles. There you will find "Zero-Option" and two other stories for free download. You can also download one half of the novel "In Darkness Bound" (approximately 142,000 words). "Zero-Option" has enjoyed great success on the Internet and has been downloaded several thousand times over the past year.
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Welcome! In fact, Tanzania is moving to the top of my list. I am very keen to to the Southern Circuit and more.
I might quiz you on a few things when I get closer. Glad you like the site. I tried to keep it fun and interesting.
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