Chloe Shantz-Hilkes was born in Kitchener, Ontario, to a family that has been changing and growing ever since. Her parents divorced when she was young and both remarried, leaving her with a delightfully complicated bevy of half-siblings, step-parents and partners, cousins-once-removed, and more. This has given her a deep appreciation for the role that family—whether big, or small; neat, or sloppy—can play in life.
Since preschool, Chloe has enjoyed reading and telling stories. Growing up, her various families’ copies of The Balloon Tree, by Phoebe Gilman, and Love You Forever, by Robert Munsch, were well-worn and well-loved. By the time she reached middle school, Chloe was a full-fledged bookworm, almost always engrossed in a book by a fantasy or science-fiction author such as Tamora Pierce or Orson Scott Card. And ever since eschewing grade 12 chemistry and calculus in favor of Shakespeare, Anne Michaels, and four English credits, stories have become her professional focus too.
In university, Chloe studied journalism, and went on to work as a radio producer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. There, she covered everything from devastating earthquakes, to art exhibitions, infectious disease outbreaks, and the Olympic Games. In the process, she learned that fantasy is only half the story, and that real life is filled with some of the very best plot lines. That understanding eventually led her to her first book with Annick Press, Hooked: When A