British Columbia produces more than 800 books every year, a few of which are produced in our own backyard.
As part of the Read Local BC initiative held throughout April, locally acclaimed authors Angie Abdou and Gordon Sombroski will be making a guest appearance at the Fernie Heritage Library to discuss their own mountain literature.
“I’m honoured,” Abdou said of being invited to take part in Read Local BC. “The Canadian publishing world has always been good to me.”
She added, “It will be nice to share an event with Gordon Sombroski.”
The initiative will unite 23 publishers, 300 authors, 60 speakers and presenters, 50 bookstores and 40 libraries across B.C. with one goal — to encourage the public to discover and celebrate talented local authors.
As a local author, Abdou has been celebrated through her works. Her book The Book Cage was listed in Canadian Literature’s top 10 Sport-In-Can-Lit highlights as well as CBCs Book Club’s number one sports book.
“I appreciate the attention I get,” Abdou said, adding that because there are so many authors throughout the country she’s grateful whenever someone dedicates their time to her work.
Despite her success, Abdou said there are challenges she faces when it comes to being an author in a small town, including the lack of anonymity.
However, Abdou stressed, “On the other hand, I’ve been very, very lucky. People [in Fernie] are completely supportive.”
The Canadian Literature nominee said she appreciates the support from not only her local readership but also Polar Peek Books and the Fernie Heritage Library, who continuously showcase her work.
“I’m tremendously appreciative of that but I sometimes also feel very exposed and very vulnerable to what people think of my books,” she said.
Since beginning her career, Abdou has produced four books: Anything Boys Can Do (short stories), The Bone Cage, The Canterbury Trail and Between.
With another fictional ghost story novel in the works, Abdou said she hopes to speak about her new book as well as the local initiative and being a writer in Fernie.
“I like the idea of reading local,” she said. “We talk about shopping local and eating local but the idea of supporting artists … that’s a good initiative.”
As far as her new book goes, Abdou said, “It’s inspired by the Silver Ridge development, which is on top of human remains.”
Taking inspiration from her local surroundings, Abdou described her books as social political novels.
The Stories From the Summit: Reading and Discussion on Mountain Literature event is set to take place on April 16 at 7 p.m. For more information visit www.facebook.com/readlocalbc