Local author, Kevin Sommer, discussed his new book, ‘A Shattered New Start,’ at the Vermilion Public Library on February 20.
“I had always wanted to write a book, but writing it involved a huge learning curve. They say write about what you know, and I’ve dealt with a lot of school bullies over the years. I used to think bullies were bad children, but one less hurting person is one less bully,” said Sommer.
He incorporated childhood thoughts and experiences, as well as experiences as a teacher of 35 years, and included perspectives of the bully, victim, teachers, principal, and parents. He admitted that writing was not his strongest area in school, having failed English 30 and taken it for two years. He also turned down his first position offered in Vermilion at St. Jerome’s School as an English teacher. He went on to say that he has since learned a lot about writing through taking online courses and speaking to authors about how to write a book.
He cut over half of his first manuscript and said, “Editors will tell you to get rid of anything that does not advance the story; let the story tell itself.”
'A Shattered New Start' is considered a young adult fiction, but Sommer noted that statistically, over half of the readers for that category are adults, and he encouraged anyone interested in the subject to give it a try.
Released in November, he recently spoke to junior and senior high students in Mannville. At the Author Talk in Vermilion, he went on to read an excerpt and answer questions from the audience. Sommer thanked everyone for coming and guests went on to enjoy tea and refreshments.