I arrived on Hornby Island in 1989 and have lived here full time until recent changes which take me to Toronto each winter for collaborative work, and to Cuba and England for annual visits.
My Galleon Beach cabin, a five minute bike ride from the Hornby Island Library, is my writing retreat from spring till fall.
My most recent publication is a collection of stories set in Baracoa Cuba – In the Embrace of the Alligator, Published by Thistledown Press, as were two previous novels –My Sweet Curiosity, and The Reddening Path. I have adapted my first novel, Sounding the Blood, as a screenplay. I’ve been fortunate to receive a number of awards for my writing, including the 2008 Prism International Literary non-fiction award, and have twice been a finalist for the BC Relit Awards. All my novels and my short story collection have been translated into Spanish. Sounding the Blood will be presented at the Havana Book Fair in 2017. It has also been translated into Czech.
Travel and research are my inspirations. In 1996 I traveled to Haida Gwaii and spent two weeks at the ruins of the Rose Harbour whaling station, which experience led to the writing of Sounding the Blood, a historical novel set in the heyday of BC coastal whaling. The Reddening Path takes my readers to Guatemala with Paméla, a Mayan girl in search of her birth mother after growing up as an adoptee in Canada. My Sweet Curiosity vaults between present day Toronto, Renaissance Europe, and pre-Tiananmen crisis Beijing. With my Cuban short story collections I invite my readers on a virtual trip to Cuba where I have become so much at home, thanks to the hospitality and inclusivity of the Cuban people.
As a child, with my nose always in a book, I dreamed of one day living close to a library with an unlimited abundance of reading material. That dream has come true, and in this technological age I can order books on line and download e-books. But I never imagined that my own books would be in that library.
Amanda Hale is available for readings and to speak to book clubs and readers’ groups.