Local author receives first book publication

Seven Oaks resident Kathleen Betts has is one of 58 authors whose works are included in Canadian Voices: Volume One, an anthology of prose and poetry.

The book made its debut on Nov. 10 at a book launch in Toronto’s Supermarket Art Bar.

“Luckyone” is the title of Betts’story. Originally written as an adaptation of “The Donkey Story” for Toastmasters, the tale intends to profess a moral lesson, says the self-proclaimed hockey mom of four.

“It’s an invitation to all of us to consider what impact our actions and decisions have on others.”

Provoking social consciousness in our day-to-day decisions, Betts’ literature deals with problems like bullying and reckless disregard for others. Forcing her readers to ask themselves what roles they play in others’ lives awakens a sense of responsibility, she says.

“Considering whose voice in the story echoes our own, we can ask ourselves if our actions are ruthless, like we’re burying others alive, or if our complacency leads us to allow other so-called leaders to commit such atrociousness, or if even we sometimes succumb to the temptation to join in the useless and hurtful mud-slinging started by others,” Betts says.

After being “dared to get published” in a Self-Employment Training program, Betts was enticed. While at the seminar, she met now dear friend Nancy Allen with whom Betts credits the encouragement that convinced her to submit her entry — even though it was seconds to deadline.

“While I was extremely hopeful, I thought it was a bit of a long shot.  I don’t know how to thank her enough for her encouragement.”

Describing the experience as “a roller coaster ride,” Betts says her first book publication has been an invaluable learning experience, though she admits she had to adjust to the force of the editing room.

“I’m sure it must be difficult for any writer to try to understand the perspective of editors when they soundly advise to lop out elements of our works that are near and dear to our hearts.”

And though at times she says editing “feels a lot like getting the rug pulled out from under you,” Betts expresses her gratitude to the book’s coordinator, Jasmine D’Costa, saying it was “her brilliant idea and her onward and upward attitude that enabled her to conceive of and achieve the vision of Canadian Voices: Volume One.”

For now, while undecided whether to submit an entry for Volume Two, Betts says it has been an honour to get to know some fellow emerging Canadian writers.

Betts has also been granted the opportunity to spearhead a project to create a book compiled of motivational articles from Good News Toronto, a publication close to her heart.

“I’m very excited to be a part of this project and am daring to dream even that the montage of good news inspirational articles will have the social impact and appeal of the likes of Chicken Soup for the Soul.”

To read more from Kathleen Betts, as well as the full version of Luckyone, visit her blog.