Workshop student lands book contract

As soon as I heard the voice on the an­swer­ing ma­chine I knew some­thing big had happened. Then Yvonne’s words came singing down the line, “I got a pub­lish­er! I’m go­ing to be published!”

The equa­tion can be this simple: a good story + good writ­ing + ded­ic­a­tion = pub­lished book. The real­ity is: many people have a great idea for a book, some have the writ­ing skills but few have the ded­ic­a­tion to see the pro­ject through. But right from the start I thought Yvonne Maximchuk might have all three.

I met Yvonne last May when she took one of my writ­ing work­shops. She’d been work­ing on a mem­oir for five years. But she wasn’t sure if her story was good enough and she was hav­ing a hard time fin­ish­ing the manuscript.

After read­ing the first pages of Drawn to Sea I knew Yvonne had the mak­ings of a story that would en­gage and in­trigue read­ers. The plot re­volves around her de­cision to re­main in an isol­ated com­munity after a break up with her part­ner. The chal­lenges were huge. She had two chil­dren to sup­port and wondered if she could sell her paint­ings and pot­tery from her Simoom Sound location.

Then there were the day-to-day con­sid­er­a­tions such as get­ting fire­wood and trav­el­ling back and forth to a lar­ger com­munity to get gro­cer­ies, med­ic­al care and oth­er ne­ces­sit­ies of life. If she was go­ing to make it, Yvonne knew she had to do three things. Get a chain­saw, get a boat and learn how to op­er­ate them.

Drawn to Sea is funny and heart-warm­ing; totally can­did and very evoc­at­ive of place. Vici Johnstone, pub­lish­er of Caitlin Press, told Yvonne her writ­ing was lyr­ic­al, the story well-paced and that it was a pleas­ure to read a book where the writer craf­ted her story like a work of art.

Yvonne, at right, made ex­cel­lent use of her time at the writ­ing retreat.


And that’s a key part of Yvonne’s suc­cess. As a self-em­ployed paint­er and pot­ter, she knows what it means to be dis­cip­lined. If you don’t sit down and do the work, it doesn’t get done. And that can mean the dif­fer­ence between earn­ing a liv­ing or starving, com­plet­ing a book or not.

I’m very proud of Yvonne. And I was touched when she said, “You got me over the last hurdle. Your ad­vice on how to fin­ish a book was brilliant.”

I can’t wait to see the pub­lished ver­sion of Drawn to Sea, per­haps fea­tur­ing one of Yvonne’s paint­ings on the cov­er. To find out more about one of BC’s new­est au­thors vis­it www​.searosestu​dio​.net.



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