Publishing stories of fascinating Prairie People and Unsung Heroes

Welcome to the blog of Deana Driver - author, editor, and publisher of DriverWorks Ink, a book publishing company based in Saskatchewan. We publish stories of inspiring, fascinating Prairie people and unsung Canadian heroes - written by Prairie authors including Deana Driver. We also publish genres of healing and wellness, humour, children's fiction, and rural poetry. Visit our website to learn more about our books.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Publishing books and sharing the stories of others is no ordinary thing

I’ve spent most of my adult life writing or editing or designing newsletters or book layouts, or publishing and selling books, and I sometimes forget how cool that is. 

So far, I've written five non-fiction books and contributed pieces to more than a dozen other books. And I've published more than 70 books written by 50 or 60 (mostly Western) Canadian writers. That's been my life since I wrote my first book in 2001.
My adult daughters sometimes remind me that “most people don’t do this, Mom. They don’t go to a bookstore to sign the books they’ve written.”
I've also been reminded that most people aren’t interviewed by the media about what they wrote or published either. Because I was a journalist doing the asking of the questions for 30 years, it was a little strange to suddenly be on the other side of the interviews when I began writing and publishing books, but I quickly got used to it. And since I prefer to put together books that are either fascinating true stories or based on such, members of the media regularly invite me or my authors to talk about our books. Which is wonderful. But, I suppose, not "normal". 

Again, I forget this sometimes ... until I receive a rather panicked call from an author who is facing their first media interview. I then take them through a "pretend interview", with me being the interviewer, and we both relax a little. Usually, it works out well.

So this is the unique sort of world in which I live and work.

But once in a while, I have an interaction with an author or one of the contributing writers for one of the anthologies I've been publishing recently, and I remember the importance and impact of my work again.

Case in point: At a recent open house for the Regina Flying Club, Mason Adam Wray came up to me and introduced himself. We'd talked by email and by phone last year when I edited and published his story (in Volume 3 of the Flight: Stories of Canadian Aviation book series) about sneaking out of a cadet camp in Alberta to check out a derelict aircraft in a nearby "boneyard". 

Mason is a smiley, positive guy who hosts a YouTube channel called Wings of the Prairies. He LOVES aircraft! It was great to meet him in person. We took some photos together and visited off and on throughout the afternoon. 

Mason Adam Wray (left), Deana Driver, and Canadian Aviation Historical Society president Gary Williams at the Regina Flying Club, June 2022

Then Mason told me something that made me stare at him, mouth open, in awe.

He said his complimentary copies of Volume 3 of Flight: Stories of Canadian Aviation had arrived in his mailbox on the day of his wedding.

On his wedding day, people! What kind of crazy timing is that?

He added that his family passed the book between themselves for that entire day and remarked on how proud they were of his achievement in being a published writer.
Let me never forget that story and the beautiful trickle effect of my work.

What I do for a living is not ordinary. Not even close. 
The books that others and I write and that I publish add significant substance, historical record, and pleasure to readers and to the fabric of Prairie and Canadian culture.

I am often humbled by the people whose stories I share through my writing and publishing efforts. I am honoured that they trust me to do that storytelling. 

I never forget that!