Books

HEATHER’S BOOKS FOR KIDS:

DECEMBER 2019 PICTURE BOOK RELEASE: SIX STINKY FEET AND A SASQUATCH

Sasquatch characters Feb 2019

Character illustrations by Lillian Lai for Six Stinky Feet and a Sasquatch

 

In my fun second picture book, Six Stinky Feet and a Sasquatch, rebellious tomboy Annie and her mysterious new friend join forces to prove to her disbelieving mom that sasquatches do indeed exist. At the end of this fictional adventure tale, you’ll find nonfiction sasquatch trivia plus historical and cultural information about Bigfoot.

“Highly recommended”

Six Stinky Feet and a Sasquatch comes “highly recommended” by the Canadian Review of Materials. Reesa Cohen, a retired Instructor of Children’s Literature and Information Literacy at University of Manitoba‘s Faculty of Education, provides this review excerpt:

“Author Heather Conn has woven a charming tale with an abundance of expressive words in describing the interaction between Annie and her buddy that young readers will relate to. They will also find amusing the emphasis on the pervading theme of smell with the repetitive use of ‘whiff’, ‘stinky’, ‘reeked’ and ‘peeyoo’. Lillian Lai’s comical, colourful and energetic drawings add to the engaging text. Noteworthy is the variety in the layout of the exuberant illustrations.

“The end matter contains Sasquatch trivia – origins, habitat, names, sizes, smells, noises, diet, footprints, and habits – which adds to the quality of information for readers who are fascinated by this topic. This section is followed by questions regarding proof, sightings and beliefs as there has been lots of mystery and folklore surrounding the existence of this creature. A section for ‘Further Reading‘  facilitate[s] additional research on this topic.”

Click here to see the full review.

Where can I buy the book?

The hard-cover, 40-page book ($18 CDN) is available at Chapters/Indigo, independent bookstores, Amazon, and online through the publisher Peppermint Toast Publishing.

Click here to buy a copy.

A young fan in Tokyo

As an author, it’s always wonderful to hear from happy readers. One is young Winnie in Tokyo. Her mom Kimberly shares: “There have been many occasions where I read a children’s book to Winnie and think, “I could do better…But not with that one. She [Winnie] loves it.” Many thanks to Steve McClure for sharing this.

Book sales support children’s hospice

Ten per cent of the proceeds from all book sales go towards Canuck Place Children’s Hospice. I’m delighted by such charity initiatives; I’ve worked as a hospice volunteer with adults for more than six years. And I’m pleased that Lillian Lai, who illustrated my first picture book, Gracie’s Got a Secret, also did this one. She’s an animation art director in Vancouver, BC.

Click here to read and see media coverage of the book launch.

Read a Tri-City News article about the book.

 
Jane Covernton photos
My publisher’s son (right) Reuben reads Six Stinky Feet and a Sasquatch.


sishalh storyteller Andy Johnson shared an Indigenous sasquatch song and story at the book launch. Later, he read Six Stinky Feet and a Sasquatch to children from the shishalh band in Sechelt, BC.

Keep in touch on Instagram

Follow @SixStinkyFeetandaSasquatch,  where I revel in a child’s view of the world, share playful info about sasquatches, children’s literature, and Inner Child perspectives.

Want to book a school reading or workshop?

Contact me. Besides a reading, I offer a fun two-hour workshop where kids create their own life-size sasquatch character and giant footprints.

BOOK RELEASED IN OCTOBER 2011:


Gracie’s Got a Secret
a picture book by Heather Conn, illustrated by Lillian Lai
a paperback published by MW Book Publishing

“There’s a spunky energy in the writing that goes along with the central motif.”
— Children’s author Dennis Lee

In Gracie’s Got a Secret, an impatient and feisty goldfish named Gracie escapes her fishbowl and leaves her family, determined to share a secret with the outside world. Along the way, she befriends a weepy alligator who’s stuck in the sewer and a circus elephant with dreams of freedom. By helping her new pals, Gracie learns to slow down and go with the flow, gaining remarkable results and a clear way back to a loving home.

This uplifting story invites children to believe in themselves, support others, and find their inner stillness. It comes with engaging questions to prompt discussion and help kids look at challenges with confidence and a positive attitude.

(Note: This book is out of print, but still available in libraries.)

HEATHER’S BOOKS FOR ADULTS:

COMING IN 2023: NEW MEMOIR BY HEATHER CONN

I’m delighted that Guernica Editions of Hamilton, Ont., Canada will be publishing in 2023 my memoir No Letter in Your Pocket: How a daughter chose love and forgiveness to heal from incest. This adventure tale,  which details my romances and solo travels in India, reveals my painful healing from incest and sexual assaults. This powerful survivor’s story will help inspire others to find redemption, compassion, and forgiveness.

Best-selling author Dr. Bernie Siegel, who wrote the afterword to No Letter in Your Pocket, says:

When I started reading Heather’s moving account of her journey through hell and what she learned from it, I couldn’t stop. . . The pages are filled with her pain and the courage she had to feel her experiences, change who she was, and stop leading a double life. . .We can all benefit by reading about, and learning from, her experience.”

The editorial director at New World Library in California has called this memoir “an important story” that’s “heart-wrenching, and deeply moving.”

Diana Hume George, faculty member in Creative Nonfiction at Goucher College in Baltimore, MD, says:

“I worked with her [Heather Conn] on her MFA thesis in creative nonfiction at Goucher, where her memoir was justly regarded as remarkable. Her subjects included spiritual quest, compassionate contemplation, recovery from trauma, gender issues, the values and uses of travel in cultures deeply unfamiliar to oneself. Her thesis turned into a rich, thick, deeply textured book…I think of it as the kind that Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love probably yearned to be.”

Editor Erin Parker (erintheeditor.com) says:

“You’ve done an amazing, brave thing here…I was struck by your talent for turning painful experiences that defy language into beautifully written scenes that recreate and, with the help of your meticulous research and thoughtful analysis, contextualize each step on your long journey toward healing and forgiveness. You paint a scene so vibrantly, shaping the raw, delicate material of memory into something solid.

“The Preface captivates me every time I read it; as you watch your father’s body being moved onto a gurney, wander around his house and survey his belongings, and attend his funeral, you so poignantly grapple with your complex feelings about him.

“This is a book that’s not afraid to explore the nuances of the difficult subject of incest, and we get an early introduction to your unflinching, yet also empathetic perspective in this preface…You’ve done a brilliant job…[It] will help other people who have suffered, either directly or indirectly, from similar experiences.”

** Note: Readings, tutorials, and workshops are available on demand for those writing about traumatic and transformational experiences. Helping others use words to heal from sexual assault is a subject I am passionate about.

2020 BOOK CONTRIBUTION

I provided inspirational text, and researched and wrote historical features on British Columbia’s Smuggler Cove, for the beautiful, limited-edition fine arts book A Tangled Web by international artist Sandy Kay. This hard-cover collectible includes exquisitive colour images of Sandy’s paintings of Smuggler Cove on BC’s Sunshine Coast, which appeared in a 2020 exhibition at the Gibsons Public Art Gallery.

2013 BOOK PUBLISHING

My writing appeared in two nonfiction anthologies in the fall of 2013:

Raincoast Chronicles cover
“The Making of Tetrahedron Park” (my 4,000-word feature, with photos): A group of dedicated volunteers lobbied hard to save 6,000 hectares on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast, protecting old-growth forest and habitat for diverse species. This helped launch the conservation movement on the Sunshine Coast.

Emails from India cover low-res

Emails from India: Women Write Home This collection of  essays from 27 women from around the world provides both light-hearted and poignant accounts of travel in this ancient nation.

“Bird Sanctuary”: My contribution juxtaposes the beauty and rarity of bird species and wildlife in a bird sanctuary in Bharatpur with the attitudes and behaviour of men in the region, including a lustful bird-watching guide.

A note to philanthropists: One dollar from the sale of each copy of Emails from India, published by Seraphim Editions in Ontario, Canada, goes to World Literacy Canada. This money will be earmarked to help women in India learn to read and write.

HEATHER’S PREVIOUS BOOK PUBLICATIONS:

Vancouver‘s Glory Years: Public Transit 1890-1915
by Heather Conn and Henry Ewert
Whitecap Books, 2003

“A delightful and engaging tour”

State-of-the art vehicles attracted world attention. A specially designed hobbleskirt car found short-lived success with female passengers. Thieves and ne’er-do-wells terrorized riders while stray livestock and frightened horses caused traffic accidents. Discover the colorful human history of early public transit in Vancouver’s formative years, from political intrigue and racist policies to the little-known track work of Boris Karloff.

Learn how the birth of streetcars in Vancouver in 1890 spawned more than two decades of dizzying construction and expansion, transforming a rough terminal city into a booming urban center. Most of today’s major downtown streets and historic buildings appeared during this heady period.

This engaging photo history shares a new, sociocultural look at the city’s past, combined with many significant, never-before-seen images.

Here’s a peek at some content:

View the table of contents

Vancouver’s Hobble Skirt Car — an antidote when a woman’s bare ankle was deemed obscene

Click here to order Vancouver’s Glory Years from amazon.com.

The book features

  • 170 B&W historic photos, some from private collections and published here for the first time
  • 224 pages, with a foreword by former Vancouver mayor Larry Campbell

“A historian and author recreates Vancouver’s boom, and early fascination with transit”

“My goal was to look at the socio-cultural impact of transit. . .The rank and file are not officially part of the history, so I wanted to include them, and the role of women. . .Also there was phenomenal racism at the time against Asians. I wanted to make it as inclusive as I could.”

— quoted in cover story for Vancouver weekly WestEnder, Dec. 18-23, 2003

Here are some reviews:

“This fascinating book documents the beginnings of public transit in Vancouver with more than 150 photographs from the era. . . This is a great book for those interested in Vancouver’s early history.

Trek (UBC alumni magazine)

“Vancouver had 65 years of electric streetcar service . . .A 2003 book, Vancouver’s Glory Years: Public Transit 1890-195, by Heather Conn and Henry Ewert, is a wonderful and profusely illustrated record of that era.”

— Chuck Davis, Vancouver Author and Historian, from webpage The History of Metropolitan Vancouver

www.vancouverhistory.ca/sunspots_apr.htm

“There is a marvelous fascination in reviewing the young city’s photographs documenting economic and cultural development. The authors make an excellent case for the introduction of electric street railways as a defining characteristic of present-day regional geography.”

— Victoria Times Colonist

These stories are fleshed out wonderfully with many archive photos, some never before published, of a Vancouver that is beyond most of our living memories.”

— Coast Reporter

“Vancouver’s Glory Years: Public Transit 1890-1915 is a delightful and engaging tour of Vancouver’s transit history. Authors Heather Conn and Henry Ewert have provided all of us with an insightful reminder of how deep an imprint the streetcars and interurbans left on Vancouver and the surrounding region. Congratulations to them for their tremendous efforts.”

Vancouver mayor Larry Campbell, from the book’s foreword

“Vancouver’s Glory Years comes on the eve of a mini-interurban revival in B.C., as transit heritage societies in Burnaby, Richmond and Chilliwack work feverishly to display refurbished trams in their communities.”

WestWorld magazine, summer 2004 (see news for full text)

The book’s origins

While archiving historic photos at BC Transit, I marveled at the images of turn-of-the-century vehicles and passengers. However, these photos from decades past sat in boxes in a cupboard, unseen by anyone. This inspired me to seek a way to share the photos with others. Why not a book?

I discussed the idea with consultant Henry Ewert, an expert on transit history who was helping me to identify and document many of the images. (We had a surprisingly great time working in a windowless cubbyhole, swapping stories like two kids unwrapping treasures in a secret attic.) Henry loved the idea of a book. I went ahead and wrote a proposal, we made a successful presentation to Whitecap Books,and off we went.

We pored over thousands of photos in various archives across B.C.’s Lower Mainland, delighting in our then-and-now perspective. We narrowed down our selection initially to about 500 images. We made our final picks based on regional and thematic representation, quality, rareness, and publication rate of each photo.

NOTE: This book is out of print but limited copies are available through the author.

Other books
My writing has appeared in these books:

  • Vancouver, Victoria & Whistler: Colour Guide — a feature on Vancouver’s arts and entertainment scene plus a tourist summary of the Sunshine Coast, B.C., Formac Publishing, Halifax, NS, 2009
  • Vancouver & Victoria: Colour Guide — a tourist summary of the Sunshine Coast, B.C., Formac Publishing, Halifax, NS, 2008
  • Vancouver’s Trolley Buses, 1948 – 1998 – Celebrating a Half-Century of Service, BC Transit, Surrey, BC, 1998
  • “The Roommate”, Supernatural Stories Around British Columbia, Penticton Writers & Publishers, Penticton, 1997
  • “Early Coastal Explorers” and “The Origins of Stanley Park”, The Greater Vancouver Book, edited by Chuck Davis, The Linkman Press, Vancouver, 1996
  • Inner Expression – a journal celebrating women (five poems), edited and published by Shera Street, Galiano Island, 1996
  • “Adrift”, Chasing Halley’s Comet (creative non-fiction), Laughing Willow Press, Vancouver, 1995

Review of Vancouver’s Trolley Buses:

“This superb book, produced by enthusiastic transport professionals, raises the standard expected of official histories . . .With a good mix of formal narrative, nuts and bolts detail, and personal anecdote, the book will appeal to enthusiasts and interested locals alike.”

— John Priestley, Journal of the National Trolleybus Assocation (Jan/Feb 1999)

One comment on “Books

  1. Sue Walker

    These compliments go out to all the hard work and all the people that gave you the information for this wonderful book.All the hard work and love that was put into the creation of this book.
    I am a member and vollenteer of the Vancouver Transit Museum Society. I have spoken with Angus McEntire who also helped with your book I believe. Very fasinating, the conversation and experience that he had helping with this book. We were blessed to have these books to share with others.. I know this book was done in celebration of 1948-1998.. We are now celebrating 70 years of the Trolley buses and people that I share these books with are scooping them up very quickly. It is very popular and I just wanted to say thank you for the wonderful book. I have read other books you have written and have also enjoyed reading them..
    I have a few freinds that also like to write and maybe they can get them published one day.
    Again thank you so much to all for all your hard work to putting this book together.
    Yours truly
    Sue Walker ( Transit Museum Society) trams.ca

    PS if you look on our web site( trams.ca ) we are having free rides on the trolley on certain days.in August 2018 and September 2018 they will be short rides.. we also will be doing Fan trips which are open to the public and they are 4 hrs long going all around vancouver.. different dates for these ones.

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