LITERARY LOCATION: Barkerville Historic Cemetery, Reduction Road, Barkerville. Directions: Seven minutes from Wells, B.C. Proceed southwest on Pooley Street toward Barkerville, turn left onto Barkerville Highway, right onto Reduction Road. Take your bug spray.

Ann Walsh is one of the province's leading writers of teen fiction. In her debut novel, Your Time, My time, the protagonist discovers a small gold ring beside a grave, close to the headstone of Chartres Brew (a prominent policeman venerated by Judge Begbie who wrote the inscription.)

ENTRY: In 1981, after completing a ten-day summer course with Robin Skelton in Wells, Ann Walsh wrote Your Time, My Time, a novel about Elizabeth Connell, a girl whose mother has taken a job as a cook at the Jack O' Clubs Hotel in Wells. Missing her father, her brother, and her friends, Elizabeth spends time in nearby Barkerville’s cemetery, where she finds a small gold ring. By twisting it on her finger, she is carried back in time to Barkerville's gold rush. Emergency Librarian chose Your Time My Time as the best Canadian children's book of 1984. It is still in print, having been reprinted more than 14 times.

Ann Walsh returned to the gold rush era for the setting of three other historical fiction works: Moses, Me and Murder, The Doctor's Apprentice, and By the Skin of His Teeth. The protagonist, idealistic and headstrong Ted MacIntosh, first appears in Moses, Me and Murder, the true story of a murder, an oddly shaped gold nugget and a hanging. In her fifth young adult novel, The Doctor's Apprentice, Ted’s adventures continue. He is now a teenager, tormented by the ghost of the murderer James Barry, a man he helped to convict and hang. In an attempt to distract himself from his troubling dreams, he apprentices to an eccentric doctor named J.B. Wilkinson, whose dependency on opium for his patients and for his own demons reveals a past intertwined with the life and death of an enigmatic woman named Sophia Cameron. Doctor Wilkinson and Ted tend to a dying Chinese man, and as fire sweeps through Barkerville’s streets, the ghost of Ted’s past returns. Doctor Wilkinson’s grave can be found in the Barkerville cemetery.

The third of Ann Walsh's Barkerville Mystery series, By The Skin of His Teeth. takes place in late 1870, two years after the great fire. Although many miners have left for the winter, Barkerville’s shops and restaurants are thriving; the Christmas social season is bustling with sleigh rides, dancing and carolling. Ted MacIntosh, now seventeen and working in his father’s carpentry shop, has ignored the prevailing racist attitudes towards the Chinese, disdainfully referred to as “Celestials” and has befriended a Chinese boy. When a Chinese man, Ah Mow, is stabbed to death outside his Barkerville restaurant, a white man is charged with the murder. It looks like a simple case until, between the inquest and the trial, the Chinese witnesses change their testimonies. When the all-white jury finds the accused not guilty, Judge Henry Crease, affronted by the verdict, states that the defendant has escaped Justice by the skin of his teeth.

In 2005, Ann edited Dark Times, a collection of short stories about young people's experience of loss and grief, (Ronsdale Press, 2005). This volume includes Ann’s story about the loss of a grandmother to Alzheimer’s disease.

For younger readers, Ann Walsh has published two works: Flower Power (Orca, 2005), in which a girl's mother chains herself to a neighbour’s tree and lives inside a treehouse in order to prevent the tree from being felled. It is in part an investigation of how a child feels when she loses someone she loves—in this case, her mother, who temporarily becomes a public figure chastised as a ‘crazy lady’ and a ‘nutzoid.’ The second novel, Horse Power (Orca, 2007) is the story of how a community works together to save a rural school from closure.

Co-authored with Kathleen Cook Waldron and featuring Bob Warick's photography, Forestry A-Z (2008) gives a colourful depiction of modern forestry. (Did you know that the passenger vans used on back-country forestry sites are called crummies?)
In 1989, Ann Walsh represented Canada at an international book fair in Sweden. She was the convocation speaker at University College of the Cariboo in 1994. From 1992-1995, she was the community correspondent for CBC Radio's Almanac and is included in Who’s Who In Canada. Her novels have been reprinted many times, and all are still in print. Her short story for young adults, dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, All is Calm, has been included in five anthologies or textbooks. One of her adult short stories, Getting Away From it All, has been translated and published in Germany, Italy, Sweden and Japan.

Ann is trained as a Restorative Justice facilitator; Whatever (Ronsdale Press, 2013) is about a teen who, after committing an offence and going through the RJ process, deals with the sanctions that follow the circle sentencing. The young offender learns to cook; her easy-to-follow recipes are included in an appendix.

Ann Walsh lived in South Africa and Kansas before coming to Vancouver in 1953. She trained as a teacher at UBC, completing her degree through summer sessions in 1968. Ann worked as a primary teacher, teacher-librarian and learning assistant teacher in the public school system. She also taught English, ESL and Adult Literacy at Cariboo College (the former name of Thompson Rivers University).

Ann has lived for many years in Williams Lake, but now spends part of the year in Victoria. Webpage: annwalsh.ca

BOOKS:

Whatever (Ronsdale 2013) Shortlisted for the Bolen Book Prize 2014; Chocolate Lily nominee, 2014

Forestry A-Z [Kathleen Cook Waldron co-author] (Orca, 2008) Canadian Children’s Book Centre Best Books for Kids and Teens selection.

Flower Power (Orca, 2005) Shortlisted for The Chocolate Lily, 2006; Best Books Selection.

Horse Power (Orca, 2007) Best Books for Kids and Teens Selection.

Dark Times (Ronsdale 2005). Editor, contributor. Best Books selection.

By the Skin of His Teeth (Beach Holme, 2004, Dundurn Press edition, 2006) Canadian Children’s Book Centre ‘Our Choice’ selection.

Beginnings, Stories of Canada's Past (Ronsdale, 2001). Editor, contributor; Short-listed for the Golden Oak Award. ‘Our Choice’ Selection.

The Doctor's Apprentice (Beach Holme, 1998; Dundurn Press edition, 2006). YA,
Nominated for the Sheila A. Egoff B.C. Book Prize, 1999; Shortlisted for the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction, 1999; Canadian Children’s Book Centre ‘Our Choice’ Award; Dundurn Press edition 2007

Winds Through Time, An Anthology of Canadian YA Historical Fiction
(Beach Holme, l998). Editor. ‘Our Choice’ Award.

Shabash! (Press Porcepic/Beach Holme, 1994). YA, Shortlisted for the
Silver Birch Award; ‘Our Choice’ Award; Dundurn Press 1994.

Across the Stillness (Press Porcepic/Beach Holme, 1993). Poetry.
The Ghost of Soda Creek (Press Porcepic/Beach Holme, 1990). YA, Canadian Library Association ‘Notable’ selection 1990; Canadian Children’s Book Centre ‘Our Choice’ selection; Dundurn Press 2009)

Moses, Me and Murder! A Story of the Cariboo Gold Rush (Pacific Educational Press, 1988.) YA, Shortlisted for the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction, 1989; Our Choice Award. New edition Dundurn Press, 2013.

Your Time, My Time (Press Porcepic/Beach Holme, 1984.) YA, Shortlisted for the YA Novel Award (Sask. Librarians’ Association) 1984; ‘Our Choice’ selection; Chosen by Emergency Librarian as the best Canadian children's book of 1984 (into 14th printing) Dundurn Press edition 2009.

[BCBW 2015] "Kidlit" "Forestry"