Joanne Findon blames American children’s author Lloyd Alexander for inspiring her two lifelong passions: studying the past and writing fiction, especially fantasy. Alexander’s Prydein series awakened in her the desire to weave spells out of words and transport readers to other worlds. Alexander’s inspiration for the books – the medieval Welsh tales called the Mabinogi – piqued her curiosity about early Celtic culture.
As a result, she spent years studying medieval history and literature, earning an MA and PhD in Medieval Studies. Her research has also fed her love of writing stories inspired by times past. Her first picture book, The Dream of Aengus, is a retelling of a haunting medieval Irish tale of love and transformation. Auld Lang Syne is a non-fiction picture book about Scottish poet Robert Burns. When Night Eats the Moon, her novel for young adults, is a time-travel fantasy in which the main character Holly travels to prehistoric Stonehenge. Her short story about a female werewolf, “That Time of the Month,” appeared in an anthology of horror fiction for young adult readers in 2006.
Her latest book is Seeking Our Eden: the Dreams and Migrations of Sarah Jameson Craig, a non-fiction book based on the diaries and memoir of her eccentric great-grandmother, a radical dress-reformer who tried to start a utopian colony in the 1860’s. Joanne has also published two short stories based on incidents in the life of this woman. She is currently working on a collection of linked short stories for young adults inspired by the strong women in this family, including a time-travel fantasy story in which a contemporary girl and her great-great-grandmother, both of whom are running away from home, meet on a New Brunswick road.
Joanne teaches medieval literature, children’s literature, and creative writing in Trent University’s Department of English Literature.
“That Time of the Month,” in The Horrors: Terrifying Tales Book Two (anthology of young adult short fiction). Ed. Peter Carver. Red Deer: Red Deer Press, 2006. 109-119.
When Night Eats the Moon (young adult novel). Red Deer: Red Deer Press, 1999.
“The Scarlatina”, in Winds Through Time (anthology of historical fiction for young adults). Ed. Ann Walsh. Vancouver: Beach Holme Publishing, 1998. 55-66.
“On the Road”, in Takes (anthology of young adult fiction). Ed. Rob McIntyre. Saskatoon: Thistledown Press, 1996. 132-46.
The Dream of Aengus (a retelling of the medieval Irish tale, published as a picture book). Toronto: Lester Publishing, 1994.
“The Importance of Being Bracknell,” in The Blue Jean Collection (anthology of young adult fiction. Ed. Peter Carver. Saskatoon: Thistledown Press, 1992. 191-205.
“Dragons at Mooncastle” (short story for children) first in the Canadian Children’s Annual (1988) and again in Prentice-Hall’s Cycles 1 Grade 7 anthology (1990).
Seeking “Our Eden”: The Dreams and Migrations of Sarah Jameson Craig. McGill-Queens University Press, 2015.
Co-author with Marsha Groves, Science and Technology in the Middle Ages (children’s non-fiction book.) St. Catharines: Crabtree Press, 2004.
“Dreaming of Eden in the New Brunswick Bush”, The Beaver (August/September 1998): 11-16.
Auld Lang Syne, (non-fiction picture book about Robert Burns). Toronto: Stoddart Kids, 1997.
Lady, Hero, Saint: The Digby Play’s Mary Magdalene, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies Publications, 2011.
A Woman’s Words: Emer and Female Speech in the Ulster Cycle, University of Toronto Press, 1997.
The Girl of the Future and Other Stories, a collection of linked short stories for young adults. Inspired by some of Sarah Jameson Craig’s diary entries, this collection focusses on girls and women of five generations.