Joanna was born in England, moving to Ottawa in the mid 1960s. From a young age, Joanna was instilled with a deep sense of curiosity, a passion for history, and a love of writing.
In 1989, Joanna graduated with a Bachelor of Humanities from McMaster University with a major in history. Inspired by her eldest daughter, Veronica, Joanna began to create stories and poems for children. Joanna’s fisrt picture book, Melville Smellville (Small World Publishing, Nova Scotia), was released in 2001. Her work has also appeared in several magazines and anthologies including The Canadian Writer’s Guide, 13th Edition and Chicken Soup for the Single Parent’s Soul.
Joanna’s second book, Brothers of the Falls (Silver Moon Press, New York), a middle-grade historical novel set in 1847 Niagara Falls, was published in 2004. Caring for a Colony was published in the fall of 2005. She has also authored three early readers due out in 2005, including Antonio’s Music, a biography of composer Antonio Vivaldi (Scholastic), and Louis Cyr, a biography of Canada’s nineteenth-century strong man (Scholastic).
Joanna is a member of CANSCAIP, IBBY and the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. She lives in the historic town of Dundas, Ontario, with her husband, Greg and their three children.
She has received two awards for her work, winner of Best Non-Fiction Article in the Hamilton and Region Literary Awards, and the Frances E. Russell Award for outstanding research for a work on Canadian children’s literature for a current project.