My personal “backstory”….
My late mother, Norma Sluman, was a talented Canadian author and during her lifetime, wrote two novels of historical fiction (Blackfoot Crossing and Poundmaker, published by Ryerson Press) and also co-authored a biography (John Tootoosis, a Biography of a Cree Leader, originally published by Yellow Dog Press and reprinted by Pemmican Publishing Ltd.).
Before she passed, Mom sent me her draft manuscript for The Amulet, labouriously written on a manual typewriter. She asked me to use my computer to retype it into digital format to meet the current expectations of traditional publishers.
I read her manuscript in first-draft format and I thought back then it was a good read. But I didn`t make the time to get the job done for her. After Mom passed away, I felt quite disappointed in myself – that I had let her down. An important story, based on a historically significant Canadian incident, was destined for obscurity.
My personal “character arc”…
Years later, the light finally dawned that it was not too late to do something about it – if I would just commit myself to the effort. In 2014, I began the task of copy-typing her manuscript into digital format. As the chapters began to emerge, I found, as a writer myself, that I just could not resist the urge to tinker with Mom`s draft. The story is still very much hers. I have just edited some of her stylistics. I can only trust my intuition that she would approve of this mother-daughter iteration.
What I didn`t know when I started, was that it would become more than just a project, it morphed into a journey to truly appreciating my mother as an author. Growing up, I thought I understood the effort she put into her writing and her meticulous dedication to research. But I did not. Mom created art in a technologically primitive environment – before the advent of computers, dedicated writing software and the ubiquitous Internet – all just taken for granted today. My computerized editing efforts pale in comparison to Mom`s decades of “old school” writing.
My personal “inciting incident”…
After coming across an on-line ad offering assistance to independent authors to self-publish their books, I contacted FriesenPress, headquartered in Altona, Manitoba, to make enquiries.
I learned that FriesenPress is an award-winning North American book printer which has been in the book business since 1923, and over the decades has developed close relationships with many of North America’s traditional publishers. Their experience in meeting the exacting needs of the world’s most successful publishing houses carries through to their work with independent authors and publishers. So, I signed a contract to publish “The Amulet”.
I’m inviting you to join me on this sentimental journey and trust you will accept, knowing that I pledge to respect your time, your privacy, and will do my best to provide value in return.
In that vein, I’m dedicating the project’s website to those who have contributed so much to our Canadian culture through writing and publishing fiction and non-fiction books by, or books about, Canadian authors, photographers, poets, artists, historians, and so on.
My personal “plot twist” …
Welcome to the launch of our FREE “Book of the Month” Club, Each month, I will feature one outstanding book and give away one copy of that book, randomly drawn from all the valued readers on our mailing list.
Whoever gets drawn to receive each month’s book will be contacted for free shipping instructions, and recipients will be acknowledged (pending their permission) on the Book of the Month Club’s webpage.
Feature photo at top:Jez Timms