Growing up


I was born and raised in Deep River, Ontario Canada.   Growing up in such a small town and as an only child allowed me a lot of time to work on my creative ideas and projects.  I was a writer from the very beginning.  I begged my mom to teach me how to read just after I had turned three years old, and she did.  She taught me using "The Cat in the Hat" by Dr. Seuss.  And since then, I've been writing and haven't looked back!  In elementary school I excelled in English and Creative Writing classes.  I can still remember being given a short story assignment in grade five, that was to be around two or three pages in length.  I came to class the next day with a thirty page murder mystery manuscript…needless to say my teachers all knew what my passion was!

People often ask me if growing up as an only child was ever lonely and my reply would be ‘you’re never lonely when you have an active imagination!’  When I wasn’t playing with my friends, I would spend hours by myself, developing characters and imaginary worlds and writing it all down into stories. 



My Life Today

Once I had finished high school, I moved to Ottawa Ontario, the capital city of Canada, where I attended and graduated from Carleton University, with a degree of Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Criminology and Criminal Justice with a concentration in Psychology.  Although my true passion has always been writing, I wanted to secure an education in something other than the arts so that I could start a career, while writing on the side.  After working in various different project management positions, I accepted a job as a research assistant for a health centre and am doing that full-time, while writing in my spare time!  I live with my cat, Zoe – who is a bit of a princess.  In my spare time I love reading and writing, watching movies and my favourite TV shows and spending time with friends and family. 



My Favourite Books

My favourite type of book has always been children’s books, both picture and chapter.  It was something about the way they made me feel as I read through each page – the magical stories, the colourful pictures, the interesting lives of the characters, and the way those simple words on a page of paper could take me away to another world.  Some of my favourites include “Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll,  “The Wind in the Willows” by Kenneth Grahame, “Winnie-the-Pooh” by A.A. Milne, “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis, the Little Miss and Mr. books by Roger Hargreaves and of course anything by the wonderfully talented Dr. Seuss.  I could go on and list about a million more books that I would classify as ‘favourites’ but these ones, I would say, are my most beloved.    

Where did the idea for The Lemonman series come from?


One night when I was three years old, I had a dream about The Lemonman, a character that was developed while I was sound asleep.  He was sitting at a dining room table having Christmas dinner with a worm who was wearing a top hat, and the idea has been stuck in my head ever since!  The day after that dream I took a scrap piece of paper from an old agenda book and some markers, and I drew the first illustration of The Lemonman, that was back in 1983!  At the time, for whatever reason, he was only a lemon wedge – he has since evolved into a full lemon!  I worked on creating the idea and writing The Lemonman stories from the time I was a little girl, but something just never seemed quite right.  Through the years, the stories evolved and the characters developed and changed a million times.  It wasn't until I was in my late twenties that I finally came up with the whole idea for The Lemonman series, and the decision to write entirely in rhyme



Writing in rhyme

In doing my research, I continuously came across the notion that writing in rhyme was dreadful and that no publisher would accept a rhyming picture book – it’s cliché, there’s only one Dr. Seuss and no one other than him can rhyme well enough while maintaining a fantastic plot…well, I begged to differ, and I knew that my rhymes made sense, they flowed well and most importantly they told a wonderful story involving many different characters and situations.  I put a lot of work into each story that I craft.  In all honestly, most take months and years to perfect and especially because I write in rhyme, I need to re-assess hundreds of times before I feel comfortable with the words on the page.  Every single word on the page needs to have a purpose – it needs to be there to enhance the story and not just as a fill-in for rhyme beats (syllables) or rhyme words. 

Keeping the dream alive

The one thing I've learned from this process of writing is to keep at it and to keep dreaming.  As children, our imaginations run free, but as adults, sometimes we allow our lives and the people around us to stifle our dreams and our wild imaginations.  Be true to your inner child and never forget that little boy or girl who once dreamed that anything was possible.  I am a firm believer that anything is truly possible in life, if you just believe in yourself and your ideas and if you have the strength and motivation to keep working until you reach your goal.

My Books

My first book in the series, A Picnic, a Toad and Swampwater Road is available now and can be ordered through this website, through Amazon and through local Ottawa area bookstores.  All orders that come through this website will be signed copies of the book!  The second book in the series, A Party, some rain and Wiggleworm Lane, takes The Lemonman on a rainy adventure with Wormington the Third, and the Worm Community in Applenook. In this story, the worms become quite a nuisance and cause rainy-day chaos in the town of Applenook!

“And never trust a worm, my friend, even if he is quite nice,
For a worm request will always come with an unexpected price.”


My hope is that someday I can have multiple books published in The Lemonman series, and kids around the world can grow up with these characters in their lives, just as I did with so many classic children's book characters throughout my childhood. Children need books for so many reasons - not just for fun and learning, but also for a sense of stability in their lives, for comfort, and for the ability to escape into an unknown and magical world where a white rabbit runs late, a boy and his bear play in the forest and a lovable lemon learns about life.

School Visits

I am available for school visits in the Ottawa area, so please contact me for further information!  Each visit will include The Lemonman Classroom Kit which will contain:




Interviews with Natasha Ferrill

July 23, 2011: Ahgoo Review
July 27, 2011: Wild About Reading
October 26, 2011: Memorable Children Books and Gifts
November 18, 2011: Be A Child Again