Joan Boswell was born in Toronto and grew up in Ottawa, Edmonton, Oakville and Halifax. She graduated with an Honours BA in Economics and History from the University of New Brunswick, married and moved to the Northern Quebec bush.
After two years she and her husband relocated in London, Ontario where she attended Teachers’ College and taught in a one-room, three-grade school on the Six Nations Oneida Indian Reserve.
The next move was to Ottawa where she returned to the joys of academic life and obtained an MA in Canadian Studies from Carleton University and a PhD from the University of Ottawa. Her thesis on the administration of Indian affairs covered the years the western Indians signed their treaties and grew out of her experience with and interest in the Six Nations.
During her many years in university she won several undergraduate prizes as well as a Ford Foundation Fellowship, Ontario Government and Canada Council grants. These enabled her to continue her studies and pay for sitters to care for her four sons who grew up hating the sound of the typewriter and associating shoe-boxes with piles of well-thumbed cards.
Degree in hand she worked for several years for the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs researching the early treaties and the background for the agreement with the Inuit.
Throughout her life she painted and eventually the compulsion to improve and spend more time being creative overwhelmed her and she returned to the University of Ottawa to complete the course work for a BFA.
After ten solo shows and four posters produced by Posters International she again switched her focus. This time writing was the attraction. Once she became a member of Ottawa’s notorious Ladies’ Killing Circle there was no turning back. She attended the Humber School of Writing and took a Humber College Correspondence Course with Isabel Huggin.
As a writer Joan has had work published in magazines and anthologies in Canada and the United States. As a member of the Ladies’ Killing Circle she had stories in each of their six books, The Ladies’ Killing Circle, Cottage Country Killers, Menopause Is Murder, Fit to Die, Bone Dance and Boomers Go Bad as well as co-editing the last three books. She is currently one of the editors for their seventh short story collection, GOING OUT WITH A BANG, to be publishedin 2008. In 2000 she won the $10,000 Toronto Sunday Star short story contest. Cut Off His Tale will be her first novel.
Today she lives in Toronto with two Flat-coated Retrievers and enjoys life with her grown sons, their partners and five grandchildren.