All in the family

Elizabeth Withey at the Edmonton Journal interviewed me recently for a piece on how inspirational my mother (and father) have been for my writing life. Here it is!

Get this: my mom beat me to the punch and published her first book! At the age of 64! How cool is this?

Proudflesh, a short story collection by P.J. Worrell (a.k.a. Peggy, a.k.a. Mom), came out in April with Thistledown Press. Apparently writing runs in the family.

But hang on, I was a writer first. Can an artistic gene run backward? Just kidding. My mom has always been creative – she was just too busy raising three kids largely on her own to dabble in literature until we’d all skedaddled into adulthood.

Mothers are no doubt inspiring, and in the lead-up to Mother’s Day, we spoke with some Edmonton artists whose creative mothers inspired their craft.

DMC and Mary Victoria

Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail

Writer and Edmonton’s historian laureate, age 31

“My mom, Mary Metcalfe, went to Carleton journalism school and really fell in love with communications and always nursing this creative side of herself. I saw, growing up, that she could make a living with words and ideas, which was pretty inspirational. She branched out on her own and started her own communications consultant company. She has also written a trilogy of contemporary women’s fiction. In the last five years her focus shifted to novels and she looked for an agent but had battled cancer and realized the clock was ticking, so she decided to self-publish. Then she created her own publishing company, Laskin. She is also freelance editing and doing other writing work.

“She’s a talented writer but she’s always been really good at encouraging writers and she’s been my editor since grade school. In large part I became a writer because of her, and also because of my dad, Jacques Chenail, who’s heavily involved in translation. My mom’s entrepreneurial spirit really influenced me and showed me I could go outside the traditional routes of academic writing or traditional publishing and make my own path. And she’s always surrounded me with books and opportunities to meet with books and other writers in the literary community in Ottawa where I grew up.”

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