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Former qathet resident readies memoir for print

Writer recounts his experiences, largely centred as a young man in this community
SELF-PUBLISHED: Former qathet region resident Colin Eckstrand is set to release his memoir book titled My Magical Experiences as a Small-Town Boy, largely centred on his peak achievements in this community.

After having submitted his manuscript to several publishers, former qathet region resident Colin Eckstrand has chosen to self-publish his memoir book titled My Magical Experiences as a Small-Town Boy.

With a significant portion of the book set in this region, Eckstrand, who now lives in Chemainus, said his book is going through a final edit before being published.

“I waited six months for 15 publishers and have a few replies, such as: I read your manuscript with interest, but we select four books a year and have more than 100 submissions,” said Eckstrand. “Unless you are really popular, one’s memoir is not going to get published through a publisher.

“I’ve had a wonderful editor working with me and this is going to be a top notch, quality book.”

Eckstrand said by the time he was 19 years old, he had already had enough remarkable athletic results that were “pretty mind-blowing.”

“I sort of knew by the age of 19 that I had the foundation of a book already there,” said Eckstrand. “I chose to wait until I was much older to consider writing a memoir, so the rest of my life took up the other part, from 20 to 61 years old. Every story in there is rather interesting.

“I wanted the book to be long enough to be worthy of peoples’ consideration or publishers’ consideration.”

Eckstrand said he turned 60 and one of his daughters was visiting him and he mentioned the idea to her. He said she was familiar with the content, and she said he had some amazing stuff, so now was a good time to write the book.

“She prodded me to actually get on with it,” said Eckstrand.

The writing process happened rapidly. Eckstrand said he wrote a chapter a day. The book is 195 pages in length, has 22 chapters and features 30 photographs.

“In 24 days, I had the initial draft completed and in my editor’s hands,” said Eckstrand.

To help him with his memories, Eckstrand said in 1990, he started a journal.

“I started thinking back about those incidents,” said Eckstrand. “When I wrote my book, I could refer to my journal for all those events that are in the book. The book came together wonderfully for me.”

Eckstrand believes there will be a solid local following for his memoir. He said he put a post regarding his book on Facebook, posting the book cover in You Know You Grew Up in Powell River if…, and in a few hours, it had more than 90 likes and 50 comments.

“I’m just blown away with the wonderful comments on that site and all of the people getting behind the book,” said Eckstrand. “I was fairly well known back in the day and they haven’t forgotten me.

“The book itself stands on its own, whether you know me or not. If the topics in it are of interest, it will be a worthwhile read.”

Eckstrand estimated that two-thirds of the stories are centred in this community, covering to the age of 20.

“There’s many events and chapters and experiences related to Powell River,” said Eckstrand.

When asked if the book will be of interest to people in this community, Eckstrand responded: “Big time.”

In terms of the book’s availability, Eckstrand said it will be ready in a few weeks. He said Amazon and Kindle will be picking the book up initially, and he can apply to broaden his market. The book, initially, will be sold in Canada.

Eckstrand said he believes he can also buy the books and sell them himself. He said it doesn’t take long from the final edit of the book to getting it in print.

“We’re just about there,” said Eckstrand. “It doesn’t take long from when it’s formatted properly to get it approved at Amazon and get an ISBN number. It shouldn’t be longer than four to eight weeks.

“People should keep an eye on Amazon and I’ll put another post on Facebook. I’m networking. The majority of people who are expressing interest and liking my book cover are people I don’t know but may have lived in Powell River. It’s very heartwarming.”