My first kiss was in the reference section of a Carnegie Public Library in rural Indiana. I strongly suspect there was magic afoot. My partner in crime eventually moved away, but my enthusiasm for spending time in the stacks continued to grow. Kissing boys was one thing, falling in love with books was an obsession. Emily Dickinson, Jane Austen, L. Frank Baum, Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Dickens, Mary Shelley, Edith Wharton, The Brothers Grimm, Ursula K. Le Guin…all excellent companions, those deft spinners of story.
When I didn’t have my nose in a book, I was making music—seated at a piano singing jazz standards, or playing Strauss and Mozart on the French Horn. My university years were spent studying music history and theory, and although the path from musicologist to novelist may seem a strange one, it’s made perfect sense to me.
These days when I’m not writing, I keep bees, tend my garden, talk to ravens, and shake the branches of my family tree looking for stories to stare back at me from between its leaves.
Most of my work comes from places where the past collides with the present, and fantastic things occur in unexpected ways. They’re all fairy tales of one sort or another, I suppose. But no matter what anyone chooses to call them, they have one thing in common: strong women doing remarkable things.
I write the stories I want to read.
I write what I wish to be.
Book Jacket Bio:
AMI McKAY is the author of three internationally bestselling novels–The Birth House, The Virgin Cure and The Witches of New York and the recent yuletide novella, Half Spent Was the Night. She is also a playwright, composer, and writer of creative non-fiction. Ami began her writing career as a freelance radio journalist, and in 2001 wrote and produced a radio documentary, called Daughter of Family G, that traced her decision to undergo genetic testing. It won a Silver Medallion at the Atlantic Journalism Awards, was nominated for a Gabriel Award, and aired on both The Sunday Edition on CBC Radio and on National Public Radio in the US. Her genetic memoir—Daughter of Family G: A Memoir of Cancer Genes, Love and Fate, will be published by Knopf Canada in September, 2019. Born and raised in Indiana, McKay now lives in Nova Scotia.
For a description of her memoir: You can read more about it here.