My sister and I were raised in southwestern Manitoba, near the U.S. border. Mom was a nurse and Dad a thoracic surgeon. We lived on the lyrically beautiful grounds of a tuberculosis sanatorium in a sprawling many-roomed house with sleeping porches and a wraparound veranda that overlooked Pelican Lake. The surrounding hilly countryside and the feeling that a living spirit moved within this landscape was my earliest artistic influence and I still write from and in that landscape. In fact, our summer home across the lake from where I grew up is the perfect place to grow a novel! The other influence was my own chronic illness as a child, forging my vision and opening me to an early understanding that suffering and miracles often exist side by side. I still write from these influences.
Other personal details include: the surgery when I was eighteen that gave me health and my two voices as an artist; a husband of forty years who is my soul mate and best friend; a grown daughter who is an anthropologist–poet, a three decade career in writing and public speaking, eight books (the first is out of print), four plays, and—at sixty-three years of age—a joyful parallel career as a jazz singer and lyricist where I get to play with some of the best jazz musicians that Canada has to offer.
Martha Brooks resides in Winnipeg, Canada, with her husband, Brian