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 bestselling novels–The Birth House, The Virgin Cure, and The Witches of New York—as well as the novella, Half Spent Was the Night. Her memoir, Daughter of Family G was named a CBC Best Book of 2019. McKay is also a playwright, composer, and essayist. Born and raised in the Midwest, she now lives in Nova Scotia.