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Authors connect at independent book fair

The event was held last weekend
Linda McIntyre, Sherry Fraser, Judy Alsager, Shannon Matter and Kathryn Fowkes are local independent authors. (Rebecca Dyok photo — Quesnel Cariboo Observer photo)

The first independent author book fair was an excellent opportunity to connect according to local authors.

Independent authors from the area displayed their books at the Quesnel and District Arts and Recreation Centre on Saturday, June 11.

Singer, songwriter and author Shannon Matter has written seven books, including the comic series “The Adventures of Streaky the Comet” and biographies on Ron Price and Dennis Baptiste.

“It’s really nice because I can do things my way,” Matter said of being an independent author.

“I mean, sure, I would love a big publisher behind me and I would take it if it happens, but at this point, even with my music, I’ve been doing it for over 20 years on my own —there’s something really pure about that.”

Matter believes community support is crucial for local artists, authors and musicians.

“Anybody that’s doing anything creative we all should be cheering it on,” she said.

Also participating in the independent book fair was Quesnel children’s author Kathryn (Kathy) Fowkes, who is planning to release her sixth book this fall.

All of her books are based on her 10 grandchildren.

Read More: Quesnel-area resident publishes first children’s book

“This is a good starting place,” Fowkes said of the independent book fair. “We have to start somewhere, and I loved meeting other people—it’s nice to meet some fellow authors.”

Judy Alsager lives on West Fraser Road between Williams Lake and Quesnel, where she takes up organic farming.

She has written two non-fiction books, including “Gang Ranch: The Real Story” and “Trail’s End: The Mike Isnardy Story,” and published two books for other authors.

Her family, she said, used to own the Gang Ranch where she met Isnardy.

“I love it,” Alsager said of being an independent author, noting she was fortunate not to lose a lot of money when she had started with a publisher who went through a costly divorce.

Meanwhile, first-time independent author Sherry Fraser recently released her children’s book “How the Faeries Dance” earlier this year.

She agreed the independent author book fair was a great opportunity to connect with other independent authors.

Lead organizer and independent adult fantasy author Linda McIntyre said the event was a fantastic opportunity for authors to have a forum to talk with each other and pick each other’s brains about what was working and what wasn’t in terms of marketing and promotion.

A second independent author book fair could take place next fall.

Read More: Quesnel author living life to the fullest

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