N. J. Lindquist is an award-winning author, a dynamic storyteller; and a teacher and mentor with 45 years of experience. She is currently working on several projects, including focusing on writing a memoir.
N. J.’s published work include the best-selling Hot Apple Cider books; the four-book Circle of Friends series; the poignant stand-alone novel In Time of Trouble; three nonfiction books for teens; and a myriad of other items including columns, profiles, articles, and a Christmas play.
She also has recently moved her award-winning Manziuk and Ryan mystery series under the pseudonym, J. A. Menzies.
N. J.’s first published item was a letter to the editor of the Souris Plaindealer when she was 12. You can read that letter and “the rest of the story” in the anthology, Hot Apple Cider.
Her first “published and paid for” story was a short story, “One Last Ride on the VIA Rail,” which was a Judges’ Choice in the 1991 Toronto Star’s annual short story competition.
Her first published book was Best of Friends, published in 1991 by Moody Press.
N. J.’s novels have several characteristics in common: characters readers quickly learn to care about; intricate, dynamic plots; the ability to have the reader laughing one minute and in tears the next; and a reflection of the multi-cultural patchwork quilt of her homeland.
N. J. has experienced life in several diverse areas in Canada—from very small towns to middle-sized cities and the Greater Toronto area. Accordingly, her characters range all over the place: from two very different Toronto police detectives and their families to corporate lawyers, billionaires, small town teens, angry urban young people, and many more.
She grew up reading Trixie Beldon, Ginny Gordon, and Nancy Drew; switched to the works of Agatha Christie, Erle Stanley Gardiner, Georgette Heyer, Dorothy Sayers, and P. D. James; and eventually decided to try her hand at writing Shaded Light, a contemporary mystery in the classic style. Reviews from various sources including Publishers Weekly and Library Journal have compared her mysteries to the best of Agatha Christie.
As a life-long baseball fan, cheering first for the Yankees and then the Blue Jays, N. J. decided to set her second mystery in the world of professional baseball and the media that surrounds it. Consequently, she found writing Glitter of Diamonds the most fun of any project to date.
N. J. has received numerous awards for her writing, but the most memorable to date has been the plaque and “Deeds Speak” certificate presented by the York Regional Police Chief Armand P. La Barge in 2006 for her “contribution to facilitating positive change within the community” and “assisting youth in dealing with issues like anger, fear, and peer pressure” through her standalone book, In Time of Trouble.
More recently, 16 individual pieces in the anthology, A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider, which N. J. edited along with Wendy Elaine Nelles, were nominated for a total of 27 awards in six categories of The Word Guild Awards. Six were winners and seven were given Awards of Merit. As editor, N. J. definitely feels she shared in the awards.
N. J. and Les formed the publishing company That’s Life! Communications in 1999 after N. J. decided she liked to have more control over the publication of her books. They are currently putting the books into e-book format.
Born in Regina, Saskatchewan, N. J. was raised in several small towns in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. An only child who was so quiet her grade 11 homeroom teacher advised her parents to talk her out of her dream of being a teacher, she became a high school English teacher without a single day of practice teaching and in her second year received a Teacher of the Year Award.
N. J. married Les Lindquist, from Swift Current, Saskatchewan, in 1972, and with the assistance of IBM, they’ve lived in Regina, Saskatchewan, Mississauga, Ontario, Calgary, Alberta, and Markham, Ontario. Les took early retirement from IBM in 2009. They have four adult sons, all of whom were home-schooled until high school.
N. J.’s speaking and writing is driven by her love for justice; her abhorrence of the belief that one person is better than another; her desire to help people have the courage to become all they were created to be; and her faith that, no matter how bad things might get, the Creator who is ultimately in control loves us.
The Word Guild/Write! Canada
In September of 2001, N. J. realized that there was a very real need for a Canadian association for professional writers with a Christian world view. Her vision led to the founding of The Word Guild in December of 2001. She served as Executive Director until December 31, 2008. She continued as Director of Write! Canada until 2012, and now serves as an adviser to The Word Guild. Her husband, Les, has served as Treasurer since 2001, and was also Chair of the Board from 2005 until 2012.