It is serendipitous timing that the North Shore libraries would release their Authors Collection in the first few days of December, with there being no better time than winter to plunge into the pages of a new book.
The sprawling collection – on display at the North Vancouver City Library, North Vancouver District Public Library, and West Vancouver Memorial Library – celebrates the literary talent of the North Shore and, for the first time this year, Bowen Island and Lions Bay.
It features 90 titles from 76 local authors.
Frances Peck, whose creative talents will be highlighted for the second year in a row, said readers are most often drawn to stories that feature elements of home and their local surroundings, but with universal themes like loss, love, grief, and passion.
It’s likely the reason why her latest novel Uncontrolled Flight, which follows an investigation into the death of a firefighting pilot, was selected to feature in this year’s collection, she said.
“Uncontrolled Flight is a very local novel. The mystery/tragedy is set in Vancouver, with scenes across B.C., and it’s told against a backdrop of wildfire.”
Peck said she hopes new readers discover the novel through the North Shore Authors Collection, and that the gripping plot has them turning the pages “well into the night.”
Among the authors selected are also a number of newcomers, including one budding young writer who hadn’t picked up a pen at all until recent years.
Six-year-old Dominic Szasz co-wrote Be Yourself, Little Hippo, a children’s picture-book tale about self discovery, with his mom Beth Hazell.
Hazell said Dominic came up with all of the characters and the plot on his own accord, and she took the initial ideas and moulded the story into the final, published version.
“I couldn’t be more grateful for sharing in this process with my son,” she said.
“It was such a great learning experience as we saw the characters and story come to life as the artwork was developed.”
Szasz said he hopes his first published works will inspire readers to “learn to be yourself and not act like someone else, because you won’t be unique.”
Other inclusions worthy of being curled up by the fire with span thrillers, self-help books, memoirs and more, with everything from a guide to making crochet creative figures, by North Vancouver’s Julia Simpson, to an award-winning self-help book on communication by TEDx speaker Sandy Gerber.
Authors selected for the 2023/2024 North Shore Authors Collection celebrated the debut of this year’s collection at a special opening reception at North Vancouver District Public Library's Lynn Valley branch on Nov 17.
Mina Kerr-Lazenby is the North Shore News’ Indigenous and civic affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.