Sharman Horwood

Writer and Visual Artist

The Writing Side of Life

In Grade 3 Mrs. Irwin told me I wrote well. She said I should consider becoming a writer when I grew up. She was right. I loved books, and spent most of my time reading. After that, I planned for nothing else. I managed to earn a Masters’ degree in English Literature, and wrote as much as I could.

Life, however, didn’t cooperate. In order to support myself, I moved to South Korea in 1993 to teach at a university. I loved it. I found the culture and people fascinating. However, working and all these new experiences didn’t leave me much time for writing.

I realized that as long as I worked I wouldn’t find the time, or–and this was most crucial for me as a woman–the mental space to write fiction. Marriage and work took all my emotional energy. As a result, I didn’t become a writer until I retired in 2014 and returned to Canada.

Over the years, though, I kept my fingers busy. In 2012 I collaborated on a science fiction novel with a New Zealand colleague, Lyn McConchie. The novel is Queen of Iron Years. It won the Sir Julius Vogel Award. Since then I have been writing two columns (“Smarter Than Jack or Jill” and “For the Love of Genre”) for the East Shore Mainstreet newspaper. The first is an exploration on the intelligence of animals, and the second is a book review, focusing on Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Mystery novels.

At the same time I have written one Young Adult Fantasy novel, titled The Lake Dragons (not yet published), and an adult Science Fiction novel, The Secrets of Time and Stone and its sequel (both not yet published). I have several other partially completed novels that I look forward to finishing. Soon.

I love writing, and I hope you enjoy what you see here. Also, stop by the visual art section here to see my paintings–my other passion.

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Queen of Iron Years excerpt

If Cean gave him the casket what would happen? He feared he knew. The idiot would force it open somehow, wrecking it, and find Cean’s story inside. Then he would either discard it or blackmail Cean.

And there was no time left. He needed to activate the time jumper and be gone before anyone else could turn up to prevent it.

Smith was contemptuous. To him, Cean was a weedy scientist bleating about “his” casket. He stepped forward to seize the treasure he’d long sought. Cean still tried to explain.

“You don’t understand. I had this made for me.” Smith didn’t hear him. “It belongs to me. It isn’t hers.”
Jonathan half-heard that.

Neither of them heard Fort’s outcry as he raced towards them.

“It belongs to whoever holds it,” Smith added in part to himself.

“But it’s mine!”

Cean had used the wrong word. Smith heard only the last one as their opposing obsessions clashed on that one point.

“Give it to me!” He pushed Cean contemptuously. “Come on!” He caught at a corner of the casket, wrenching it loose from Cean’s hands. Smith stepped back, the casket triumphantly in his hands. “Got it, by God! And it’s worth a bundle.”

          . . . .

If Cean didn’t go now, he’d have failed. It would all have been for nothing. He’d never have a second chance at it. Boadicea and the Iceni would still be slaughtered, and the future would stay unchanged for them.

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