Life started in the center of St. John’s, Newfoundland for Tina. Happy in her corner of the world, she later moved with her parents to the burgeoning suburb (now a city) of Mount Pearl until her family moved “around the bay” to Aspen Cove when Tina was seven. She is grateful to have grown up in a close-knit, rural community with her parents and brother (but don’t tell him she said that). It was there that she met her high school sweetheart, Vince Chaulk, from nearby Ladle Cove.
Upon graduating from Rockwood High school, Tina moved, with her boyfriend Vince, back to the place of her birth to attend Memorial University of Newfoundland. There, she slept late, missed classes and generally took her education for granted until she finally flunked out, took a series of service jobs, wised up and finally returned to MUN to study hard and complete a BA in Religious Studies. (When asked if this means she is religious, she answers “if I studied Geology would you think I am a rock?”)
Tina then went on to work at Talbot House, a detoxification center which later moved and became known as the Recovery Center. She worked there for eight years until she decided to return to MUN once again and follow her geeky love of computers to complete a Post-baccalaureate Diploma in Information Technologies. She landed a work term, then full-time job with the university in the Department of Computing and Communications.
Tina and Vince bought a home in Chamberlains, Conception Bay South, in 1992. In 2002, the two finally married in a small ceremony in St. John’s after being together for only 21 years. Always sure of her great procrastination abilities, Tina feels this marriage is the greatest proof of them. Then in 2003, eight days before their first anniversary, Tina and Vince changed their lives by welcoming a bouncing baby boy, Samuel (Sam), to the family. In March of 2008, little Benjamin (Ben) completed their family.
Through all the years, Tina wrote, starting with stories of alien abduction from about nine years old, pounded out on her father’s old manual typewriter. All the stories started, as Snoopy’s do, with “It was a dark and stormy night”. Much writing followed and Tina had written three novels before trying to get published. In 2004, desperate to find some way to stay home with her young son when her maternity leave was up, she attended a Pitch to the Publisher event at the Word on the Rock book festival in St. John’s. Despite a fear of public speaking, she stood in front of four publishers and the public gathered there and pitched her book, then titled Away. Publishers seemed interested and Tina revised and completed the manuscript and sent it off to two publishers. Jesperson Publishing soon offered her a contract and the book underwent two title changes to become this much is true.
After the publication of this much is true, Tina continued to write several books but began to focus on one: A Few Kinds of Wrong. She was encouraged by the interest of Breakwater Books in her new project, as well as two grants from the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council to support the writing of A Few Kinds of Wrong and continued to write it even in the sleep deprived days and nights following the birth of her second son. In April of 2009, Breakwater Books accepted the new novel for publication and released A Few Kinds of Wrong in early October, 2009. Tina likes to say that the book took three years and one baby to write.
Along the way, Tina also won a 2007 Provincial Arts and Letters Award in the Short Fiction category for her short story “Divided by Three” and served as an adjudicator for the same category in the 2009 Provincial Arts and Letters Award. She now divides her time between writing, doing a little freelance work, blogging, and hanging out with her family.