I obtained some basic biographical information off the Canadaka.net website:
Bowen, Gail (b. 1942). Born Gail Bartholomew in Toronto, she learned to read by age three from tombstones in Prospect Cemetery, a facility that was extremely useful when she was struck by polio two years later. She was educated at the University of Toronto (B.A.), University of Waterloo (M.A.), and the University of Saskatchewan, where she almost completed a Ph.D. After a series of extension-course teaching contracts in small-town locations across Saskatchewan and a ten-year sessional stint with the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College, University of Regina, she was granted tenure in the English department of the university in 1986.
Last year Gail was writer in residence with the Calgary Public Library.
Her husband, Ted, is from Texas. He was also a university professor. They have 3 children (Hildy, Max, Nathaniel) and 2 grandchildren (Madeline and Alejandra).
What I can add to the official information is that Gail is a wonderful person to visit and with whom to share a meal. Conversation sparkles with Gail and Ted. They are interested, involved and ready to talk on any topic. If any reader has the chance to spend time with Gail I encourage them to take advantage of the opportunity. You will be stimulated and informed.
Gail has a unique home in Regina in that she has the only house in Saskatchewan that I know of that has a Cold War bomb shelter in the backyard. I was going to describe it as inaccessible but Gail advised me that Nathaniel has recently opened it up and pumped it out and shown it to some of the curious. It has been sealed up again.
Her backyard was also noteworthy on a visit Sharon and I had to her home for having mirrors hanging along the fence. It was an intriguing means of livening up the backyard.
You will not find Gail at an airport. She does not fly. When she needs to get to Eastern Canada to promote books or for other reasons she takes the train for that 2,500 km journey. She is currently on her way back from an author tour in Ontario.
I have read all of the Joanne Kilbourn series and reviewed most of them. You can find my reviews by clicking on Saskatchewan mysteries on the right hand side of the blog and going to the section on Gail.
All of the books in the series are based in Saskatchewan and feature elements of our lives in this province. Our geography, weather and people are all featured in her books.
I especially enjoy the development of Joanne’s family during the two decades of the series. Joanne has gone through raising her 3 children and is now involved in the lives of a stepdaughter and 2 granddaughters.
I can tell you in advance of the post that Kaleidoscope is an excellent addition to the series.