Judith Pittman has been writing since she was a teen.

The established author, who has written several mystery novels, has a passion for helping Canadian writers that prompted her to open a publishing company in 2012. Books We Love (BWL) Publishing gives Canadian authors options to the large American publishing houses, which are reluctant to take on new authors.

“It is extremely difficult to get started as an author,” says Pittman. “I wanted to open up a Canadian market for quality publishing so our authors aren’t forced to self-publish or go to the States.”

BWL has had real success, especially with its historical Canadian brides series, which bring history to life through the eyes of fictional brides from the nation’s provinces and territories.

The idea of keeping history alive is close to Pittman’s heart.

“My mother was the last of seven brothers and sisters whose family homesteaded in the Lyndale area near Drayton Valley,” she explains. “They told wonderful stories, but they are gone now.  If you don’t write those stories, they will be lost.”

Pittman has had success pairing newer authors with those with experience, an example of her passion for nurturing fledgling writers, especially those living in Alberta.

Author Nancy Bell says Pittman is generous with her time and expertise, noting she “[Works] countless hours for very little other than the satisfaction of a job well done.”

It’s all worth it for Pittman.

“I don’t want these voices to be lost, and I don’t want their stories to be lost,” she says. “This is my passion. Hopefully I will leave a legacy of our stories behind when I am gone.”