New Brunswick Author Portal

Marilyn  Lohnes
Categories: Female AuthorsAnglophone AuthorsAuthors of Juvenile Fiction;Authors of Non-FictionSaint John River Valley


I was born in Smiths Falls, Ontario, en-route to the hospital, in the front seat of a Rambler! Being a minister’s child, we moved several times. In fact, I have moved 21 times in my life. Moves were primarily between Nova Scotia (where I started Primary at Cobequid District School) to Ontario (where I attended Bayside Secondary School). After completing University (both Nova Scotia and Ontario), and working for about 10 years, I moved to New Brunswick, where I worked in the New Brunswick Public Library System as a children’s librarian for 10 years.

How has New Brunswick influenced your work?

I moved to New Brunswick in 1996, and immediately fell in love with the province. Being the adventurous sort, I enjoyed getting to know the province by taking short drives, and exploring new places and things. During this time I wrote a few books on puppetry that would be helpful to other children’s librarians and daycare workers. 2006 was a pivotal year for me. I was offered a contract to write a book about New Brunswick, as part of a series called “Discover Canada”. Delighted, I accepted, and began the work for F is for Fiddlehead: a New Brunswick Alphabet. Research included filing through copious amounts of flyers, brochures and other textual material, and visiting each of the sites mentioned in the book. When the book was published, with striking illustrations by Susan Tooke, I began promoting the book in various parts of the province. That prompted me to think about other books that could be written about this beautiful province.

What is your favourite New Brunswick book, and why?

Wow, that’s a tough one! For an adult book, I would say Kathy Reich’s Bones to Ashes. I’ve always been fond of a good mystery, and am fascinated with all the crime/forensics shows. I enjoy both the books and the television show, but I think the character of Tempe (Temperance) is portrayed very, very differently.

For a children’s book, I’ve read a lot, and it’s really tough to say what my favourite was. I did enjoy Nan Doerksen’s books, Rats in the Sloop, and The Winter of Change. If you were to ask me the same question another time, though, I might have a different answer.

What do you consider to be the highlight of your career so far?

Even though I had 3 books published before F is for Fiddlehead and 1 book after, I really enjoyed making F is for Fiddlehead. The opportunity to work with a very well-known publishing company and with an award-winning illustrator was amazing. Because of that book, I am hoping to continue in writing fiction about New Brunswick.

Literary Prizes

Listed, Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Best Books for Kids and Teens In recognition of: F is for Fiddlehead

Featured Publication

ABC Literary Storytimes

Find this author in the New Brunswick public libraries catalogue.

Source(s): Author