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About Pearl Luke


I have had the pleasure of writing and editing professionally for twenty-two years. I've been teaching writing and literature for eighteen years and have been mentoring writers privately since 2001.

Reading and writing have been the mainstays of my life for as long as I can remember, but I was nearly thirty before it ocurred to me that I, too, could be a writer. Shortly after that epiphany, I enrolled in university and went on to acquire a master's degree in English Literature.

I am the author of two award winning literary novels and hundreds of articles, columns, web pages, and business documents. My experience writing, editing, teaching, and publishing has put me in a position to help aspiring authors, and I now work as an independent writing mentor. I also teach advanced writing for DeVry University Online. Previously, I worked for the University of British Columbia in their Booming Ground writing program.

My first novel, Burning Ground was published in 2000 by HarperCollins. It won the 2001 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for Best First Book (Caribbean and Canada Region), and was a finalist for the George Bugnet Award, the Chapters/Robertson Davies First Novel Award and the Libris Booksellers Award. Burning Ground was based in part on my experiences working summers on various fire towers while I wrote my Master’s thesis.

The historical novel Madame Zee, five years in the writing and published in 2006 (HarperCollins), was more difficult to write than Burning Ground because of the scope and the research required. Nevertheless, the hours I spent sifting through archival materials, examining personal letters, poetry, and newspaper clippings were some of the most pleasurable hours of the writing process.

I enjoy traveling and combine writing with travel when possible. I’ve visited numerous parts of the globe and on an extended vacation in Mexico, I fell in love with San Miguel de Allende, which led to me taking a position as instructor at Instituto Tecnológico y des Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in nearby Queretaro. Currently, I spend part of every year in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Burning Ground made it possible for me to travel to Accra, Ghana, for the Commonwealth Prize ceremonies. I also accepted an invitation to Taiwan, where I spent three weeks as writer-in-residence for the city of Taipei.

Home, however, is on Salt Spring Island, one of Canada's southern Gulf Islands.

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