How did I put everything together?

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I put everything together with a lot of help from my friends.

First there were the facilitators at Seven Bridge Writers’ Collaborative of Lancaster, MA who had provided many writing classes, presentations, workshops, and encouragements.

Once I had a body of work, I gathered my scenes under the wonderful help of my mentor, the published author Rich Marcello.

I cleaned up those scenes while in my Critique Workshop at Seven Bridge Writers’ Collaborative.

I found a great beta reader in published essayist and good friend, Ray Tatten.

I polished those pages with encouragement from long-time book editor Ann Frantz.

I dug out all my historical evidence along with some eagle feathers I had picked up at the Whitehorse dump. Don’t laugh. The heat from the fires at the dump rise and every day, 3 to 4 dozen eagles ride the thermals in dizzying circles or rest on the tops of lodgepole pines. It’s also a great place to meet bears but I didn’t see any that day. What did happen, though, was interesting.

I met 2 men who were walking around the outer perimeter of the dump. They were scanning the ground around fir trees, looking for eagle feathers. The less than mighty large eagles also rest on the branches of the trees, cleaning and pruning their feathers, so many drop to the ground, creating a necklace of feathers around many trees. These 2 men were out picking up the feathers which they would sell to various First Nation bands. The feathers are used in year-round ceremonies and there was always someone who would buy them.

In addition to all y help from literary experts and professionals, I also followed solid advice on social media and marketing by Lisa Shea and Bruce Jones.

And voila -my first book was born.

Joyce

Joyce Derenas is a historical fiction author who writes stories based on the real lives of her French-Canadian ancestors of the Beauce Valley in Quebec.