Local author Winona Kent has lots to celebrate this week.
That’s because her publisher has released her four novels as e-books – a first for the writer – and plans to print them in paperback this August.
“People have been asking about Skywatcher for a really long time,” Kent said of her first book. “It went out of print 25 years ago. You can get it used, but it’s difficult to find.”
The Burnaby resident, who’s known for coming up with tongue-in-cheek spy plots, and most recently, storylines about time travel, added she’s excited about going digital.
“I know when I go and I want to buy a book, I love being able to do a one-click download and have it on my phone or my iPad or my computer,” she said. “I think this will make it really available for people.”
Kent’s previous publisher, Fable, went out of business earlier this year, at which time Diversion Books in New York picked up her contract and told her of their plans to give her stories a new life.
The local's love for the written word started before she could put pen to paper, making up stories and drawing them in pictures, according to a previous interview with the NOW. She won a national contest with a short story in her 20s, eventually getting a freelance gig with Flare magazine. By the time she reached her 30s, novel writing became a serious priority, with Skywatcher published by age 34. Set in Vancouver, the mystery thriller follows hero Robin Harris as he suddenly finds himself in a real life-and-death spy drama.
The other fictitious novels are The Cilla Rose Affair, Cold Play and Persistence of Memory. The latter, the first story of what Kent hopes to be a 10-part series, deals with “accidental time travel.”
“It was inspired by me doing family tree research,” she explained. “I started digging up all the information on my mom’s side of the family that I didn’t know before, and I ran up against a great grandfather that I just couldn’t find information about … I thought what would happen if I was able to travel back in time and actually meet him.”
The sequel, In Loving Memory, will be coming out later this year.
Kent, who works as a program assistant at UBC, hopes to spend more time on her craft once she retires in five years. Her current schedule doesn’t allow for much writing during the day. After work, she comes home, takes a nap, wakes up around 11 p.m., writes until 3 a.m. and heads back to sleep for a short snooze before the alarm goes off again at 6:30 a.m.
Knowing she would “never be able to make a living at it,” Kent worked at jobs that had nothing to do with writing, including 18 years at Telus, so her creative brain would stay fresh.
“I figured that I would use up all my creative time and creative energy for somebody else, and I’d have nothing left over for me,” she said.
For more information about this author, visit www.winonakent.com.