e" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" /> About Brenda Missen
About Brenda Missen

About Brenda

Brenda Missen was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1961. Knowing she wanted to be a writer from the age of ten, she went off to university to read novels for four years. She graduated from the University of Toronto in 1984 with an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree and Specialist Certificate in English Language and Literature. This gave her the background she wanted to pursue a literary career, but with graduation came a reality check: how to make a living? After a few years working as a typist (and then "word processor operator" in the early days of computers), she discovered the field of freelance editing. She got her start in 1988 with Toronto publishers such as Doubleday Canada, Summerhill Press, and McClelland & Stewart.

Brenda has had her own writing and editing business, M I A Communications, for more than two decades. After moving to Chelsea, Quebec, in 1989, her main clients became departments of the Canadian federal government. For the past dozen years she has lived on the Madawaska River in the wilderness heart of central Ontario, where she maintains her clients through e-mail and divides her time between her communications business and her own writing.

Tell Anna She's Safe (Inanna Publications and Education, 2011) is her first published novel. The novel, a thriller, is based on the true story of her friend and colleague Louise Ellis, who disappeared in Ottawa in 1995. Because of the difficult subject matter, the novel took 10 years to write.

After years of trying to write short stories and discovering they are definitely not her forte, Brenda managed to get two published -"It Must Have Been the Sherry" in the crime anthology Cottage Country Killers (General Store Publishing Housing, 1997) and "Jockey for Women" in the Algonquin Roundtable Review (Issue No. 2, Summer 2000). "Jockey for Women" took second prize in the Ottawa Independent Writers' short story contest in 1996. Much more within her comfort zone is the essay genre: Brenda has contributed personal essays and profiles to the Canadian Wildlife Federation magazine Canadian Wildlife, the paddling magazine Canoeroots, and the Canadian Recreational Canoeing Association magazine, Kanawa, and is an irregular contributor of personal essays to her local newspaper, Barry's Bay This Week.

Brenda is currently hard at work on the rewrites of the first volume of her "canoeing chronicles"- a contemplative work of non-fiction that takes place within the framework of a decade of solo canoe trips in Ontario's Algonquin Park. What was originally envisioned as one work has now been divided into two volumes, each covering five years.

A keen canoeist, hiker, swimmer, cyclist and cross-country skier, Brenda spends as much time as possible outdoors with her dog, Maddy. She can often be found writing the old fashioned way, with fountain pen and paper, on a rocky shore or even, when inspiration can't wait for solid ground, in a canoe.