November 7th, 2018 ~ Vol. 89 No. 45
Local first-time author to hold book launch for sci-fi novel
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Cover of Tomorrow by Merilyn Ruth Liddell
Pass Herald Reporter
A new Crowsnest Pass author, Merilyn Liddell, will be celebrating her first published work, a soft sci-fi novel called “Tomorrow”, at a book launch on November 17 at the Crowsnest Pass Public Art Gallery.

The book, set in a small mountain town, is very character-driven and tells the story of three characters as they navigate through a shattered society following a devastating pandemic. Each chapter is written from the point of view of one of the characters, allowing the reader to learn a little bit more about their secrets they are hiding.

"The story takes place 30 years after a pandemic has killed millions of people worldwide,” says Liddell. “Martha is a retired doctor and she’s looking for proof about the person she believes is responsible for the pandemic. Jake is a cab driver and he is looking for the woman whose name he found in his dead grandmother’s effects. Sophie is a young woman who is pregnant in a world where there are not many pregnant people.”

Initially, the three characters are strangers, but their lives eventually intertwine as the book progresses.

It's not a mystery novel, but Liddell says there is certainly some mystery in it. The book would appeal to anyone, young adults and mature readers alike, who enjoy a character-driven story and learning about the entanglements of the characters’ lives and problems they have to overcome.
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Liddell, born in Coleman, left after high school and for the next 37 years, worked and taught early years children in Manitoba and England. She moved back to Crowsnest Pass in 2002 when she retired.

Liddell has always been an avid reader and often creates stories in her mind, but she never set out to be a published novelist. As a teacher, she wrote poetry with her students and when she felt she needed to vent about an issue, she wrote personal essays, but never published anything commercially.

“I've written all my life. I've always made up stories in my head. I thought everybody did and only recently I discovered that that wasn’t true,” laughs the retired teacher.

Tomorrow started out as a short story project for a writer’s group in Crowsnest Pass about a decade ago.

“I had an idea for a short story and it had to do with my own aging and how I would deal with the world, which is really different from the way my world is now. That was the question that made me write the initial short story,” she says. “My intent was not to publish, it was in fact to see if I could write a story that would hang together.”

After her peers in the writer’s group reviewed her first draft, she started getting questions from the other members of what she was going to do with it and whether she was going to take steps to get her story published, a move that never really crossed her mind.
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Between birding, caring for mother, volunteering at the Crowsnest Conservation Society, and other hobbies and responsibilities, she continued working on the now-novel on and off over the years, progressing and perfecting the story, so much so that as to rewriting the first chapter alone about six times. It was in August 2016 at the When Words Collide conference in Calgary where she took the plunge to pitch her story to a publisher.

Two years later, on September 28, 2018, she held the very first 100 physical copies of Tomorrow, published by EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing, the largest publishing company of sci-fi in Canada.

Now, Liddell is already 60,000 words into her second novel, another sci-fi quite different to Tomorrow.

A book launch for Tomorrow will be held on November 17 from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Crowsnest Pass Public Art Gallery, where you can meet Liddell, hear her read an excerpt, purchase and get the book signed.
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November 7th, 2018 ~ Vol. 89 No. 45
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