What made you become a writer?
Sometimes all it takes is a bit of hero worship. In my case, the answer goes back to an extraordinary meeting one summer’s day when I was seven years old.
On a school field trip in Canada, I met a real live Native American Indian chief – an amazing man who wore a full headdress of long white feathers. Among other things, he showed us how to get maple syrup from a tree. We thought that was cool. But the best part was when he sat us down in a big circle for a pow-wow and told us a story about the animals and strange faces on the totem pole. We were spellbound.
Afterwards, I went and stood beside him. I remember his face was very stern. But when he finally noticed me he took my chin and lifted it up. I will never forget what he said next: ‘Little Wolf’. It was my own totem name! And it felt like a baptism.
At that point, I knew I wanted to be like him; a storyteller. And so began a great passion for reading and writing – and, of course, for wolves.