Mike Wilkins was born in 1954 in Kingston, Ontario, but did most of his growing up 50 miles along the St. Lawrence River in the pretty little city of Brockville. In 1973, Mike met his future wife, Debbie Street, when they were both 18 years old. Four years later, in four busy weeks, he and Deb graduated from Queen’s University and married each other, and Mike started a full-time job at a publisher of children’s books. He was Queen’s one and only English grad that year with a “degree-related job” to go to. This “lucky break” had everything to do with two children’s books he had submitted to Scholastic Canada for publication. Wonderfully, Scholastic liked them, and accepted them both. They were entitled I am a Duck (A silly story about a young boy with some deep-rooted sort of “duck wish”), and The Unwanted Adventure of Harold Greenhouse (A “chapter-book” about a boy who is kidnapped and held for ransom through an unfortunate instance of mistaken identity.) Two more “Harold Greenhouse” books were published during the short period of time that Mike worked for Scholastic Publications: Harold Greenhouse to the Rescue, and Amazing Facts from the Notebook of Harold Greenhouse. They’ve all been out-of-print for decades now, but there are still garage sales—and, of course, there is Amazon.
In 1984, with two young kids—and hopes of a third one shortly—Mike and Deb moved to London, Ontario, where Mike became the pastor of West London Alliance Church. For the many years he continued that ministry, Deb was a stay-at-home mom for Jessica, Ben and Joanna, then also their homeschool teacher, and then an employee of Compassion Canada, “releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name”—where (at the time of this writing) she still works happily.
While he was a healthy adult, Mike’s hobbies—in addition to child-raising—were long-distance running, canoe-tripping, reading (and re-reading) old books, and writing and directing plays and musicals. Then, in 2013, he was diagnosed with metastatic colorectal cancer, which (to the time of this writing) continues to change almost every detail of his daily life.
Mike is the author of Glory in the Face ~ the Face of Christ and the Strength to Face Anything (www.gloryintheface.com), Four Forty-Four and Other Bits & Pieces (www.444book.ca), and the children’s novel “Island Family,” a “pseudo-autobiographical” novel for children ages 7 to 11 (www.islandfamily.ca).