Gail Herbert

Gail Herbert was born in Galt, Ontario, which is now Cambridge, and spent her early years in nearby Kitchener. Her father built the first roads in many isolated parts of Canada, and each summer the family would join him. Without any toys or friends to play with, Gail relied heavily on her imagination during those long, hot summers. Mattland (2008) was inspired by those circumstances—playing with sticks in muddy construction sites, creating her own worlds.

As a child, Gail was desperate to start school so she could learn to read. She read several books a week and has never looked back! Some of her favorite books were: The Black Stallion, The Bremen Town Musicians, and The Three Billy Goats Gruff.

After graduating from high school, Gail headed for Toronto. She spent the first year at the University of Toronto studying English, and later switched to Ryerson where she completed a degree in Journalism. An internship at the Globe and Mail proved to her that she preferred creating her own worlds rather than reporting the facts.

Finding inspiration in the mystery of human nature, Gail is fascinated by how individuals choose to act in unusual circumstances, whether they are adults or children. She credits Michael Ondaatje as one of the main influences on her work.

Gail lives with her husband, Chris, outside Cambridge. They have two daughters, Jessica and Arden, who learned from Gail how to play with sticks in the mud and use their imagination.

Annick Press books
by Gail Herbert