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The Stories that Shaped Me

Book Cover Beneath the Stairs

"Are you always on the lookout for a rich, mystery-riddled haunted house novel for grown-ups? Me too. Jennifer Fawcett's Beneath the Stairs is that book. A thrilling, thoughtful, character-driven crucible that reveals the ways childhood fear clings to us, shapes us, but can also show the one way out of our adult darkness." —Andrew Pyper, author of The Residence and The Demonologist

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As I was preparing this list, I went back to my parent’s house in Eastern Ontario and found myself digging through the old books in my childhood bedroom. The more I thought about what should be on it, the more I found myself returning to old favourites. I’ve always read widely, a habit I understand the value of now that I am also a writer. This list contains short and long fiction, poetry, a play, and several works that defy category. Each of these writers left an imprint on me because they helped expand my understanding of what stories could do.

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Growing Up Ivy, by Peggy Dymond Leavey

Let me start with Peggy Dymond Leavey, or, as I refer to her, Aunt Peggy. I come …

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