Juanita grew up in Banff, Alberta, with Ukrainian-Italian parents and absolutely no interest in skiing. Her first short story, read aloud in a University of Victoria writing class, brought her peals of laughter and the idea that writing could be fun. Her life has taken her through occupations as diverse as artist, Parks Canada outhouse cleaner, taxi driver, and teacher’s aide for disabled children. In the late 1980s, she was the production manager for an event entertainment company, which mainly involved cutting down trees and putting up teepees for wilderness nights, then dressing up in rabbit-skins. Whenever the company put on a murder mystery event, she thought I can do better than this. Masterpiece Mysterys was born.
Juanita has written, directed and produced over 50 murder mystery event scenarios, all featuring her own sense of humour; her latest offerings include Dying For Chocolate, Gin Joint, Virtual Vixens, and Drop Dead Disco. Combining a mystery story and clue-trail with uplifting entertainment is an area that Juanita has considerable knowledge in. Masterpiece Mysterys has performed for groups ranging from 20 to 200 people, from 12 to 70 years old. Juanita is considering putting together a course outline to teach others how to develop their own mystery parties. She has been a frequent contributor to Mysterynet.com since 1997 in their "Party Games and Murder Mystery Parties" discussion areas.
She also writes mysteries with her husband, Tony Berryman. Together they have finished one novel in a Banff History Mystery series and have published one short story, The Rapture Café, in Mountain Heritage Magazine. They are currently enjoying the research for a series of smut detective fiction short stories.