In a series of short profiles, Capital Current introduces some of the people working hard to improve life in Ottawa.

Who is she? 

Kate Heartfield is a Canadian fantasy and game novel writer. She has written several books including two Assassins Creed novels and other award-winning fantasy books. Her 2022 book “The Embroidered Book” won an Aurora Award for best novel.

What’s her background? 

Heartfield grew up in Manitoba and moved to Ottawa in 1995 to pursue a degree at the University of Ottawa in politics. Heartfield completed a Master’s at CarletonUniversity’s school of journalism in 2001. From 2004 to 2015 she served on the editorial board of the Ottawa Citizen.

Heartfield has recently returned to Carleton to teach an arts and culture journalism course, which “felt like a homecoming,” she told Capital Current.

Heartfield said her most recent book, “The Valkyrie,” was inspired by a Norse mythology book she read to her son, and which left her with questions she wanted to explore in her own writing. She said most of her inspiration in writing begins with “something that I feel hasn’t really been explored enough.” She is working on a new novel set in the Second World War which should be released at the end of 2024 or early 2025. 

What is she known for in Ottawa?

After years in journalism, Heartfield released her first novel, “Armed in Her Fashion,” which won also won an Aurora Award. It was re-released in 2023 as “The Chatelaine.” According to her website, Heartfield has been shortlisted for the World Fantasy, Nebula, Locus, Sunburst and Crawford awards. Her journalism has also been nominated for a National Newspaper Award. 

What do people say about her?  

According to the book reviews, “The Valkyrie,” her most recent book, has made authors such as Natalia Theodoridou feel like “what they’re writing, no matter how fantastical, is true.” Mike Chen, a New York Times best-selling author, wrote “a must-read for every Assassin’s Creed lover” about “Assassins Creed: The Magus Conspiracy.”

What’s a lesser-known fact about her? 

Heartfield adopted a cat last year, whom her son named Minerva after the Roman goddess of wisdom. “She’ll appear on any Zoom call … she loves her screen time.”