A Ladysmith local recently released a children’s book and plans to release her first novel next year. Beverley Rayner partnered with local artist and illustrator, James Hensman, to publish Barclay & Berk Builders — a retelling of a bible story aimed at 5–8 year olds.
“It’s about the wise and foolish builders that Jesus talked about in the book of Matthew,” Rayner said. “It’s about friendship, it’s about helping each other and the themes are how we go about making choices for our lives.”
The book was published through Castle Quay Publishers and is available online through Amazon and the publisher’s website.
Rayner said she wrote the story partially to broaden her horizons as a writer. She worked as a school librarian in different communities throughout her career and said she always wondered how hard it would be to have a book published.
She quickly realized she needed some experience to show to attract attention from publishers and began writing articles for various magazines.
“I am an immigrant so I wrote for a Canadian immigrant magazine, I have done travel,” she said “I wrote for library magazine, anything that related to me that I could write about I would submit to different magazines.”
Now retired from working in schools, she has many writing projects on the go. This includes another illustrated children’s book and a novel, which she said is written and she hopes to find a publisher for next year.
The Courage of Katie Moodie is a story about a young couple immigrating to northern Canada with their daughter before the father is called away to fight during the rebellion of 1838.
“The story is centred around the oldest daughter and whether [the] women can manage and whether she can help with her siblings in the backwoods of Canada,” Rayner said. “It’s based on truth. The actual couple in particular, they immigrated from a little village that’s about 15 kilometres up the road from where I was born and raised.”