One of the most common questions I receive when I attend author events is “What did you do before you were an author?” The question sparked the idea for a blog series, and so far it’s proven to be very popular with authors and readers alike. Because the reality is, none of us were born authors, and most of us have worked in a variety of jobs.
I was a teenager, about sixteen, when I got my first part-time job at a grocery store. It was called Sunnybrook Food Market and it was located at Midland and Lawrence in Scarborough, Ontario, about a mile and a half walk from my house, and a ten minute walk from school. To say Sunnybrook Food Market—long since out of business— was a discount grocery store would be putting a gloss on it, but they were willing to train, and they paid us every Friday without fail.
Now you might be wondering how that job impacted my writing all these years later, and the short answer is, it didn’t, with one exception. There was another student there, Camilla. Once Camilla knew that I liked one of the stock boys, she made it her mission in life to date him. And she succeeded. Fast forward a few decades to The Hanged Man’s Noose and you’ll meet Camilla Mortimer-Gilroy. Those of you who have read the book know that Camilla is the woman responsible for breaking up Arabella and Levon’s marriage. Coincidence? I leave it for you to decide.
I left Sunnybrook a year later (not entirely my idea, if I’m being honest — it seems they actually expected me to pay for all the chocolate bars I ate). As for Camilla, I don’t know what became of her, and I don’t remember the name of the stock boy, but in my fictional world, they got married at eighteen and divorced at twenty. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!