Fort Saskatchewan author Kathie Sutherland says that a pen on paper can connect the heart and head in a way that technology cannot do.
 
The author of four published books uses a computer when it comes to organizing and editing her work, but turns to the pages of a journal when she’s looking for deeper inspiration.
 
Sutherland is one of eight local authors whose books will be featured on a shelf of their own at the Fort Saskatchewan Public Library in September.
 
Sutherland, who has been writing seriously for about 30 years, says that her love of words began when she was a young girl growing up in a military family of avid readers during the 1950s.
 
On a good day, the retired secretary now spends about three hours at a time on her writing. Her list of completed works includes a memoir and two books of poetry, and she has a book of grown-up fairy tales coming out later this year.

"It's personal tales of my own that are kind of based on my life. But they're written like fairy tales."
 
The volume of 14 original stories follows the travels of a mythic storyteller and her encounters with the animals and people she meets along the way. In one of the tales, the storyteller meets a blind beggar who helps her plant seeds that sprout into word-shaped vines.
 
Sutherland says she finds creative inspiration in her own experiences, as well is in the natural world, unusual ideas and the people she meets.
 
“Thoughts and feelings appear in the pages of my journal, and lie there asleep until they can be transformed into a poem or a story,” she says,  adding that metaphor is her favourite creative tool.
 
“It creates a space between my perception of the ordinary and the mystery of the extraordinary. It amuses and delights me when I connect two unrelated things, especially when one of these things is mysterious, abstract or beyond words.”
 
The workshop leader and public speaker is also a member of the local writers group, open to anyone, that meets at the library the third Monday of every month.
 
“Writing can be a very isolating process. This group aims to support and provide emerging writers with a chance to connect with other writers,” Sutherland said.
 
Books by September’s featured local authors will be on display first at the front of the library and later near the fireplace lounge. See the full list of works below:
Painter’s Handbook by Paul Braid
A Prairie Lighthouse by Val Mohr
To the Top Canada by Chris Robertson
Balancing Act by Kathie Sutherland
Louis Romeo Dubuc: Fort Saskatchewan’s First Pilot by Denise J. Callander
Locked Up! Inside tales from the old Fort Jail by Don R. Campbell
Drug Money: Atonement by Alan Lewis
Press Start to Begin by Scott Hebert

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