© Scott Anderson
Peggy Worrell is launching her debut book Proudflesh during a special launch event at the Swift Current Library on April 14
Swift Current's Peggy Worrell is launching her debut book Proudflesh later this month, a 200 plus page book of short stories which has been seven years in the making.
Worrell's inaugural literary offering boasts 17 short stories, and she hopes the material resonates with readers. She will be debuting her book during a special launch event at the Swift Current Library on April 14, and she headlines the Write Out Loud series at the Lyric Theatre on April 16.
"I believe there are people who will hear these stories and it will offer them some validation, or some comfort, or some support, or just reassurance that some of their hard experiences in their life have been shared by other people and that somebody understands how that feels," Worrell said.
While the stories boast a wide range of characters and setting, when the works were collected they did have interconnecting themes.
"Probably the themes, although I wasn't conscious of it at the time I was writing the stories… the themes would probably be disappointment, loss, aging, and death, which I know sounds awfully dreary. The stories are serious, but I don't think they're depressing."
While beginning with an open page for settings and characters to create her tapestry of work, Worrell said she did not deliberately write the material with a connecting series of themes.
"They really did come to me. I never sat down with a computer screen and a word document open that was blank at thought 'what should I write about?' The stories always came to me and then get them down on paper, and then work on them for a very long time afterwards."
Worrell had liked writing since she was a teenager, but only began pursuing her literary dreams seriously over the past number of years.
"I really didn't think about pursuing creative writing until about 10 years ago," she admitted.
She recalls taking her first writing class in Prince Albert with Lynda Monahan and Worrell has continued to learn and grow through other classes and mentorships. Writing mentor Dave Margoshes accurately told her it takes a seven year apprenticeship to become a writer.
"I call that my apprenticeship collection," she said of her finished product Proudflesh.
During the past few years she has become more confident as a writer and feels she found her voice through these stories.
"As with any new craft you kind of grow into it in a way," she explained. "I became more brave in my writing over time."
In becoming more mature as a writer she simply felt "Why can't I be honest about this or about what I think? So I think my writing has become more honest and deeper over time."
Worrell has ambitious book tour plans for Proudflesh, and she is currently planning a tour with stops from April to October. She plans to tour through a series of Southwest communities, both Saskatoon and Regina, her hometown of Yorkton, and into both Nipawin and Prince Albert after formerly living in those communities. She is passionate about sharing this work with fiction fans.
"One puts a lot of one's self into producing a book, or any art form. So I do want to share it with the world. I don't have any lofty expectations about the number of sales or prizes. That's not the point. I enjoy doing readings and public presentations. So I'd just like to share my work with people who are interested. Not with the idea that they will then buy a book. That's not my objective at all."
"Some of these stories haven't been out in the world before, so I have no idea who they will resonate with."
Worrell extended her appreciation to the Prairie Quills Writers' Group for their encouragement and support. She has appreciated the writing tips shared at their meetings and helpful writing exercises which have provided a desire to share her words.
"Each of us has something to say that only we can say. There's no one else in the world that can say what we have to say as an individual."
Additional information about Proudflesh is available at www.thistledownpress.com.