Category : Author of the Month

Author of the Month

Award-winning children’s author, Kristin Pierce, helps both kids and adults find their “inner compass”

Award-winning author Kristin Pierce’s children’s books are full of empowering messages about finding our real-life super powers of creativity, imagination and intuition. And it’s that message the author, herself, has fully embraced by not only writing a series of children’s books, but taking the lessons learned in self-publishing and coaching others on how to bring their own story ideas to life.

“It has been a lot of work and a ton of learning, but it has been so much fun,” said Saskatchewan-based author and mother of two.

Children's author Kristin PierceThe inspiration to write a children’s story first came a few years ago when she was putting together a rhyming scrapbook for her son about his first six-months of life. The rhymes began flowing and the book ended with some empowering verses.

“I looked at those last couple pages and said to my husband, “Wouldn’t it be neat to turn these lines into an empowering children’s book?”

Pierce says she couldn’t believe she had said those words aloud. “For almost my whole life, I didn’t believe I was creative, so this idea didn’t align with who I thought I was, so I dismissed it,” she said.

But the rhymes wouldn’t stop flowing, and several months later, while her son was napping, she wrote the first draft of her first book, Your Inner Compass That Could, in an hour and a half.

You are the one who knows your true self the best
You have an Inner Compass inside of your chest
If you learn how to listen, it will be your best guide
On life’s wonderful, magical, adventurous ride

Your Inner Compass That Could - book cover Tellwell Publishing

Your Inner Compass That Could was published by Tellwell in early 2018. The story encourages children to connect to and trust their inner self to guide them in life. It teaches children that there are no limits to what they can achieve and to pursue their passions and share their unique gifts with the world.

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Author of the Month Tellwell Books

B.C.-based author Mark Lloyd wins top prize at IndieReader Discovery Awards for sci-fi novel

A Place to Stay Forever by Mark Lloyd -Tellwell

British Columbia-based author Mark Lloyd is quietly celebrating a huge win after his book nabbed top prize in the science fiction category at the IndieReader Discovery Awards.

The humble author was looking for feedback and submitted the book on a whim. “I was surprised. I didn’t expect the story would win anything,” he said.

The award winners were announced in May at the New York International Book Expo. IndieReader gave the book 4.8/5 stars rating A Place to Stay Forever “an imaginative and quirky story that simultaneously hearkens back to both Philip K Dick and Douglas Adams.”

A straightforward, absorbing tale that unfolds inside a beefy futuristic setting. – Kirkus Reviews

A Place to Stay Forever - Tellwell Publishing - Mark Lloyd

The concept of Lloyd’s sci-fi novel is a mix of the Matrix and Black Mirror’s San Junipero episode. The protagonist, Miranda Sage, is plugged into an artificial reality where she is living out her life peacefully as an old man, when a power surge abruptly awakens the crew in a spaceship hurtling back to Earth. The crew has to hack back into the alternate reality through its only access point – the town of Penticton – and awaken consciously to explore a way to end the simulation without harming their bodies.

“I wanted to write a story that makes the readers think about something they haven’t put much thought in before. This book is about immortality, and the perils of being immortal,” said Lloyd.

Despite the virtual reality/alternate universe premise – the story’s locale is very real. Lloyd who grew up and lives in the Okanagan town of Penticton, loved the idea of turning his hometown into the setting of a sci-fi tale.

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Author of the Month

Tellwell publishing consultant Jennifer Chapin sits in the author’s seat to publish her new book

Saint Augustine, the Christian theologian and philosopher once said: “The world is a book. And those who do not travel read only a page.”

This sentiment echoes through the work of Jennifer Chapin who blends her love of the publishing industry with travel, philosophy, and a little magic.

By day, Chapin is a publishing consultant at TellWell whose main role is to inspire people to trust their work and take the leap of faith into self-publishing. By night, Chapin takes those leaps herself – travelling in her mind to ancient civilizations and fleshing out characters on paper.

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Chapin has just published her second book, The Poet and The Angel, which is connected to her current role at TellWell in that, as she brings the poet’s voice back to life and onto the page, she encourages authors to do the same with their voices. The novella also resonates with her former career in the non-profit sector.

“I have long been committed to the areas of social and environmental justice, through my pen and through being outspoken on issues that are of concern to me. Federico Garcia Lorca’s [the ‘Poet’] character resonates with me completely. I understand his defense of the downtrodden and I share his commitment to speaking out against tyranny,” said Chapin.

An avid traveller and photographer, Chapin weaves her first-hand experiences into her prose to successfully transport the reader to a new place. But don’t flag this as a fluffy travel novel. Chapin uses her writing as a vehicle to discuss bigger issues: freedom, tyranny and the truth.

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Author of the Month

Courtroom lawyer turned self-publishing success; Governor General’s Award nominee Leslie Hall Pinder on her life as a full-time writer

By Kate Bell

Tellwell author and Governor General’s Award nominee, Leslie Hall Pinder, puts her decades of experience in the courtroom on paper in her latest crime-fiction novel, The Indulgence. Learn more about the B.C.- based author’s career as a lawyer-turned-writer, how she got a testimonial from Margaret Atwood and why after traditionally publishing three books, she got decided to self-publish.

Photo Courtesy: The Georgia Straight

At age 12, Leslie Hall Pinder was told to write. She was encouraged by her school teacher and, following her teacher’s advice, Hall Pinder’s first short story was broadcast on CBC radio when she was 19-years-old.

Hall Pinder immersed herself into the literary world after high school and went on to complete her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Saskatchewan and Dalhousie University. She then started a Masters Program in English at the University of British Columbia, however, her interest in school was beginning to wane; she often skipped class and eventually dropped out to pursue her dream of becoming a full-time writer. But the author’s plan was put on hold when she found casual work in the case report section of the Vancouver Police Department – the lure of the law became absolutely irresistible. She quickly enrolled back in school and, in 1976, she graduated with a law degree from the University of British Columbia. Shortly after, Leslie became the first woman litigator at a large Vancouver law firm.

After working nearly 20 years in law, alongside writing and publishing two novels (one of which that was nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Award), Hall Pinder decided to step back from the legal world and begin writing full-time. She has been a full-time writer since 2005 and the courtroom still plays a major impact on her work which focuses largely on characters who undergo the difficult and corrupting struggle of truth as defined by the law.

After traditionally publishing her first three books, Leslie Hall Pinder chose to self-publish her fourth book with Tellwell. The Indulgence is a story about what happens when love turns to hate and everyone turns to the law.

The Indulgence

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Author of the Month

At 15-years-old, actor, model and author Ricko Dupri Sample already has two books to his name

ricko-sampleAt 15-years-old, Ricko Dupri Sample has major achievements to his name. He published one book with Tellwell at age 13, then another at 14. He’s heavily involved in the arts, not just as an author, but as an actor, model, dancer, and musician. Oh, and on top of all that, he’s also several years ahead in school, so much so that in grade 7 he started taking grade 10 classes, and now at 15, he’s in his second year of college in Washington State.

“It feels like an accomplishment, but in my opinion, it’s just the beginning,” said the young author.

Two years ago, at 13-years-old, Sample, began acting, modelling, and attending college. That’s when he also began writing his first book Bigfoot Untold. It started off as a screenplay to submit to a writing competition, but then, being as determined as he is, decided to turn it into a book.

bigfoot-untoldIn Bigfoot Untold, Sample shares his mother’s stories of growing up in an Indonesian village and the encounters she and others had with a mysterious and elusive creature. Sample says his mother had gravel thrown at her by the creature, and in her village a child was kidnapped and put into a dumpster. The child wasn’t physically harmed but was emotionally and mentally traumatized.

“The general theme is that Bigfoot plays tricks on people and does strange things. He hides in the bushes and messes with people. He represents a mysterious spiritual creature in the forest,” Sample said. “People are always trying to find Bigfoot, but they never can.”

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Author of the Month

Doreen Crick chronicles the Caribbean’s dark history through the tears and laughter of women

doreen-crick   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Doreen Crick didn’t dream about becoming an author, but at 83, she realized her three children and four grandchildren didn’t know much about the dark history of their Caribbean heritage so she began to research and to write.

“Like many people, they saw the Caribbean as a great vacation destination. They didn’t know the history of colonialism and slavery there,” said the author who is originally from Saint Kitts but now lives in Nova Scotia.

Over the next two years, she would write and publish two books with Tellwell. Seawater: Women’s Voices from the Shores of the Caribbean Leeward Islands is the history of several Caribbean islands, told through the laughter and tears of the women who were slaves.

“I wrote about how we survived around slavery. I didn’t focus too much on the devastation but rather on how we managed to cope with it, how we conquered our emotions to survive,” said Crick.

Seawater book

Seawater chronicles what happened in the 17th century when the British arrived in the Caribbean Islands of Anguilla, Nevis and Saint Kitts with slaves from Ghana to set up sugar and cotton plantations. But, in the book, Crick focuses on the women and children rather than the men.

“My school history books were about European men – whether they were scoundrels or heroes,” she said.  “I wanted to share a different history about women and children.”

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Author of the Month

Author Rika Mansingh on how to rewire your brain to become the best version of yourself in 2019

The Empowered Mind Diet Equation

With each new year, many people set intentions to change their diet and exercise habits, resolving to head back to the gym or eat healthier to look and feel better. But dietician, Rika Mansingh’s new book, The Empowered Mind Diet Equation, is a different take on nutrition – focusing on foods which feed the brain and in turn, lead to increased energy and vitality.

She says to achieve any goal, first, we need to conquer our minds, and one way to do this is by altering our diet.

“We should be mindful of what we eat and how it affects the way we feel,” she said. “This book is an uplifting and empowering read meant to change thoughts, feelings and behavior to rewire the brain and create new habits.”

Her book discusses how the brain is capable of not only repairing itself but also producing new neurons, regardless of age, through a process called neuroplasticity and neurogenesis.

Author Rika Mansingh

Mansingh has focused on the link between nutrition and the mind in her 17 years working as a registered dietician, most recently in Abbotsford, B.C. and now wants to bring her knowledge to readers outside of her private practice.

“Many clients have seen life-changing results such as losing weight, controlling blood sugars, changing disordered eating patterns and, especially, a reduction or discontinuation of medication.  Many medical conditions are preventable and with healthy dietary practices complications of lifestyle diseases can be avoided or eliminated completely,” said Mansingh.

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Author of the Month

Former Lebanese television host Nataly Restokian trying to start “Me Too” Movement in the Middle East

Nataly Restokian Author of Masks

Me Too stories of sexual assault have dominated the headlines in the western world, but across the water, in the Arab world, the issue remains an elusive one.

“I wrote this story because I wanted to face my own demons. I had to face myself and the things that happened to me. I am not a hero and I’m not a victim. I dreamed of fame and power and I gave up a lot of things for that,” said the former Lebanese actress and television and radio host.

Masks is a dark fictional tale based on the author’s true-life events. The protagonist, Ana, is an Armenian girl born in Lebanon in the seventies. She achieves fame and fortune as a prominent television host in the Middle East, but at an incredible cost.

Restokian says Ana’s story is not unique, but in the Middle East, it’s one rarely told.

“Masks that women are obliged to wear inspired me to write this novel, based partly on real events in my life and partially to include the pain of so many other women that I witnessed along the way,” said Restokian.

“I decided to become their voice because they do not dare to speak up in a world where social and religious standards openly chastise the very actions that, behind closed doors, have become the ultimate paradigmatic way of their lives.”

Restokian, who now lives in Montreal with her husband, says she wants to start the #metoo movement in Lebanon, opening up about her own sexual harassment.

Masks Nataly Restokian

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Author of the Month

Entrepreneur turned authorpreneur Del Chatterson on how becoming a self-published author is like running a business

mtl-pte-claire-del

Entrepreneur now turned authorpreneur Del Chatterson is approaching his new career as an author with the same dedication as running a business.

“The motivation and work habits are similar. It is necessary to have a process and a plan, to be creative, innovative, determined, disciplined and hardworking,” said Chatterson.

The Montreal-based author has taken inspiration from his decades of experience in the computer industry and applied it to his latest crime-fiction novel. “No Easy Money” is set in 1980s Montreal and follows young entrepreneur Dale Hunter as his computer business is attacked by gangsters and the Montreal Mafia.

“A lot of details of the entrepreneurial experience is based on my life,” said Chatterson, who grew his computer monitor distribution business from zero to $20-million in eight years.. “It includes some fascinating insights into the challenges of entrepreneurs.”

Del also named his protagonist Dale, a name similar to his own. But the crime, drama and suspense that make the book a more entertaining read, are all imaginary.

Chatterson was inspired by writers like Kathy Reichs and Ian Hamilton who also turned their business experience into crime- fiction.

“I thought, I could do that.’ He attended writing workshops, read a lot of book from his favourite authors on how to write well and began with short stories to flex his muscles.

Once he reached retirement, Chatterson was able to devote more time to his writing. “No Easy Money” started as an idea 15 years ago, but after two years of writing, he had a manuscript. Tellwell published the book in August 2018.

no-easy-money

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Author of the Month

New “meat bible” textbook is the first of its kind in North America and being used in schools across Canada

Tellwell with author

Dan Westgeest and Ken Jakes visit Tellwell

 

This month at Tellwell we are profiling an unusual book, one that is stunning in its imagery and full of valuable information. The Canadian Meat Cutting textbook is the first of its kind in North America, being used by industry professionals as well as trade schools across Canada.

It’s a comprehensive book, and a heavy one with over 700 pages, and 1300 colour images covering a broad range of topics from food safety, to meat science, processing, harvesting and cooking methods. The textbook is a deep dive into the various types of meats, their cuts and meat-cutting techniques.

Writer Dan Westgeest calls it the “meat bible.” “Being a meatatarian, I think anyone associated with the meat industry or those interested in a career in the meat industry, and even those handling meats, should read it as it has loads of information,” he said.

Before the Canadian Professional Meat Cutter’s Association (CPMCA) produced the meat bible, all industry professionals and schools had as a resource was a three-ring binder containing out-of-date text and black and white images.

“In comparison, the new book is a masterpiece,” said editor Ken Jakes, who also led the book project on behalf of CPMCA. He says he was inspired to upgrade the old modular manual that had been used since the 1990s.

“The meat industry was in a real need of a full-colour textbook to support both entry-level and industry training. The cover design looks really great. It was a real team effort between us and the Tellwell designer,” said Jakes.

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