An Edmonton Author’s Link to Cold Lake

Cold Lake Library gets reading from Shari Narine.

Author Shari Narine is visiting 17 Northern Alberta municipal libraries in the last two weeks of June. For close to thirty years, she was a journalist. But when she is in Cold Lake on the evening of June 27, she will reading from her newest adult fiction book, Oil Change at Rath’s Garage. She is hoping local writing clubs will come out and ask her questions. Narine says, “I’ll offer lots of writing tips – or more accurately what works for me. I expect my presentation to be informal, and easy going.”

Narine, who currently lives in Edmonton shared her connection to Cold Lake. “Something that’s local to Cold Lake is that in my acknowledgement I mention “Carol.” Carol was my roommate at college (Camrose Lutheran College). She married Brad Boychuk from Cold Lake and they returned there after they graduated from university. Brad still lives there and teaches there. Carol was a teacher. She passed away in 2006 from ALS. Her mom – Thelma Dobson – also lived in Cold Lake. Neither of them knew that I included Carol in my acknowledgement”.

Although Narine started writing Oil Change is 2011, it wasn’t published until this year. And it wasn’t an easy process. Narine explains, “In 2014, I had my first offer to publish, but because I was unhappy with the editing job they did, I pulled it. Then it was another period of waiting. Thistledown Press gave me the nod in July 2016 and almost a year later, Oil Change is now on the shelf”. Currently she is working on another novel and is still doing some journalism. In October, thanks to a grant she received, she will be in Saskatchewan for a month of concentrated writing. “I’m excited about that! I have to admit I have a bit of a travel bug to go along with my writing bug,” says Narine.

Although she sometimes writes in her book-shelved work space, Narine says where she ultimately writes depends on when the thoughts hit her. “I will write in a coffee shop, waiting in the Dr.’s office, or sitting at my desk. For Oil Change my characters were the Humphreys – Jack, Matt, and Ben. Then I developed everyone else around them. My first run through didn’t include Glory – but she is a pivotal character in the novel. I knew how I wanted the story to end. I didn’t know how I would get there, so in other words, no road map. What I found was once I started writing, my characters decided to do whatever they wanted to do. So even though I wanted them to do something, they refused to listen to me. It’s an amazing thing to have happen and it was liberating to hand the reins over to them to do what they wanted to do”.

Shari Narine will be appearing at the South Branch of the Cold Lake Public Library on Tuesday, June 27 at 6:30 p.m.