Wednesday, October 10, 2018



Back in June 2009 I blogged about a writers' weekend in Creston where I first met Deryn Collier who was among the many writers who shared snippets of their work at the open mic.

Since then, Deryn, who lives in Nelson, has published two mystery novels, Confined Space and Open Secret, that feature the enigmatic Bern Fortin, who suffers from PTSD thanks to time spent in various world hotspots when he was with the Canadian Armed Forces and is now living in small town BC working as a coroner. Now, Deryn has announced she is shelving Bern stories for the time being—or longer—in order to focus on something completely different.

As of last year, she's taken to sending out weekly e-letters where she talks about her latest project, a new mystery series set in Montreal and starring a character based on her Aunt June. Sharing her work this way evolved, in part, thanks to her aversion to putting it all out there on social media (in much the same way as I'm trying to do by writing about meatier things on my blog as opposed to on FaceTwitGram). She started these weekly letters last year and in one of them talked about her reluctance to incorporate poems into prose text as readers tend to skip over them in order to get back to normal text as quickly as possible. Harumph, thought the poet in me, reading that, only to catch myself skipping the poem in question in order to get back to the story... 

(This'll give you an idea of what the e-letters look like)

So of course I had to send Deryn a mea culpa note, and in it I believe I said I was going to blog about her e-letters, only summer was a-comin' and said letters were on hiatus for a couple of months, so I decided to wait until they started to appear in my inbox again. 

Which they have, and if you're the sort of person who likes to peek into the way a writer's mind works, you should subscribe to her e-letters. 

For readers who live in the Columbia Basin region of British Columbia (East and West Kootenay), Deryn is giving a series of talks about her process at various libraries. She describes these talks as being of interest "to genealogists, researchers, writers, mystery lovers and anyone who loves a good story." You can see when she'll be in your area here. I have her November 8th Castlegar presentation marked on the calendar already. 

Creston Library:
Saturday, November 3rd at 2:00 PM
Salmo Library:
Wednesday, November 7th at 7:00 PM
Castlegar Library:
Thursday, November 8th at 6:30 PM
Nakusp Library:
Sunday, November 18th at 1:00 PM
Nelson – Oxygen Art Centre:
Wednesday, November 21st at 7:00 PM

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