Two Red Deer College English instructors have released novels that could not be any more different.
In Things You’ve Inherited From Your Mother, first-time novelist Hollie Adams writes about a woman who is dealing with the loss of her mother from cancer.
Poet Jenna Butler writes in her first book of essays A Profession of Hope: Farming on the Edge of the Grizzly Trail about her experiences on a small farm.
The two English instructors will launch their books together at a RDC reading from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov.18. Adams held a book launch on Friday at Sunworks. Butler will have a reading at Sunworks in late-November.
Adams’ novel stemmed from a short story in a creative writing class at the University of Windsor about 10 years ago. She began working on it when her own mother had a cancer scare. Adams said her mother is cancer free today. After she finished the short story, she was encouraged to develop the story further into a novel.
“I was writing about a character whose mother was not cancer-free and had to deal with that,” said Adams, 28. “My mother didn’t want to talk about it. So I started thinking about how I would deal with that. Thankfully nothing really tragic had happened in my life at that point. I had no idea how I would react. I imagine I would have reacted in a very strange way which is how my character reacts to the death of her mother. She didn’t want to deal with it. She refuses to grieve.”
Adams, in her second year at RDC, said her novel is a comedy that deals with death and grieving and would appeal to young adults.
In her collection of 18 essays, Butler steps away from her genre to write about her life of “going back to the land.”
Butler, 34, is the author of three poetry books. She has received the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award, the Canadian Authors Association Exporting Alberta Award, and the James Patrick Folinsbee Prize for her work.
Butler and her husband bought a small off the grid farm north of Barrhead where they spend their summers and run a market garden. Butler, who hails from England and her husband, who is from Holland, wanted to connect to the story of the land.
“Our parents are not farmers and we didn’t inherit farms,” she said. “We wanted to join that group of small farm movement. We literally started with a quarter section and an axe. Now we have our market garden and we are going to be getting into livestock in the next few years. We just started keeping bees. It literally has been learning everything as you go.
She said her essays are about building home from the ground up.
Butler teaches creative and eco-criticism in literature. Her next book, expected to be out next year, is about women and beekeeping.
For more information on both authors and to purchase the books visit www.newestpress.com. Both books are available now at Sunworks.