My hometown is the balmy city of Victoria, and I now live in the snowy mountain village of Whistler, British Columbia. I have been a writing enthusiast since the age of seven when I wrote and self-published my first book.
I crafted the cover from a leftover piece of fabric my mum tossed out from a set of curtains she was making. If you find the book on a coffee table you might mistake it for a trivet.
You might set your drink down on the scrap of cloth to prevent a mess of dribbles. As a mother, I say good for you! As a writer, I say what are you thinking?!? This book is a treasure, filled with stories and poems and illustrations and the collection is descriptively titled, Stories and Poems. Perhaps I should have named it This is Not A Trivet.
Not a trivet!!!
See actual trivet under cup of tea.
The thrill of creation and seeing my name in print—even if it was my own handwriting— never left me. Although I confess for a time I dabbled with the idea of being an actor. After a handful of rejections (it didn’t take many) I decided I would become a filmmaker. Have you ever sat through the entire credits of a film? For every actor there are hundreds, maybe thousands of crew members. It seemed like a sure bet. So I applied to the Ryerson University film program in Toronto and got in. This involved four years of dirtbag filmmaking in alleyways and abandoned warehouses which were the only locations we could get for free. I loved every minute of it.
The day I graduated I began writing short stories and a recession struck. I don’t know if the two things were related, but it was hard getting my career started as a filmmaker. Since then, I have done all kinds of curious activities at various jobs, such as submarine escape and rescue, torpedo recovery, story editing, writing, video editing, heli-skiing, cat-skiing, ziplining, water sliding, dogsledding and Inukshuk carving.
And I never stopped writing. I joined a writers group called The Vicious Circle and we meet every month. Sometimes we rip our writing to shreds like a pack of rabid dogs, other times we gobble chocolates in celebration of our inkslinging. We have done this for twenty years.
Along the way I earned my Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at UBC. I discovered I love teaching creative writing too, especially to my youngest and most senior students as they have no filters and never worry about whether it is “good” or not. They just write. I bet they would be surprised to know I try to learn everything I can from them.
In 2021 I published My Best Friend is Extinct with the wonderful Orca Book Publishers. Cornelia Li is the incomparable illustrator who brought Henry and Yarp and this snow-filled world to life. It’s a book about finding friendship, being your best self, and discovering pre-historic creatures in your backyard. Oh, and there’s lots and lots of snow, because every snow day is the best day ever.
Rebecca’s Professional Bio
Rebecca is an award-winning writer and filmmaker living in Whistler, British Columbia. Her short fiction has been published in Room, The Antigonish Review and Pique Newsmagazine. She has made over 35 short films, which have broadcast on TV and been screened at festivals around the world. Her films have won the People’s Choice Award three times. Rebecca is a passionate advocate for the literary arts, and enjoys supporting emerging and established writers in their projects through teaching, editing, career consultation and assisting writers’ critique groups in their formation. Her middle-grade children’s book My Best Friend is Extinct (Orca Book Publishers) releases March 2021.