Hope is an Important Thing to Have

I love being a teacher and school counsellor. I can’t imagine myself in another career. But I also enjoyed writing my book and hope to write more. Now that I have a real copy in my hands, I wonder how I ever found the time to make it happen. I guess when you feel so passionately about something, you want to share your thoughts and ideas. And that’s what my debut novel, A Soft Place to Fall, is all about — a story I really needed to tell.

Although it’s a work of fiction, and the characters were created in my mind, they became very real to me. So real, that when I finished writing, I missed them. When my box of books arrived last week and I got to read my actual novel (after many months of waiting), it was like being reunited with family. They were such a part of my life for so many years, always on my mind, and at the end of a busy day, they were there…waiting…

This next phase — promoting my book — is not something I look forward to, yet I want people to hear my story. The book is about a troubled group of teens trying to find their way in the world, despite the many traumas that seem to follow them. I hope readers will see the bigger picture, have greater empathy, and recognize the importance of connection and relationship when challenging youth shake their world.

I survived the daunting task of writing a novel— years of early mornings and late nights while working fulltime, a lot of tea and coffee, believing in a dream despite many rejection letters, waiting and more waiting, a thousand drafts, re-writes, and edits. So, I know I will survive this next phase too, selling the book, even though I prefer to avoid being a spectacle at all costs.

I’ve always believed that if you want something badly enough, you can make it happen with effort. Hope is an important thing to have. I taught my own children and students this too. It’s been a journey, one I had to keep believing in, the greatest test of perseverance I’ve experienced. In the end, I hope my story will make a small difference in the world and help some lost youth find resilience.

-Tanya Christenson

Tanya will be selling autographed copies of her novel at the Christmas Craft Fair, November 20th at the Creston Rec Centre

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