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Culture Days panel discussion celebrates fiction set right here

The old adage for writers is “write what you know.” But what happens when you set your novel in your own backyard? What are the successes — and what are the perils?

The Nelson Public Library celebrates B.C. Culture Days with a panel discussion on just that topic on Saturday, September 30 at 2 p.m. The event, entitled “Once Upon a Time — Right Here,” features four local fiction authors who have set their stories remarkably close to home. Authors will present a brief reading from their work, with a lively discussion to follow moderated by Library staffer and author Anne DeGrace.

Jennifer Craig’s 2017 novel Gone to Pot (Second Story Press) is unapologetically set in Nelson, where the plot follows Jess, a grandmother looking for creative ways to keep the wolf from the door who develops a green thumb in the process.

Ernest Hekkanen’s farcical novel Of a Fire Beyond the Hills (New Orphic Press) took some news-of-the-day out for a spin, exploring the “Our Way Home” draft resister sculpture debacle complete with thinly-veiled local personalities.

Cyndi Sand-Eveland’s children’s novel Dear Toni (Tundra Books) is set in a neighbourhood inspired by Blewett, where 10-year-old Gene writes letters to the future for a school time capsule while she navigates the sometimes-bumpy present.

And Tom Wayman explores shared history and relationships in the Slocan Valley in his short story collection The Shadows We Mistake for Love (Douglas & McIntyre), bringing together such disparate characters as loggers and environmentalists, marijuana growers and small-town lawyers.

The Library is pleased to be taking part in Culture Days, part of a collaborative, Canada-wide movement to raise awareness of the arts and cultural life in our communities. The Library will also display books by local authors and offer a draw for a bag of locally-authored books. The panel discussion, which takes place in the Library’s lower level, is free of charge.

Photo Caption: Tom Wayman is one of the four local fiction authors who will read during B.C. Culture Days September 30, at the Nelson Public Library. — Photo courtesy Jude Dillon