Bookworms take note: Airdrie is home to a traditional, royalty-paying publishing house that gives local and international authors an option.
BWL Publishing, formerly Books We Love, relocated to Airdrie three years ago from Calgary. Founded in 2010 by author Jude Pittman, the publishing house is home to about 85 local and international authors from as far afield as France, the United Kingdom and Australia.
BWL boasts ties with Airdrie authors Pittman, John Wisdomkeeper and Margaret Hanna, Rocky View’s Nancy M. Bell, Carstairs’ Victoria Chatham, and Didsbury’s Mahrie Reid.
Several of these authors have been involved in what constitutes Pittman’s proudest accomplishment as publisher to date: the Canadian Historical Brides Series.
The series, created in honour of Canada 150, tells the stories of the women who helped settle Canada. Although featuring fictional heroines, the 12 novels highlight historically accurate stories from all the provinces and territories.
“I am so proud of this series,” says Pittman.
BWL publishes all of its titles in digital and paperback and has a list of all of the authors it represents as well as the titles it produces online. Visit bookswelove.com to discover local authors, get connected to their blogs or purchase their titles on Amazon.
John Wisdomkeeper was adopted and didn’t learn of his indigenous roots until he was a teenager. His birth mother is descended from the Sekani Nation, medicine healers who originated from northern British Columbia. Wisdomkeeper was given his indigenous name by a 100-year-old woman who he says looked deep into his eyes and pulled the name from his soul.
Wisdomkeeper is coauthor (with Juliet Waldron) of Fly Away Snow Goose, number eight in the Canadian Historical Brides series. The book is set in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut and details how Yaotl and Sascho are captured along the shores of the behchà, and transported to residential school in Fort Providence, where teachers try to “kill the Indian inside.” Although all attempts at escape are severely punished, Yaotl and Sascho, along with two others, try, beginning a journey of 900 kilometres along the Mackenzie River.
Margaret G. Hanna grew up on her family’s prairie farm in southwestern Saskatchewan. A voracious reader, she completed 12 years of university before becoming a curator at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Regina. In this role she collaborated closely with First Nations elders, artists and dancers to develop the First Nations Gallery. She met her husband, Airdrie’s Roger Clayton, when she travelled to Cairo to visit friends at the same time he did. She moved to Airdrie in 2007.
In Hanna’s latest book Our Bull’s Loose in Town, she details the story of her grandparents, Addie Wright and Abraham Hanna, as they built their farm and raised a family on the prairies of southwestern Saskatchewan in the early 1900s. The book takes readers through the Great War, the Roaring Twenties and the Dirty Thirties, detailing how the events of these years honed the couple’s strength and courage in their faith, humour and in their family and neighbours.
Nancy M. Bell lives near Balzac with her husband. Bell is an animal lover who works with and fosters rescue animals. She is a member of The Writers Union of Canada and the Writers Guild of Alberta. She has published poetry, fiction and non-fiction works.
Bell’s book His Brother’s Bride is part of the Canadian Historical Brides series. Set in Ontario in the early 1900s, the book details how Annie Baldwin, the youngest child of the local doctor and preacher, falls in love with hired man George Richardson, who was orphaned and shipped to Canada a few years earlier. During World War I, George departs for France, but promises to return to Annie, who waits, hoping her dreams will come true.