Former Clearwater resident and author Amber Cowie is having a book signing at the Clearwater Royal Canadian Legion Branch 259 this weekend, to promote her new novel Rapid Falls.
The book, which she’ll be signing copies of on Dec. 2, is a suspense novel set in the fictional town of Rapid Falls, a community that bears a striking resemblance to her home town.
“I grew up in Clearwater and the setting was a big inspiration for me, what it’s like to grow up in a small town and come out of that after a very horrible incident occurs,” said Cowie.
“That was my jumping off point, but I think more than anything the book is about relationships and that was a big touchstone for me writing it.”
She added the town is also a composition of other places she’s lived, and though she’s taken a lot of inspiration from real locations, the story is a work of fiction and not based on real characters.
Cowie, who now lives in Squamish, said she wanted to become a writer because she makes sense of the world around her through stories.
Literature is used to help her understand people and why they do the things they do, she added, and also help her make sense of why things happened in history and how towns become they way they are.
“I need to tell stories, and I kind of thought everyone did,” Cowie said with a laugh.
“I found out when I was a little bit older in life that people think about other people in a lot of different ways, but I think that I mostly wanted to be a writer because my favourite thing to do is read; I wanted to put down words other people would want to read too.”
One of the essential components to the setting of Rapid Falls is a nearby waterfall as she wanted to integrate the natural environment into her book as much as possible, she said.
“I did live in another town that was right beside a huge waterfall too, and I think it’s a pretty common characteristic of B.C. towns, but it is really meant to be a metaphor in the book,” Cowie said.
“I really hope that people are able to read my book and understand I couldn’t have written if I hadn’t grown up in Clearwater.”
Rapid Falls was shortlisted for the Whistler Book Award in 2017 and is currently being considered for international translation.
Cowie also has a deal for two more books, and though they’re not a series, she said she thinks those who enjoy Rapid Falls will also enjoy the next two.
The second is called Raven Lane, which will be published in November 2019.
As for the signing at the Clearwater Legion, which begins at 1 p.m. on Dec. 2, Cowie said she’ll have copies of Rapid Falls available for purchase and will also be donating two copies to the Clearwater Library people can check out for free.
“Libraries have always been one of my favourite places and Clearwater Library was the first one I ever went to, so after my signing I’m donating two copies of Rapid Falls to the TNRD Library,” she said.
“I’d be glad if people came to buy a book and take one home, but if they can’t do that or they don’t want to, the library system will also have copies and they’ll be available for anyone any time.”