About me

 I was born in Winnipeg, and grew up with three sisters in a two-story brick house in the West End. After our father died too young, our wonderful mother kept us all together in that house by holding down two jobs and keeping us in good form. 

Once I was old enough (15) I worked at Eaton's on the switchboard after school hours, on weekends, and in the summer, and saved enough to go to University. I, somehow, acquired a Fine Arts degree a few years later, and afterward, instead of living in a garret and doing my own thing, I had no choice but to find "real" work.

 I got a job as an apprentice fashion illustrator for The Hudson's Bay Company, where I eventually became the main fashion illustrator. I still have some of the original art from my time there. (Retro-fashion now is a lot like back then, as it happens!) -- then I taught art for a number of years as well as doing my own painting.


I married a fellow artist and we have one daughter. I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, and when my daughter was old enough, I decided to try writing, as well as continuing with my painting. I discovered, as we read her books together, that some of the best writing I'd ever read was being written for early teens and young adults. I decided to write a novel of my own for young adults.


A year later, after finishing my first manuscript, Kids Can Press accepted Who is Frances Rain? for publication (actually two weeks after I sent it to them.)  To my utter amazement, it quickly became a bestseller after appearing in bookstores in 1987. And it is still doing very well.

I was with KCP for 21 years. I published 8 more novels for young adults with them. My tenth book Winter Shadows was published by TUNDRA BOOKS in 2010.

I work in my office in our 104 year old house in Winnipeg during the winter, and on the veranda of our cottage in North Western Ontario in the summer months. My husband and I had hoped one day to buy an old house and fix it up, and it was after he recovered from cancer surgery that we decided it was now or never. Fixing the place up really helped his recovery and we have been here almost fifteen years!

MY NOVELS: My books have been published in the United States, Norway, Italy, Sweden, Australia, Great Britain, Germany, China, Korea and other countries.

My novels have been the recipient of the prestigious Vicky Metcalf Award for Body of Work (For Writing Inspirational to Canadian Youth); The Young Adult Canadian Book Award; were two time winners of the McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award and have  been shortlisted for many other awards and honours.

Readers, teachers and students can email me at mabuffie@yahoo.ca



  Shortlisted: The Canadian Library Association's Book of the Year for Young People, 2011 (WINTER SHADOWS)

WINNER: The Silver Nautilus Award for 2011,Teen Category:  From their site: "We look for distinguished literary and heartfelt contributions to spiritual growth, conscious living, high-level wellness, green values, responsible leadership and positive social change as well as to the worlds of art, creativity and inspirational reading for adults, children, teens and young adults."
Winners' books were featured at Book Expo America in 2011. (WINTER SHADOWS)

Nominated: The 2013 Young Reader's Choice Award, sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Library Associaiton, made up of libraries from Alberta, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana and Washington.

Shortlisted: McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award - Older Category 2011 (WINTER SHADOWS)

Nominated: Stellar Award, B.C's Teen Readers' Choice Awards, 2008/9 (Out of Focus)

Chosen: Our Choice (Starred*)YA fiction novel (2007) by The Canadian Children's Book Centre (Out of Focus)  "A star (*) and a book cover in the Our Choice catalogue signify titles of exceptional calibre.

Chosen: PSLA's Young Adult Top Forty Fiction List 2006/7 (Out of Focus)

Nominated: 2007 McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award. (OUT OF FOCUS)

Chosen: OLA Best Best - Top Ten Canadian Books for Young Adults (Out of Focus)... Ontario Library Association

Nominated: The Snow Willow Award (OUT OF FOCUS)

Winner: 2005 McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award, (The Finder

Shortlisted, 2003 McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award, (The Seeker

Chosen: The New York Public Library for their 74TH Annual Books for the Teen Age, 2003. (The Seeker)

Chosen: VOYA'S 18th Annual List of the Best In Science Fiction and Fantasy for the Young Adult Reader for 2003 This list "features books for the very young teen and also reaches out to the older teen with books that challenge and inspire." (The Seeker)

Chosen: Our Choice Canadian Children's Book Centre, 2003 (The Seeker)

Chosen: PSLA's Young Adult Top Forty Fiction List 2002 (The Seeker)

Shortlisted: Canadian Library Assoc. Young Adult Canadian Book Award, 2001 (The Watcher)

Finalist: Independent Publisher Book Awards 2001(The Watcher)

Chosen: New York Public Library, 2001 Books for the Teen Age (The Watcher)

Chosen: Our Choice Canadian Children's Book Centre, 2001 (The Watcher)

Nominated: McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award, 2001 (The Watcher)

Nominated and Runner-up: Manitoba Young Readers Award, (Angels Turn Their Backs) 2000

Nominated Red Maple Award, Ontario Library Assoc. (Angels Turn Their Backs) 1999

Chosen: New York Public Library 1999 Books for the Teen Age (Angels Turn Their Backs)

Chosen: International Reading Association/Children's Book Council Children's Choices List 1999 (Angels Turn Their Backs)

Chosen: The 2000 Young Adults' Choices List USA (Angels Turn Their Backs)

Nominated: McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award, 1999 (Angels Turn Their Backs)

Chosen: Junior Library Guild Book, USA (Angels Turn Their Backs) 1998

Chosen: Junior Library Guild Book, USA (The Dark Garden) 1997

Winner: Vicky Metcalf Award for Body of Work, 1996

Winner: McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award, 1995 (The Dark Garden)

Winner: Canadian Library Association Young Adult Canadian Book Award, 1987 (Who is Frances Rain?)

Nominated: Best Book for Young Adults, American Library Association (The Dark Garden)

Nominated Ruth Schwartz Children's Book Award, 1996 (The Dark Garden)

Nominated Mr. Christie Book Award, 1996 (The Dark Garden)

Nominated: Manitoba Young Reader's Choice Award, 1995 (My Mother's Ghost)

Nominated: The Silver Birch Award, 1994, (My Mother's Ghost)

Junior Library Guild Book USA, (My Mother's Ghost), 1995

Notable Canadian Young Adult Fiction Book, 1993 (My Mother's Ghost)

Nominated: McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award, 1993 (My Mother's Ghost)

Nominated: Canadian Library Assoc Book of the Year Award, 1992 (My Mother's Ghost)

Nominated: Ruth Schwartz Children's Book Award, 1992 (My Mother's Ghost)

Nominated: Mr. Christie Book Award, 1992, (My Mother's Ghost)

Nominated: Manitoba Artist of the Year Award, 1992

Nominated Governor General's Award, 1992 (My Mother's Ghost)

1987- 91

First runner up: Canadian Library Association Book if the Year Award, 1988 (Who is Frances Rain?)

Nominated: Ruth Schwartz Children's Book Award, 1988/89 (Who is Frances Rain?)

American Library Assoc Best Books of the Year Honour Book, 1990 (Who is Frances Rain?)

Notable Canadian Young Adult Fiction Book, 1988 (Who is Frances Rain?)

Notable Canadian Young Adult Fiction Book, 1989 (The Guardian Circle)

International Youth Library Notable New English Language YA Book, 1991 (The Guardian Circle)


Best Books for the Teenager New York Public Library, 1990, 2000, 2001
Best Books for Young Readers Toronto Public Library Lists
Emergency Librarian Bestseller Lists
Resource Links Canadian K-12 Bestsellers (The Dark Garden) December, 1996
Manitoba Arts Council A Grant, 1996, 1998, 2001
Canada Council Grant, 1994, 2000
Ontario Arts Council Grants, 1987, 1990, 1993


Who's Who of Canadian Women, CB Media Ltd.

Who's Who in Canada, U of T Press

Meet Canadian Authors and Illustrators, Scholastic Canada

The CANSCAIP Companion, 1994, Pembroke Press

Who's Who in the Writers Union of Canada, 1993
About Novels, 1990 Booth/Skinner, Globe/MCP

Twentieth Century Children's Writers, St., James Press, USA

 Something About the Author, Gale Research, USA

 Writing Stories, Making Pictures, Canadian Children's Book Centre,

Behind the Story, Pembroke Press

Everybody's Favourites Arlene Perly Rae, Viking Penguin
This Land Kit Pearson Viking Penguin

My Mother's Ghost was produced as a film by Credo Entertainment and Buffalo Gals Pictures, released in 1996 and nominated for a Gemini for best writing in a Youth or Children's Program as well as three Blizzard nominations for best actors.

A few samples of comments from reviewers available to read in full (along with many others) in the book tabs.

" …a ghost story with much to reveal to the thoughtful reader about the turbulent emotions at work within families."

"…a classic struggle between good and evil, a struggle in which Rachel herself becomes the pivotal figure."

"It's refreshing to read YA fiction that respects the intelligence and maturity of its readers….

"Buffie has written a wonderful supernatural fantasy."

…a real sit-on-the-end-of-your-seat page turner."

"[Buffie] proves once again that the realities of modern life need not come at the expense of an engrossing narrative."

"…a rollicking story with plenty of aliens, danger, and conflict for fans of the series.

"(Buffie) is a kind of literary archeologist exploring the people who occupy her stories. It's a search that's not likely to disappoint her readers."

"…as distinctly Canadian as the intoxicating lure of silent woods and wind-whipped lakes. The textures of the narrative and the well-rounded characters are just as haunting as the ghosts Lizzie finds on Rain Island."
"In some ways, (it) feels like Lewis Carroll with the Queen of Hearts in full control. …from a world centered on humans in the opening chapter, Buffie skillfully navigates step by step from the solid ground of a world governed by gravity and expected behavior and understanding, to an existence where (the character) can't separate dreams from reality.

"Buffie excels at creating credible characters and placing them in situations that allow them to grow and develop."

"A wonderfully gripping and intense novel you won't want to put down!"

"Buffie gets it right."




Anonymous said...

one day after my two daughter`s left home for good.i was cleaning there bedrooms. and i found one of your books,(out of focus).i started reading it in my bathroom.but soon found myself into reading more of it.i finished it and i fall in love with the place and the people in the story,i found that it sounded alot like my own life that i once lived then i was younger. thank you.for a wonderful book.i read it three times after that.

Margaret Buffie said...

Thank you for telling me this. It is always wonderful to hear that adults enjoy my books! I hope you are able to find a few more to read. If you liked the setting of "Out of Focus", I think you'd also like "Who is Frances Rain?" - also with a similar lake setting.

Anonymous said...

dear margaret buffie,
I have read Who is Frances Rain and i absolutely loved it. i love the romance between lizzie and alex. I lose myself in your book every time i read it!! I am glad my teacher picked this book for our novel study.

,jessica grade 7

Margaret Buffie said...

Hi Jessica,

I wasn't feeling well when your comment came in, so I'm a bit late responding. But thank you so much telling me how much you love Who is Frances Rain. I deeply appreciate that! I'm glad your teacher picked it as a novel study, too!!

Anonymous said...

dear mrsBuffe

i read your book "out of focus" and loved it if you would be okay with me asking u a few questios i would love it. i hope some day i will be able to write as good as u do.
from a book lover,
Katherine Carter,

Margaret Buffie said...

I'm so pleased that you enjoyed "Out of Focus". If you'd like to ask me a few questions, I will be glad to respond, but I'd suggest you check out my "Q&A" section first and then ask what you'd like. Sometimes just reading all those questions and answers can answer yours as well. You can ask any others you have on this site - right here, or you can email at mabuffie@yahoo.ca

Jaymie said...

Hello Ms. Buffie. I was recently looking through my old children's novels hoping that one day my baby son would enjoy them too. I came across MMG, Francis Rain and Guardian Circle which I received more than 20 years ago from my grandma. They brought back great memories of the stories and of her. I am from Winnipeg and remember being so happy that such a talented author could be from here. i am an elementary teacher now and teaching/exploring writing is one of my favourite subjects. Now that I see some newer books are out, I am going to have to add them to my collections. Thanks for doing what you do, and so well!

Margaret Buffie said...

Well, bless your grandma, Jaymie! I am also very happy that finding the books brought back lovely memories of her. I now have my own granddaughter. She isn't old enough to read my books yet, but it won't be long. If you are able to able to buy a couple of my other seven novels, I hope you enjoy them, as well! Thanks so much for writing to me!

Unknown said...

I love all of your writing and am collecting them all which is difficult to find copies. I had to get some shipped in from different places used because that all I could find. I also drove all over Winnipeg to find them. I think it's such a shame. Do you ever do book signings anymore? Or sell new copies?

Margaret Buffie said...

After 27 years, a few of my books have gone out of print. But I have put most of my books up on Kindle and Kobo -- and will soon have all of them up there to purchase. Have you checked McNallys Books on Grant Ave?

Unknown said...

I read the warnings and the watcher and I'm in love with them. Your my favourite author and im so glad that I found your books <3

Margaret Buffie said...

And, Kristina, I am so glad that you found my books, too! Thanks for such a great comment! It made my day!!

esl teachers said...

Hi Margaret,

Coincidence or what? I was just googling Laclu, the location of my family's cottage, and your blog came up.

I just read the list of your books and awards as well as the other topics. You are one talented lady!

Hope you get to your cottage soon.

I am still in Quebec but will move to Winnipeg soon. Time really flies. It is hard to believe Daniel Mac was so long ago.

Just to say hello, and wish you warm regards.

Linda Fischer


Margaret Buffie said...

Linda! How great to hear from you! I hope we can meet up gfor coffee when you get back to Wpg. Just email me at mabuffie@yahoo.ca and I will send you my phone number. Hoping the lake opens soon. Last year we had fire lapping at end of the lake - and then the whole lake flooded. I have my fingers crossed that this year global warming will be kinder to us. xo

Jessica Wiebe said...

Hello Margaret Buffie,
I am a huge fan of yours. I loved Angels Turn Their Backs. I read it so many times in high school the book fell apart and I’ve been trying to get a new copy ever since. I’ve looked in almost every book store in Winnipeg. Do you know of any book stores that would have it?
Angels Turn Their Backs made my journey through high school so much easier cause I could emulsify myself in the book and forget about all my problems. I hope I can find a new copy soon.

Isabelle Yakmission said...

Hi Margaret,

I just wanted to write you and tell you how much I love your Watcher trilogy. I picked it up for the first time in 7th grade and have been reading and rereading the books ever since and I’m almost 20.

I know I will always continue to read them; the characters are so entertaining, and I love that you’ve written in the concepts of other worlds and having Emma and the others travel between them. This trilogy means a lot to me, I even got my mum to read them!

I love each book, but The Finder would have to be my ultimate favourite, I love the quests Emma is put on and every challenge she faces. I think her and Tom are so cute too.

I think it’s so cool you centered the books around being in Manitoba. It really struck close to home and made me enjoy them immensely when I read them. I drive by Brokenhead river on the way to my lake pretty often and always think of your books and that Emma is watching whenever I do.

I’ve started writing a book myself when I have the time to and it’s such a fun experience. I was wondering if you had any advice for a beginner. I read a lot but sometimes writing and setting scenes can be tough.

I would’ve written to your blog sooner if I’d known about it! It’s hard for me to convey all my thoughts to say to you because the books are so amazing. They’ve provided so much joy to my life.

I was wondering if you do any book signings or readings? I’ve seen that you’ve offered to meet some people for coffee, and I would absolutely adore that! Or if we could chat over email.

Hope to hear from you,