Even as a child, I penned little stories, but never seriously pursued writing, (beyond typical high school scribbles of teenage angst), until I was close to 40. Spotting an ad in my local newspaper for a night school writing course, I impulsively registered. My teacher proved to be the celebrated poet Barry Dempster, who introduced me to the world of poetry, eventually becoming an invaluable mentor and, more importantly, a true friend.
My relationship with writing tends to be hot and cold. Anxiety and depression often fuel a negative voice that, more than once, has nearly convinced me to put away the pen for good. But invariably, Barry nudges me back to the page.
My biggest influence was my father, Ron Madill. He was well-read, eloquent and sarcastic, (all qualities I admire), and when I recall now his knowledge of all things hands-on, it still astounds me. I would also say my friend, John Shirtliff, who shared a similar work ethic to my dad, and had a wisdom far beyond his abbreviated school years. Finally, my dear friend Barry Dempster, whose incredible talent in both writing and teaching has been a gift, and his relentless tenacity throughout his own personal challenges a true inspiration.