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Physician by day, novelist by night

Former Shoal Lake resident launching new book

While a former Shoal Lake resident, now living in Langdon, Alberta, would one day love to be writing as a career, she will always be a physician first — a choice made upon graduating from high school in 1996.

Having published two books to date, Heather Marie Gooden has written a third which will hopefully be ready to publish soon.

The married mother of three feels her trilogy offers the young adult reader escapist fun and friendship; stories are about people achieving anything they set their minds to with determination.

“I have also completed books four and five, which are not part of the trilogy, but are a continuation, following the characters in their further adventures,” said Gooden.

Heather, the daughter of Jim and Sharon Menzies, can remember loving to write when she was a student in Shoal Lake, and had a piece published in the local paper.

She opted for a personal goal of becoming a doctor instead, and after high school she attended the University of Manitoba, graduating with a B.Sc. in microbiology in 2000, followed by a BA in psychology with a minor in history in 2002, and then her doctor of medicine in 2006, followed by a residency in family medicine from McGill University in 2008. Having worked as a family physician for approximately 10 years, Gooden lives in the Alberta community, just outside of Calgary, with her husband Thomas and three children, Alexis (six), Samantha (five), and three-year-old Matthew.

“Writing for me is a chance to unwind and de-stress from a sometimes painful profession,” said Gooden. “I deal with a lot of serious illness, and offer palliative care for my patients, so I often have to deal with grief and loss. Writing offers me a chance to express these feelings in a way that I find healing.”

Blending a professional side of life, with a family one, Gooden would like to do more writing in the future if obligations allow. But for now, she loves curling up in a quiet spot, reflecting on a busy day, before burying her mind into a book.

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