By Melissa Martz
What an adventurous life Lisa Dalrymple of Fergus, and one of Canada’s newest children’s authors, has already had…and she’s only 38. Dalrymple was born in Canada to English parents, but then left when she was a year old to live in England, to be closer to other family. The family returned to Canada in 1982. Interestingly, Lisa was the only person in her immediate family who was born in Canada.
She, like many writers, can’t remember not writing. Dalrymple recalls writing mystery stories like Nancy Drew, and would send them to her grandparents in England, who were her biggest supporters in her writing endeavours. As Dalrymple ponders her elementary school years at Leslie McFarlane Public School, named after the primary writer for both the Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys series. Aha – a sign! Later in high school, she worked as a student reporter for both The Oshawa Times and Whitby Free Press.
Fast track to Western University, where she met the love of her life, her husband Marc, and after which, she left Canada for a few years to teach English abroad: one year in South Korea and another in Thailand. While on this whirlwind expedition, Dalrymple would write every chance she could get, mainly as an outlet for herself. As their three children came along, so did her interest in writing children’s books.
After much creativity, patience, portfolio building, and perseverance, Dalrymple was notified in July 2011 that her manuscript, If It’s No Trouble…A Big Polar Bear, was going to be published by Tuckamore Books. As the news, which she had not yet shared with Marc, was sinking in, she received a phone call advising her she had won a national Writing for Children competition. Floating on cloud nine, she went out for a celebratory dinner. After returning, she checked her email, and voila! a contract from Fitzhenry and Whiteside for her second book.
If It’s No Trouble…A Big Polar Bear is being released this week, and her second book, Skink on the Brink, is due out on May 31, 2013. Dalrymple’s first public storytelling of If It’s No Trouble…A Big Polar Bear was at Kitchener’s Word on the Street on Sunday September 23, 2012.