Authors share their stories at library
By: Tammy Rollie
| Posted: Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013 10:48 am
A Millarville author will have foothills residents cracking up as she regales them with stories from her adventurous childhood this weekend.
Sixty-three-year-old Linda Penton is one of five southern Alberta authors selected to read excerpts from their books at the Sheep River Library’s Authors Among Us event on Feb. 2 from noon to 4 p.m.
Penton’s biography “Herding Beans: Short Stories from my Walk with God” is filled with tales about growing up in rural Saskatchewan. One such tale is about being attacked by an aggressive rooster while rounding up the farm’s escaped chicks.
“The memory is still very clear to what it felt like to be attacked by him,” she said, adding the bird took a chunk out of her lip. “This is over 50 years ago.”
The autobiography begins before Penton’s birth when her grandparents immigrated to Canada from Romania in 1913 with 14 of their 21 children. Her father was 11 at the time.
The short stories are about life in the Romanian village, the family’s journey to Canada and living on the prairies with no running water or electricity.
Penton started to record the family’s history 10 years ago when her first grandchild was born.
When she shared some of the stories with friends, they encouraged her to publish the collection.
“I really hadn’t considered it,” she said. “For me it was just fun writing my stories for my family and friends.”
Now with her tales published, Penton was asked to share them at the Sheep River Library’s Authors Among Us event.
“This is the fist time I will be reading at a public reading for people that I don’t know,” she said. “It’s a privilege to share my experiences with someone else.”
Authors Among Us follows on the heels of a similar event held at the Sheep River Library during Canadian Library Month in October where 31 southern Alberta authors were stationed around the library discussing their books and reading their material, said library board member Deanna Smith.
Smith said readings on Saturday will take place every half hour between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. by the library’s fireplace.
“It will be cozy and just a nice atmosphere as you listen to the authors give their readings for about 20 minutes,” she said. “It’s a fun thing to bring your family to spend a couple of hours and peruse the library.”
The authors hail from Millarville, Claresholm, Didsbury and Sundre with books ranging from children’s stories to non-fiction, said Smith.
Six authors from the Calgary Writers Group will be stationed around the library from noon to 4 p.m. as well.
The public is encouraged to pick up a ballot and collect a minimum of eight signatures from authors to be eligible for door prizes. Refreshments and snacks will also be available.
Millarville resident Wendy Dudley will give a reading from her book “Don’t Name the Ducks: And other truths about life in the country” which was published in 2003.
The book is a combination of humour and insight into Dudley’s philosophies on conservation and relationships with animals based on her interactions with pets, livestock and wildlife.
Dudley said having an author event is not only an opportunity for the public to get to know local authors but for writers to meet their fans.
“Writing can be a lonely profession because you work from home,” she said. “This is a chance where you meet the people who read it and enjoyed it and engage them. I always enjoy meeting my fans.”
Library manager Jan Burney said she is eager to introduce foothills residents to authors in the region.
“It gives you an opportunity to meet an author whose books you may never have read,” she said. “You may end up picking up something you wouldn’t if it was just sitting on the shelf.”
Burney added Authors Among Us is also a promotional opportunity for local authors.
“Publishing is a real nightmare of a world and it can be years for someone to pick up their book and publish it,” she said. “These are not best sellers where you are going to see hundreds of copies on a rack in Chapters, so sometimes the only way they are going to get exposure is at these types of events.”