I am a member of PEAVI, the Professional Editors Association of Vancouver Island,
providing freelance editing, book design and typesetting. I was born in Germany, and I grew up in Chetwynd, 200 miles north of Prince George. After studying Education at UBC, I taught school on the north coast and in the Arctic, then moved to Vancouver Island in the early eighties. I studied creative writing at Vancouver Island University. I also completed the publishing program at VIU, and took further editing courses through the publishing program at SFU. I worked at the literary press Oolichan Books for ten years; then edited non-fiction freelance for Rocky Mountain Books, Heritage House, Touchwood Editions, Theytus Books, the Nanaimo Museum and Harbour Publishing before founding my own publishing house, Leaf Press (leafpress.ca), in 2001. At Leaf, I’ve edited, designed, and typeset more than thirty full-length collections and more than eighty chapbooks, in a list which includes Susan Musgrave, Lorna Crozier, John Pass, Allan Brown, David Zieroth, Glen Sorestad and Patricia Young.
A personal note: I am a poet (ursulavaira.ca). I love wilderness camping and kayaking, have a passion for the west coast—I've paddled most of the way around Vancouver Island, including the dreaded Capes Cook and Scott. I've paddled by Coast Salish canoe from Hazelton to Victoria as part of Roy Henry Vickers' Vision Quest to raise addictions awareness and funds to build an all-nations recovery centre. Through these and many more experiences I've learned the power of the arduous journey as method and metaphor for self-growth. In truth, all journeys, including the journey of writing a book, do lead to the interior.