Author Archives: Annette

One Helps One Program: Educating Girls in China

One Helps One Program: Educating Girls in China

Educating Girls in China: One Helps One Program When I visited Cao Hai Nature Reserve in Guizhou, China, in 2000, to research Circle of Cranes, I was unprepared for the extreme poverty and the fact that so few of the girls could afford to attend school.  Since that time, my husband, Michael Sather and IContinue Reading

The Miao Minority: A Step Back Into the Past

The Miao Minority: A Step Back Into the Past

On my visit to China to research my YA novel in 2000,  I discovered the wonderful world of the Miao people.  I became so fascinated by the richness of the Miao culture and history that I decided that the heroine of Circle of Cranes, Suyin, would belong to this ethnic group.  The majority of theContinue Reading

What inspired me to write Circle of Cranes

What inspired me to write Circle of Cranes

An interview with a Canadian foster parent inspired me to write Circle of Cranes.  Patty Lister (not her real name) was a foster parent who had worked for the British Columbia Ministry of Children and Families for many years.  After a migrant ship was grounded off the west coast of B.C.,  Patty fostered two migrantContinue Reading

Migrant ships in Circle of Cranes

Migrant ships in Circle of Cranes

I found it hard to believe that people, particularly children, could survive a two-month journey in a dark and cramped hold of a migrant ship with little food, only rice and water, and no toilet facilities. I doubted it could be that bad until I interviewed a Canadian immigration officer who had boarded one ofContinue Reading

Snakeheads in Circle of Cranes

Snakeheads in Circle of Cranes

I became fascinated with snakeheads the way I am fascinated, but repelled, by people who commit horrible crimes.  The Chinese call people smugglers snakeheads because of their ability to slither through borders and transport people without documents into different countries. The people smuggler in Circle of Cranes is Snakehead Lao who lies to the unsuspectingContinue Reading

Craniac

Craniac

My husband, Michael, is a craniac –– a person who is fascinated, maybe even obsessive, about the tall wetland birds called cranes.  Michael is not alone.  There are thousands of craniacs in the world, watching in awe as these birds dance, take flight and sing. Craniacs count the number of birds they spot, photograph themContinue Reading

Circle Of Cranes

Circle Of Cranes

“Write what you know” is good advice to writers, but sometimes “write what fascinates you” makes a more interesting, though longer journey.     Circle of Cranes was inspired by real life events. A series of migrant ships were intercepted off the coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands in British Columbia in the summer ofContinue Reading

Salmon Creek

Salmon Creek

I was inspired to write Salmon Creek after I witnessed the endangered wild coho return home to their spawning grounds in Codd Wetland in Pitt Meadows, BC.   Codd Wetland harbours 99 species of plants and animals.  It is also nesting site of a pair of Greater Sandhill cranes.  When the landowner threatened to dig upContinue Reading

Wild Bog Tea

Wild Bog Tea

I wrote Wild Bog Tea as a plea to preserve Blaney Bog.  This rare and hidden wetland, located in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, was slated for an industrial cranberry operation.  Members of the Pitt Polder Preservation Society and myself launched a grassroots campaign to preserve the bog.  After three years of raising awareness, letter-writing, fundraisingContinue Reading

Miracle at Willowcreek

Miracle at Willowcreek

Miracle of Willowcreek is based on my experiences fighting another development proposal on the Pitt Polder.  In the novel, the main character, Tess, and her friends take a courageous stand against developers in order to save a small flock of Sandhill cranes. When Tess and her friends encounter a wonderful bird woman named Clara, adventureContinue Reading