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PRIDE SPOTLIGHT: Celebrating LGTBQ+ Authors & Books

This month we are celebrating our LGTBQ+ authors and books with LGTBQ+ themes and characters. Each book, story and shared experience paves the way towards a more inclusive future. It helps people see from a different perspective, and perhaps, increase understanding and change attitudes. Sharing a personal experience with the public isn’t easy but it is empowering. Thank you for sharing your story.

David Scott
Stargazer

Despite suffering from chronic asthma since a toddler, David enjoyed an idyllic childhood of fishing with his father and watching copious movies at the family’s cinemas. This wonderful lifestyle came crashing down upon being sent to a city college, where relentless bullying made his life miserable. Many children, under similar circumstances, may have contemplated suicide whereas David fled home to his family, to return as a day student instead of a boarding at the college. At the age of seventeen, his life changed dramatically when his father died and David took on the running of the family cinemas and drive-in theatres. Puberty and not coming to terms with being gay plagued David who had to keep his sexuality secret in his small home town.

In 1980 David sold his theatre interests and turned his hand at starting up a thoroughbred horse stud, owning a racehorse that was entered into the prestigious Melbourne Cup until disaster struck. The farm was sold, leaving David with very little savings. He turned his hand at motel managing, hotel and restaurant cooking, strawberry picking and even spent a season as a ‘ganger’ at an orchard during a fruit-picking season. Disaster struck again in the form of a near-death experience that left David home-bound. That’s when he turned to creative writing as a living, winning accolades for short stories and awards for stage plays he wrote upon moving to Queensland. Living at the Gold Coast hinterland, he has now turned his talents onto novel writing, his first two proving to be popular literary works.

Dani Carlisle
Whiskey Cult: Can you survive the demons?

Dani Carlisle is a non-binary author, parent, poet who whose book Whiskey Cult: Can You Survive the Demons? is about a young person’s struggle with self-identity, coming out, mental health and addiction.

Growing up, we all have our struggles. We all have our demons. Young adults and teenagers can juggle everything from adolescence, self-acceptance, coming out, mental health, addiction, and finding a place to feel truly at home in the world.

Tony Williams
The Way Life Is

In his memoir, Tony Williams, a psychologist for many years, asks the big questions that arise from the effects and experiences of life. He gives us an insight into how our past experiences shape our very lives and what we bring to our relationships with significant others and with ourselves.

In his book, The Way Life Is, Tony explores the “big” issues of growing up different, exploring among other things, the influences and effects of family, trauma, of bullying, of an emerging and accepting of gay sexuality, of manhood and marriage and children, financial difficulties, of travel and higher education, of work and relationships.

Ron Kearse
Just Outside of Hope: Sequel to Road Without End

Ron Kearse writes a combination fiction/memoir on the evolution of queer culture in Western Canada from the 1970’s to present.

Ron Kearse finds inspiration in travelling, photography, art, reading, and history. An artist, broadcaster, actor, and writer, Ron has a colourful and varied work resumé. Having lived a nomadic life, Ron has finally settled in Victoria, BC where he lives with his partner James Howard. Just Outside of Hope is the second installment in the Road Without End Trilogy, he has also published a photo book of Vancouver Street Art in the mid-1980s called Lost History.

Alexandra Jones
Same

Same is a sweet little story that has to do with transitioning genders.

This book is written in collaboration with the illustrator, Alexandra’s father. Alexandra is an early childhood educator who hopes to spread love and acceptance to young children around the world. Her father is an artist who feels passionately about helping children understand and accept each other’s unique qualities.

We hope for our story to be heard and shared among children and families who see the joy and light in people the way we do!

Carol Thompson Gardner
Lily Loves Beards

Lily Loves Beards is a heartwarming story about the unconditional love and acceptance between a father and his gender-creative child.

Carol has been a part of the LGBTQ+ community since she was a young adult and it is with deepest gratitude for this embrace, that she return this love and compassion back to her community through her voice. Carol lives on the west coast of British Columbia with her partner Bodhi and their little dog, Bear.

Giovanna Lucignano
Thor the Troublemaker & Louis the Lovebug

Giovanna Lucignano has two children’s books. Thor The Troublemaker features a family with two moms. Thor is a mischievous and stubborn French Bulldog whose strong personality sometimes gets him into trouble.

Louis the Lovebug features an interractiona marriage. The French Bulldog enjoys spending time with his family, but even the happiest of families can go through troubles.

Both books teach children that all families are different, sometimes imperfect, but always beautiful.

Scott Mainprize
A Waking Life: As I Leave Myself, Fear and Death Behind

Scott Mainprize is a gay, Jain, fourth-generation Algonquin who holds a Bachelor of Education, Master of Social Work and Juris Doctor. He currently works as a lawyer and professor of restorative justice. He has previously taught in Arctic, Quebec, worked in a homeless shelter and AIDS hospice, and has been a student-prosecutor across north-western Ontario. He is not dead; but, he does not have an appendix. Also, he thinks he is funny.

A Waking Life is the story of Nomad Truestar’s journey through the darkness of a single night. After his appendix ruptures, he wakes to the hollow nothingness of isolation. Not knowing whether he will live or die, Truestar begins the quest of confronting the meaning woven into his fragmented life. With the help of a curious quartet of guides, including a wild cat, an Arctic wolf and the woman he believes to be Death, Truestar travels through time and beyond the space he appears confined to, in an exploration of the perceived self, the connected universe and even death.

Jane Stone
Riot Radio

Riot Radio is about a girl named Sasha, a self-proclaimed weirdo, who being kicked out for being gay. She does what every self-proclaimed weirdo does when they have nowhere to go, moves to the city. She is surprised when a record store owner leaves his store to her and she decides to turn it into the biggest underground radio station the world has ever seen.

Jade Stone is an avid fiction reader and lover of modern poetry. She is also an avid animal lover and has two cats who love to keep her company. She is also a vinyl record and thrift store enthusiast.

Laura E O’Shea
Journey Forward

I believed in my friends more than myself…They had convinced me to leave my family to stop my dad from sexually assaulting me. Being there for my family was my life. I thought our small LGBTQ+ community would be my chosen family. We survived suicidal ideation and sexual assault, but our lives overwhelm and divide us. What happens when my friends are gone? I try to take steps forward with my education and friendships. I am not sure if I am enough. Who am I now?

Laura E. (Elizabeth) O’Shea has a lifelong appreciation of listening to, reading, and writing stories. She has written fiction since she was a child. Laura has completed her post-graduate studies. The idea for Laura’s first novel Journey Forward was inspired while attending university.

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Design Showcase Guest Post

The behind the scenes creative process to achieve this incredible YA fantasy cover design – Demons at the Doorstep

Guest post by Tellwell designer Tara Price

demons

Demons at the Doorstep is a young adult urban fantasy. Written by Rachael Bell-Irving, the story follows Jessica, a witch who must team up with her mortal enemy to stop mutated demons from destroying her city. Hard copies and eBooks are now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Chapters Indigo.

Why did you choose this cover as a monthly focus?

This was a book that I started working on at the end of last year that wrapped up mid-April. It was a little out of our normal process because it required a custom illustration. A lot of the time, the cover is either done first or designed in tandem with the interior. For this one the interior was formatted well before the illustration was done. I had an initial idea of what I wanted for the title, but I knew that it may change drastically when the cover was on my plate. However, once I saw this amazing image, I was able to work in the title surprisingly well, with only minor re-working on spacing.

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Tellwell Books

Canadian Authors from Coast to Coast

Alberta

angie-pierce-abAuthor Name: Angie Pierce

Book Title: Dale’s Journey: Receiving Inspiration From Our Own Mortality

Chapters.ca link: Click here.

What is the most inspiring place in your province for you to write?

The most inspiring place for me to write is from my picturesque horse farm in rural Beaver County, AB.  There, I am peacefully surrounded by nature and all the creatures that make this place their home.

What is something uniquely Canadian about you or your book?

I was born in Vancouver, BC and Dale, my late husband, whom the book is about, was born in Winnipeg, MB.

How are you going to celebrate Canada 150?

I will be competing in a 25 mile competitive trail ride near Milk River, AB.

 

BC

camilla-joubert-bcAuthor Name: Camilla Joubert

Book Title: Unravelling

Chapters.ca link: Click here.

What is the most inspiring place in your province for you to write?

I love to write in my backyard in West Vancouver looking up to the North Shore mighty snow-capped mountains while listening to the birds chirping in the trees. I’m privileged to live in what I think is Canada’s most majestic province, and I’m constantly inspired by nature in my immediate environment.

What is something uniquely Canadian about you or your book?

Although I was born in South Africa I have lived in Canada for 27 years and feel more Canadian than South African. I chose to print in Canadian English; hence Unravelling has two l’s. Six of the writers who contributed to the book of stories in Unravelling are Canadian, and three of them are BC born and bred locals!

How are you going to celebrate Canada 150?

I’m planning to pack a sumptuous picnic and hike the Chief in Squamish to take in the vistas of our gorgeous Howe Sound passage with my family.

 

Manitoba

anthony-nelson-mbAuthor Name: Anthony Nelson

Book Title: Awaykin with Colour

Chapters.ca link: Click here

What is the most inspiring place in your province for you to write?

The place I was most inspired while working on my colouring book was my completely secluded cabin a little north of Gimli, MB.

What is something uniquely Canadian about you or your book?

My book includes many images that celebrate cultures from around the world, showing how they can work in unison. I feel this is an idea important to Canadians.

How are you going to celebrate Canada 150?

My boyfriend runs an arts organization that will be doing live mural painting at the Forks Market in Winnipeg, so I will be helping with their event.

 

New Brunswick

mildred-drost-nbAuthor Name: Mildred Drost

Book Title: Until Each One Has a Home. Heartfelt Stories From DunRoamin’ Stray and Rescue –A Canadian Pet Rescue

Chapters.ca link: Click here.

What is the most inspiring place in your province for you to write?

I write from my home along the banks of the Saint John River in New Brunswick. There, I see the results of the work we do – the pets that have been rescued form dire circumstances, and have gone on to live in safe, loving homes. Many are now my neighbours; many of their owners keep in contact via Facebook and email. They all inspire me to do more.

What is something uniquely Canadian about you or your book?

I think that we are uniquely Canadian in that we aspire to help as many as possible, pets, wildlife or people, and we do it with no expectation of being compensated, except by the good feeling resulting from having helped. We believe in fairness, justice and kindness toward everyone.

How are you going to celebrate Canada 150?

We celebrate Canada Day every year with the Canada Day Dog Wash, with newly washed dogs sporting the red and white bandanas. We have a barbeque with hotdogs, hamburgers and many red and white desserts. We welcome old and new friends to our gathering and enjoy their company, human and canine alike.

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