Patricia Sandberg discusses her choice of voice and publishing decisions for her non-fiction book Sun Dogs and Yellowcake
Voice: Who should tell your story? with Patricia Sandberg
Using her own memories and the stories told to her by over 150 people who lived in her hometown in northern Saskatchewan, Patricia Sandberg has penned a dramatic illustrated work of narrative non-fiction. Sun Dogs and Yellowcake – Gunnar Mines, a Canadian Story. This book dramatizes the Cold War era when raw uranium from was casually handled by adults and children, who were unaware of the dangers of radiation. Still, most residents said it was the best place they ever lived.
Patricia’s talk will be about the voice she used to tell the story and how that carries into the self-publishing decision she made. She will discuss how self-publishing can be a great option and sometimes the best option.
A former mining and securities lawyer, Patricia is now working on a novel. Sun Dogs and Yellowcake has won two international awards, was shortlisted for the Canadian Authors Fred Kerner award, and was a finalist for Whistler Independent Book Awards 2017. More details here.
Meeting Location: BC Alliance for Arts + Culture, Suite 100 – 938 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC. Information on Canadian Authors Association – tiveMetro Vancouver (Including Victoria) here. For information about the #CanWrite19 writers’ convention in Vancouver May 16-19, 2019, click here.
I have been reflecting on the two years that have passed since publishing Sun Dogs and Yellowcake – two years today.
Publishing your first book is an incredible joy. What you don’t realize when that moment arrives is that a book has a much larger life than what it contains within its pages.
Here is what Sun Dogs and Yellowcake has delivered for me.
Re-connection to a ‘time and place’ and to the people who resided in Gunnar. People who had lost contact with their friends for more than fifty years have rekindled their friendships and memories. I have had the joy of reuniting with old friends and making many new ones.
Preservation of the history of the small northern town of Gunnar Mines and honouring a former way of life. Its history was told best through the words of its inhabitants. And people with no connection to the area have shared and appreciated this history because of what it reveals about who we are as Canadians.
Recognition of the significance of mining, an industry that helped form this country. Mining, including the production of uranium, continues to be a key part of Canada’s growth.
Realization that the Canadian mining industry has a treasure chest of fabulous tales that unfortunately are being lost to time. I recall a dinner following the closing of a financing. The president and chief executive officer regaled us with adventures from a lifetime in mining. This was only a small sampling of stories that will likely never be told.
Celebration of the small stories that together chronicle our lives. A narrative that shows where we have come from so we understand where we are.
I did not have many expectations for this book about a little town in the middle of nowhere, in a time no one remembers. I initially thought it would appeal only to its former residents. It has surprised everyone. It has won awards, received significant publicity, and been appreciated by a broad audience.
What a journey!
The headframe in the photo above marked Gunnar’s existence and its passing. I like to think publishing Sun Dogs and Yellowcake has brought not just the town, which closed its doors in 1964, back to life, but also the era. For me personally, publishing has opened up a new world, for which I am very grateful.
The stories continue to roll in. Tomorrow, a man who lived in the neighbouring community of Uranium City shares his adventures.