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Yeah but who are you though?

I guess I should maybe say something by way of an introduction.

My name is Owen. I'm 35. I'm an author.

Here's what my professional biography says about me:

Owen Laukkanen is the author of the McKenna Rhodes maritime adventure thriller GALE FORCE, six critically-acclaimed Stevens and Windermere FBI thrillers, and as Owen Matthews, two wildly inappropriate novels for young adults. A former professional poker journalist and commercial fisherman, Laukkanen and his rescue pitbull Lucy divide their time between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Prince Edward Island.

So that's the polished image I present to the world when I'm trying to sell books. I'd like to let myself be a little messier in this space.

I am a lucky person. I was born to good, loving parents who taught me compassion, humour and common decency. I grew up in a blue-collar, punch-line industrial town, and the friends I still have there are some of the best I'll ever know. I'm proud of my roots in that town, and I don't believe I'd be the person I am today if I hadn't grown up there.

I have two brothers. They're twins, but they're about as different as can be, despite living just a few miles from each other. They're younger than me by a couple of years, but they're role models of mine all the same.

I'll write more about Lucy later, but suffice it to say she's my best friend and constant companion on this #ProjectNomad adventure. My partner and I adopted her from a rescue society on Vancouver Island, and after the breakup I guess I lucked into sole custody. I'd like to think this was best for both of us.

I expect I'll write plenty about mental health in following posts, but I've lived with depression for probably my entire life, and it was only a few years ago that I got serious about taking a proactive approach to my mental health.

For me, that includes a commitment to a healthy lifestyle, plenty of exercise and a clean diet. It also includes therapy, a compassionate and kind family doctor, and antidepressants. I'm a strong proponent of the need to talk about mental health issues and end the stigma, and I'm happy to talk about my own experiences if it'll further the discussion.

On a lighter note, I like taking pictures of trains, hiking and camping, skiing and surfing, road trips in my pickup truck, singing (badly) to country music and also rap and dance, dancing and rapping badly to the same, reading voraciously, watching hockey, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Toronto Raptors, creeping on Instagram for pictures of cute dogs and also pictures of trains. I like discovering new craft beers (IPAs especially!) and I've recently taken up baking healthy desserts and trying to learn to cook nutritious meals.

I try to see the world through a lens of gratitude and optimism. It isn't always easy, but I believe it's worth the effort.

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