J.M. is an author, screenwriter, and professional smartypants. With an MA in Communications and Culture, she’s appeared in podcasts, documentaries, and on radio and television to discuss all things geeky through the lens of academia. She also has an addiction to scarves, Doctor Who, and tea, which may or may not all be related. Her life’s ambition is to have stepped foot on every continent (only 3 left!)
J.M.’s also a professionally trained actor who takes absolute delight in weird stories, over the top performances, and quirky characters. She’s played everything from Marmee to the Red Queen, Jane Eyre to Annie, and dozens of strange creatures and earnest heroines as a voice actor.
Her debut novel Triptych was nominated for two Lambda Literary Awards, won the San Francisco Book Festival award for SF/F, was nominated for a 2011 CBC Bookie, was named one of The Advocate’s Best Overlooked Books of 2011, and garnered both a starred review and a place among the Best Books of 2011 from Publishers Weekly.
Her sophomore novel, an epic-length feminist meta-fantasy titled The Untold Tale, (book one of the Accidental Turn Series), debuted December 2015, and was followed up by The Forgotten Tale in 2016 and The Silenced Tale in December 2017. The Skylark’s Song, book one of The Skylark’s Saga, a steampunk action novel about a girl vigilante and her mysterious rocketpack, soared into book stores in 2018, and was followed up by The Skylark’s Sacrifice in September 2019.
The Skylark’s Saga was signed to a shopping agreement for an animation series in 2018.
She was the grateful recipient of a Toronto Arts Council Grant in 2018, and is enjoying the ability to really dig into the research needed for the project. You can follow her research blog here. Her digital-only queer time-travel novel A Woman of the Sea was named a winner of the 2019 WATTY AWARD for Historical Fiction, and published as The Woman Who Fell Through Time in 2020.
- For a list of articles and reviews check out the archives here.
Bibliography & Filmography
Promotional Head Shots
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J.M. Frey (pronounced Fry) is a bisexual Canadian science fiction and fantasy author. While she is best known for her debut novel Triptych, Frey’s work encompasses poetry, academic and magazine articles, screenplays, and short stories. Frey calls herself a “professional geek.”. Frey’s fiction work generally follows the conventions of literary fiction mixed with the tropes of science fiction and fantasy, and usually focuses on themes of personal merit, family, queerness, gender, and revisionist literature, as well as genre-deconstruction and meta themes.
Her academic work focuses on gender in science fiction and fantasy, the anthropology of fandom (fanthropology), fanfiction and fanworks(specifically on Mary Sues and Cosplay), as well as the television programs Doctor Who and Stargate: Atlantis.
Frey is a published author with over a dozen titles to her name, and freelances as a worldbuilding consultant, story consultant, and fandom/audience consultant for film, television, and animation. She is also a professionally trained actor, an currently works as a voice actor for professional voice over, jingles, and cartoons.
Frey has appeared at Toronto-area science fiction conventions and is involved with charity and community fan groups and initiatives. She regularly appears on radio shows, television talk shows, and podcasts discussing fandom and genre works.
Born in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, Frey is the first of three children. She attended Centre Wellington District High School in Fergus, Ontario, and graduated in 2000, then went on to do her Ontario Academic Credits at Orangeville District Secondary School and graduated in 2001.
From there she attended Brock University’s Dramatic Arts (DART) program, graduating with honors in 2005 and a thesis project about the visual conventions of historic Japanese art forms as they translate into anime and manga. She moved to Japan to teach English as a Second Language, and lived in Dazaifu-shi, Fukuoka-ken from 2005-2007. In 2007 she returned to Canada, and attended the Ryerson and York Universities joint Masters of Communications Culture program, graduating in 2009 with the highest score the department had ever awarded to that point on her Master’s Project Presentation on Mary Sue Fanfiction.
Other papers Frey presented while in her MA focused on cosplay, the anthropology and sociology of fandom, and the science fiction television program Doctor Who. She was also the co-writer and the principal investigator on the Swirlygate Project, a satire of common science fiction gender and genre cliches, and an on-air personality for Accessible Media Inc.
She currently lives in Toronto, Ontario, in a lovely apartment with many lovely plants (she’s allergic to everything that sheds), working on her novels and screenplays. She was the grateful recipient of a Toronto Arts Council
Grant in 2018, and is currently working diligently to complete the granted project – a novel-length version of her 2012 short story The Maddening Science.
Though she did win a prize for a short story she wrote in kindergarten, Frey began her career as a writer around the age of 11 in fanfiction, which she calls her “apprenticeship to the fandom community”. This eventually led her to write original stories. She began her first original novel at the urging of one of her TAs while at Brock University, and first began to seriously study creative writing there.
J.M. studied playwriting with Colin Taylor (Tarragon Theatre, Toronto) and Daniel David Moses (“Almighty Voice and His Wife”, “Talks With Bear”, etc.), literary theory and criticism with David Fancy (“Khalida”, and lauded scholar), short story writing with Robert Alexander (“January 28, 1986”, “Wild Rose Country”, etc.), and several other writing workshops and writers groups. She had the honor of attending “Author, Author!” at the age of eight, a conference that pairs youth writers with published mentors.
She made her first professional sale upon returning to Canada, a novella titled “(Back),” which she eventually expanded into the first third of her debut novel Triptych.
Dragon Moon Press acquired “Triptych” in late 2009 after Frey and the acquisitions editor Gabrielle Harbowy met at a party at the Ad Astra science fiction convention. The book was released April 2011. It was later re-released by Here There Be in 2019, with a new cover, revised story, and with extra bonus materials – an all-new short story and a previously deleted scene.
J.M. can be found play Sarah in “Ext. 5683 (l-o-v-e)”, as various voices in the radio play “The Weight of Information”, as The Barista in the award-winning webseries “Out With Dad” episodes Chai Latte and Out With Song and Dance, and as the voice of Lillian H. Smith on the soundtrack for the musical “A Life in the Library”.
Frey appears in Leaving Mundania (2011), a documentary about cosplay culture by Jiro C. Okada, and The Maud Squad (2011), a documentary about Anne of Green Gables fandom by Lisa Lightbourn-Lay. She was a guest panelist on the SPACE Channel’s premier original show “InnerSPACE” during the Doctor Who Live Finale Panel Discussion. She was also a founding cohost of the G33kN3rdD0rk Podcast on Dorkshelf.com with superstar comic Gavin Stephens and nerd supreme Jeff Brown, and was the host of HardcoreNerdity.com’s short-run specialty podcast “GeekU“.
She has presented three academic papers on fan behavior at international conferences (San Francisco, Cardiff, Toronto), was in the semi-finals of the American Accolades Screenwriting competition in 2004 and had a theatrical play in festival in 2001. A reprise performance of that play is forthcoming. 2010 saw the debut of her children’s play “Alex and the Ironic Gentleman“, based on the hilarious MG adventure novel of the same name by Adrienne Kress.
The Ontario Science Centre featured one of her costumes (a steampunked KittyPryde/ShadowCat from Marvel’s X-Men) in an exhibition on the Steampunk genre that ran from March 4th – May 23rd 2011 at the Ontario Science Centre in their !dea Gallery space, and at the Sudbury Art Gallery in the fall of 2016.
She had the extreme honor of presenting the Joe Shuster Award for Excellence in Canadian Comic Book Creators for Best Writer in 2009, and Best Writing at the 2010 Constellation Awards, and Best Series at the 2011 Constellations.
J.M. Frey also writes Erotica under the pseudonym Peggy Barnett.
J.M. Frey in her famous Steampunk TARDIS Gown Photo by Elemental Photography
See more photos of the Steampunk TARDIS Gown.
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