The Story Behind the Story
As the curious one in my family, I often asked my mother questions about her life. She told me many stories, but I loved one in particular about a ring that she always wore. She gave it to me on my sixteenth birthday. Intrigued by the ring I wanted to tell its story.
Victoria Rd. Subway, Whitney Pier
(courtesy of Beaton Institute)
However, every time I sat down to write about the ring, I couldn’t tell the story without getting into a much larger story about a girl named Kate, who had owned the ring. The ring was a gift in more ways than one as it became the catalyst to share the story of this remarkable young girl.
As Kate's story unfolded, it kept getting bigger. I hit roadblocks, and even shelved the manuscript for several years. However, writer friends and other people familiar with the story urged me to develop it further.
Peter Carver, editor and mentor at George Brown College believed in the project and supported and challenged me with pertinent questions and comments.
A writing support group known as Writer’s Bloc evolved out of Peter’s writing class which offered thoughtful feedback and sensitive suggestions to make the story work.
Author, Sandra Birdsell was a champion of Kate’s Ring and offered many insightful observations.
Early on, author Sarah Ellis provided encouragement and recommendations.
An invitation to The Carver/Stinson Seaside Retreat was a turning point. Joining Kathy Stinson’s writing group provided the inspiration and support I needed to make two stories out of what I had first thought was one.
After completing the manuscript, I shared it with my mother and asked if it would be okay to publish it. Her answer was a resounding YES and she affirmed that the story accurately captured Kate’s early life.
A submission of parts of the manuscript to Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council resulted in substantial grants that offered new resources and energy to complete the first “Kate’s Ring”. The second book is underway.
I hope the reader will be touched by Kate’s persistence and courage in striving to protect her family. Perhaps her story will lead readers to discover within themselves their own strength and hope as they deal with the difficult parts of life.
If you enjoy reading Kate’s Ring, let me and Red Deer Press know. I’d love to tell you the rest of the story.