Gary Collins was born in a small, two-storey house by the sea in the town of Hare Bay, Bonavista North. He finished school at Brown Memorial High in the same town. He spent forty years in the logging and sawmilling business with his father, Theophilus, and son Clint. Gary was once Newfoundland’s youngest fisheries guardian. He managed log drives down spring rivers for years, spent seven seasons driving tractor-trailers over ice roads and the Beaufort Sea of Canada’s Western Arctic, and has been involved in the crab, lobster, and cod commercial fisheries. In 2016, he joined the Canadian Rangers.
Gary’s writing career began when he was asked to write eulogies for deceased friends and family. Now a critically acclaimed author, he has written eleven books, including the children’s illustrated book What Colour is the Ocean?, which he co-wrote with his granddaughter, Maggie Rose Parsons. That book won an Atlantic Book Award: The Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration. His book Mattie Mitchell: Newfoundland’s Greatest Frontiersman has been adapted for film.
Gary Collins is Newfoundland and Labrador’s favourite storyteller, and today he is known all over the province as “the Story Man.” His favourite pastimes are reading, writing, and playing guitar at his log cabin. He lives in Hare Bay, Newfoundland, with his wife, the former Rose Gill. They have three children and three grandchildren.