Brenda Chapman grew up in Terrace Bay, Ontario, a small pulp and paper community on the north shore of Lake Superior. She earned a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario. During her third year of studies, she took a course in creative writing and began writing poetry and short stories.
Brenda attended teachers’ college at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, earning a Bachelor of Education. Upon completion, she moved to Ottawa where she became a special education teacher. She taught reading, language arts and math to children, teenagers and adults for nearly fifteen years. To further her own studies, Brenda spent two summers at Ottawa University studying special education.
In Ottawa, Brenda met her husband Ted, and they have two daughters, Lisa and Julia. Brenda stayed at home while the girls were young, teaching part-time and taking courses in the Honours English program at Carleton University. While at Carleton, the university awarded her a prize for outstanding part-time student of English.
To take a break from writing English papers for university courses, Brenda began writing humorous articles for Homebase, an Ottawa magazine for parents at home. During this period, she wrote her first novel, Running Scared for her daughters as she made an about-turn in her professional life.
In 1997, Brenda left teaching to begin working for the federal government as a writer/editor. Subsequently, she worked in communications for the federal Department of Justice, a senior complaints and investigations officer in the Canadian Transportation Agency and a senior briefing analyst and senior communications advisor at Health Canada. In addition to her work as an author, Brenda is currently employed as a senior communications advisor for the federal Department of Justice.
In 2001, Brenda’s article “True North” appeared in Canadian Living (August 2001). Brenda continued writing mystery short stories and novels in her spare time, and has been an avid reader throughout her life – in particular enjoying murder mysteries and suspense novels. She is currently a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada, Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, the Canadian Children’s Book Centre and the Canadian Authors Association. She served two terms as President of Capital Crime Writers of Ottawa and two terms as Past President.