County Wave Author Biographies

After 40 years working as a food writer, editor and cookbook author, Julia Aitken may have hung up her apron and retired to Prince Edward County but she continues to write. As for subject matter, she now favours fiction over food, and has more than one unfinished novel littering her house in Picton.

Peter Blendell is the author of two novels, a story for spoken word, a radio play, and various non-fiction articles about film and visual art. He lives in Milford, where he is at work on a collection of stories to be published in 2019.

D. Carpenter grew up in Toronto, but has been a full-time resident of Prince Edward County since 2002. A former racetrack journalist and English teacher, he is the author of four books of poetry, as well as five novels – four of which comprise the Campbell Young series of murder mysteries, published by McClelland & Stewart and The Dundurn Group. His most recent novel, The County Murders, was released by Cressy Lakeside Books in 2016. He has a sequel in the works.

Buffy Carruthers worked as a freelance journalist in Toronto. Her work included feature food writing for the Globe and Mail and writing and editing for MacLean Hunter. When she moved to Prince Edward County in 1989 she began to write fiction, often becoming distracted by visual art. She is a recent winner of the Otto Rogers Award for Excellence in Art and received a Jurors’ Award in 2015 at Art in the County. She plans to publish a collection of short stories in the near future.

Susan Desveaux retired to the County in 2014 after a 35-year career at Toronto General Hospital and the University of Toronto. “Memories of Crema” is the third in a series of published short stories featuring Einstein and his friends. The “Crema” concept was born of a conversation with graduate students who, having attended a lecture on the neurochemistry of intelligence, were full of enthusiasm for the future of molecular neuroscience. Einstein muscled his way into the stories immediately thereafter and shows no signs of leaving.

Alan Gratias has had a lifelong affair with crumbling houses. You might say his life is in ruins. Somewhere along the way he came to believe that if we save our buildings, we save ourselves. He is the author of The Completely Civil Servant, The Kingsburg Elixir, Crumbling Houses, Roger the Lodger, and is the creator of a number of entertainment products under the Gravitatis brand. He lives at Cressy House on Lake Ontario where he tends to his dogs, a vineyard of chardonnay, and ongoing deterioration.

Rebecca House is a recent arrival in Prince Edward County. When she’s not the CEO of a bustling household, you’ll find her travelling, freelance writing, or plotting out her next dark fiction. Her stories have been published in the anthologies, The Stand (Polar Expressions Publishing), Allucinor (ID Press) and Running Wild Anthology of Stories, Volume 2 (Running Wild Press). You can also find her stories and poems online at and With Painted Words. Visit www.smalltowngal to learn what Rebecca is working on, or find her on Twitter (@rhhouse) and Instagram (@rhousewriter).

S.M. Hurley is the pen name of a Picton writer.

Robert MacGougan moved to the County in April of 2016 with his partner Janet. Much to his surprise, since his arrival he’s been procrastinating less than he had in Toronto. “Eulogizing” is his first published work, if you don’t include a winning caption in the New Yorker cartoon contest some years ago.

David Mott was a Professor of Music at Yale and York Universities; his career spanned 40 years and two universities whose names begin with Y and are four letters long. He is a professional composer, saxophonist and improviser; he has written numerous articles on music and creativity; and he is the author of The Mind, Body, Spirit of Uechi-Ryu Karate Do – the culmination of over 50 years as a martial artist.

Ken Murray is a novelist, short story writer, playwright, essayist and broadcaster based in Prince Edward County. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines in Canada and the United States. In 2015, the Globe and Mail called Ken’s novel Eulogy a “powerful, poignant debut.” Ken hosts the Horn Trip radio show on 99.3 County FM, and teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies and Haliburton School of Art & Design. An earlier version of “Arlee” was published online in the Menda City Review in 2011. For more information, go to or

Rosalind Place was born in England and emigrated to Canada when she was five years old. Although raised in the big city, she left the bright lights many years ago and has made her home in Prince Edward County since 1992. An interpreter by profession, she is also a life-long writer of poetry and short stories and has been published in a number of magazines. Rosalind recently completed her first novel.

Karen Ralley was raised in Milford, the village where her great-great-grandfather William Byron Scott (1843-1921) owned and operated historic Scott’s Mill. Karen’s short stories, poetry and journalism have been published in Lake Effect, The Queen’s Feminist Review, Ultraviolet, County Magazine, express, Umbrella, and Independently Reviewed. She is working on a novel.

Recently relocated to Prince Edward County, Michael J. Ritchie spends his time as a writer and Transformation Coach, sharing life through what he loves.

Lawrence Scanlan is the author or co-author of more than two dozen books on a wide range of subjects. He is represented by Jackie Kaiser at Westwood Creative Artists and can be found at He is the winner of three National Magazine Awards and for the past ten years has written a column on sports in Kingston Life magazine. He divides his time between his home in Kingston and a cabin in Prince Edward County.

Nigel J. Sivel grew up in Wellington, Ontario. He was educated at Prince Edward Collegiate Institute, Carleton University, the University of Toronto, Oxford University, and the University of Waterloo. He was a teacher of Media Literacy, English, Communications Technology, and Journalism at PECI from 1971 to 2000. He is the recipient of the Marshall McLuhan Distinguished Teacher Award and Prince Edward County Citizen of the Year Award. He is a co-founder of the Regent Theatre Foundation and Quinte Summer Music. He is a past director of the Prince Edward/Hastings Habitat for Humanity. He is married to Susan Sivel, and lives in Wellington.

Rosemary Smith is new to fictional musings. Her very short story “Aunt Tilly Goes A-Wandering” is rooted in County lore, but the outcome is purely “What if?” She is a member of two local writing groups, Writers Unblocked and the Bloomfield Circle, and has been a full-time Milford resident since 2005.

Robin Timmerman is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and the author of Pity of the Winds and three other Middle Island Mysteries. Of “Majority Rules” she says: “My son told me this intriguing story of a nighttime streetcar ride some years ago and it stayed in my mind – a story that wanted to be written.”

Linda Torney retired to the County in 2014, following a 30-year career in the Toronto labour movement. For thirteen years she held the position of president of the Toronto Labour Council, the first woman to do so. She is the author of “Walking on Sunshine,” an account of the Labour Council’s organization of the 1998 Toronto days of action. “Beside Himself” is her fourth published short story. She is currently working on a novel.

Yvonne Voulgaris is a writer, nutritionist, and educator. She moved to Prince Edward County a year ago and has been met with kindness and generosity at every turn. She has written nutrition articles for print and online magazines over the last decade; this is her first fiction publication. Yvonne believes in a world where superheroes exist and wouldn’t want to live in one where they didn’t.

Elis K. Ziegler is a full-time Milford resident. When not providing services to micro-businesses and non-profits, Elis spends time writing and beekeeping on an off-grid homestead. “From the Green Box” is the first County-based fiction for Elis. More about Elis at