Don Cameron A long-time member, Don Cameron published his first children's book in December 2017, Callie Makes a Speech. The book shows how a terrified first-timer came to look forward to making a speech in public. Don won the club's Cecilia Lamont Literary Contest in 2017 for his touching story, "Mommy, will I ever be happy again?" Don started writing children's stories mainly for his grandchildren. To order Callie Makes a Speech, contact Don at dcpublishersATtelus.net.
Robert Boyd Robert Boyd's novel, Portia Bench, was published in 2016 with Promontory Press. This historical fiction is set in the majestic scenery of the former Kettle Valley Railroad, as the Coquihalla Highway was being built in British Columbia. Spooky and at times intensely dramatic, the book is filled with interesting historical detail, and characters you want to meet in person.
Robert's first novel, On the Road to Nowhere, was published in 2005 with Granville Island Publishing. "It is the story of a young man who runs away from home and embarks on a hitch-hiking journey through Western Canada," Robert shared. "The story is set in the late seventies-early eighties." But that description merely hints at the exciting drama to be found in this Young Adult novel. Robert presented at the Canadian Stories Conference in Drumheller, Alberta in August, 2017. He often writes for Canadian Storiesmagazine; a 2005 story about a historic neon sign and restaurant is excerpted on the Vancouver Neon website. Robert is working on a third novel.
Ruth Derksen Siemens Ruth Derksen Siemens has written two books about Mennonite-Canadian history. Her award-winning 2013 book, Daughters in the City, Mennonite Maids in Vancouver, 1931-61, provides a portrait of early Vancouver history and some of its hard-working young women. Her 2007 book, Remember Us: Letters from Stalin’s Gulag (1930-37) investigates letters sent to Saskatchewan from Gulag prison camps in the former USSR. The letters were written on pieces of discarded materials, as writing paper was not available. They “comprise the largest international corpus of its kind to date. Also noteworthy is that these letters were written … in actual time,” unlike published memoirs written years later (p. 10). The story of the letters has become a documentary film, Through the Red Gate, produced for broadcast on Knowledge Network. Rumours has it that more letters are waiting to be compiled and translated!
Ken Westdorp In 2017, Ken Westdorp published his first collection of poetry, Gateway to Obscurity: Life in Verse. Some of his poems also appear in the anthology, We are Newton, published by the Cedar Bark Poets group. Since joining our club this year, Ken has often read at Semiahmoo Arts' Zero to 360 literary open mic event. Several of his readings are on our YouTube channel on Ken's playlist. He has also appeared at Surrey Muse, a monthly event at the Central City Library.
Fay Whitehead Fay Whitehead is a frequent performer at Semiahmoo Arts' Zero to 360, our local literary open mic. She has often read the work of her husband, Cal Whitehead, a poet and memoirist who passed away in May 2017 (see News from Past Members).
But Fay is also a writer. She contributed “Goat’s Milk,” chapter 10 in Cal’s first memoir, Back to the Earth. Her story about travels in northern Canada, "Nahanni, the Dempster Highway and Tuktoyaktuk," was published in Fireside Dreams, a 2012 anthology of the Canadian Poetry Institute. In November 2017, Fay completed publishing a collection of Cal’s poetry, and shared some of her own work as well. Several of Fay's readings are on our YouTube Channel; you can watch them all on Fay's playlist.