Jamieson Findlay (1958–) Biography
Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights
Born 1958, in Canada. Education: Queen's University (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), graduated; studied in Paris.
Agent—c/o Author Mail, Random House of Canada, Toronto St., Unit 300, Toronto, Ontario M5C 2V6, Canada.
Freelance writer, teacher, and science journalist.
Silver Medal, National Magazine Awards, 2001, for article in Canadian Geographic.
The Blue Roan Child, Doubleday (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2002, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2004.
Contributor of articles to periodicals, including Canadian Geographic.
Work in Progress
Award-winning Canadian science journalist and teacher Jamieson Findlay made his publishing debut in 2002 with the fantasy novel The Blue Roan Child. Taking place in an ancient time, the novel tells the story of a twelve-year-old orphan girl named Syeira who has a gift for working with horses. While employed in the royal stables in the kingdom of Hayselean, Syeira is especially drawn to Arwin, a blue roan mare of special intelligence who can communicate feelings and images through scent pictures. Of the highly prized Arva breed, Arwin has been recently captured in the wild along with her two foals. When the foals are stolen by Ran, the evil leader of the rival kingdom of Stormsythe, Syeira frees Arwin and joins the mare on a dangerous journey to Stormsythe to recover the lost foals, helped in her quest by a hermit knight and a lame sea captain named Grulla. Noting that "lots of olfactory details enrich the [novel's] well-realized, preindustrial setting," School Library Journal reviewer Beth Wright deemed the book "an enjoyable fantasy from a new writer to be watched" Jennifer Mattson, reviewing the novel for Booklist, also enjoyed Findlay's debut, commenting that, despite the author's "lingering affection for dense description, symbolism, and stories within stories,… many fantasy devotees will relish his richly embroidered imaginings." In Publishers Weekly a critic deemed The Blue Roan Child "elegantly written," while in Resource Links K.V. Johansen cited Syeira as a "convincing and realistic" heroine whose "moral struggle and growth" add an ethical element to Findlay's "complex, suspenseful, and well-contrived" story.
In an interview for the Chicken House Publishers Web site, Findlay had some advice for aspiring writers: "The novelist Doris Lessing said that the most important part of writing is living. I would recommend going as deeply into life as you can, exploring it to the utmost, experiencing it fully—because you only get one chance. As a start, you might want to unplug your television." Findlay, who makes his home in Ottawa, has been inspired by his memories of growing up in Canada's remote Yukon Territory, but admits to getting many of his story ideas from dreams, from asking questions, and from "generally being as unproductive as possible."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Books in Canada, September, 2002, Karen Krossing, review of The Blue Roan Child, p. 44.
Booklist, June 1, 2004, Jennifer Mattson, review of The Blue Roan Child, p. 1726.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, September, 2004, Krista Hutley, review of The Blue Roan Child, p. 15.
Canadian Book Review Annual, 2002, review of The Blue Roan Child, p. 490.
Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2004, review of The Blue Roan Child, p. 536.
Publishers Weekly, August 2, 2004, review of The Blue Roan Child, p. 71.
Resource Links, October, 2002, K.V. Johansen, review of The Blue Roan Child, p. 13.
School Librarian, winter, 2004, Tricia Adams, review of The Blue Roan Child, p. 201.
School Library Journal, July, 2004, Beth Wright, review of The Blue Roan Child, p. 105.
Teacher Librarian, April, 2004, Helen Moore, review of The Blue Roan Child, p. 10.
Voice of Youth Advocates, October, 2004, Vivian Howard, review of The Blue Roan Child, p. 313.
Chicken House Web site, http://www.doublecluck.com/ (December 14, 2005), interview with Findlay.
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