By Wendy Elliott
“It’s like the birth of a baby. I’m excited for the launch,” says author Lila Hope-Simpson will soon be celebrating the launch of not one, but two of her books at the Wolfville Memorial Library.
On June 23, she will read from her novel, Stepping Out, and her collection of parenting columns, entitled The Clothesline Collection.
Editing and compiling her columns was relatively easy, she says, compared to creating fiction.
“A novel takes more time. Fiction comes from your heart,” Hope-Simpson says. Having two books launched, she adds is a source of relief and pleasure.
“It’s very satisfying. I love to write and to see the product of my writing.”
Stepping Out was just published by Three Dogs Press in Chester, while The Clothesline Collection is a self-publishing project for Hope-Simpson and a compilation of her Positive Parenting columns from the Kings County Advertiser.
She was thrilled to have her daughter, Natasha, a recent NSCAD grad, create the artwork for the cover of The Clothesline Collection.
Stepping Out is the story of Lydia Starr’s journey from her old life in rural Nova Scotia toward a new life in the far more urban setting of Montreal.
Hope-Simpson says she was interested to see how fiction writing would flow and she also wanted to explore mid-life change.
Holding her book launch in the local library seems appropriate to Hope-Simpson as her fictional heroine uses a bookmobile as her get-away car.
“It will be fun to see what the response is,” she suggested.
In the fall of 2011, Hope-Simpson did not re-open the Home and Heart Child Development Centre in Wolfville and she also stopped writing her long time parenting column. Luckily her collection of advice for parents and grandparents is now available in print.
Hope-Simpson taught hundreds of preschoolers over three decades. Beginning in Montreal and British Columbia, she later moved to Nova Scotia and opened the Wolfville centre in 1995.
In 2004, she was the recipient of a special Prime Minister's Award for excellence in early education. Earlier this month Hope-Simpson was a recipient of the Early Childhood Care & Education Service Award at the Child Care Connections Conference in Dartmouth.
She is also the author of a delightful children's book entitled "Fiddles and Spoons: Journey of an Acadian Mouse" which portrays the expulsion of the Acadians, through the eyes of a family of mice living in Grand Pre. In 2006, she won the Marianna Dempster Memorial Book Award for her contributions to children's literature.
Hope-Simpson lives on the South Mountain near Wolfville, Nova Scotia, with her husband, Ian. She has three children and a grandson.
Stepping Out sells for $18.95. The Clothesline Collection, which sells for $19.99, is available at a number of locations from Windsor to Middleton, including the Box of Delights, Wolfville and the Inside Story, Greenwood, Chisholm’s in Kentville or by contacting her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be live music by Jack McDonald at the 2 p.m. launch on June 23, which also includes a signing and refreshments.