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Local author discusses her latest book


Local author, Kathy Tetlock, has had a passion for writing since she first learned to spell. She particularly enjoys writing poetry, and as of January, 2014, she’s the author of two books. The Northern Sun News recently caught up with Tetlock to learn a little about her latest book: “This Land, These Waters” – a collection of stories and poetry compiled over four years that was born through recorded conversations with her mother.

Kathy Tetlock signs a book for Ken McClelland at the Red Lake Public Library, the evening of June 26. Photo by Lindsay Briscoe
Kathy Tetlock signs a book for Ken McClelland at the Red Lake Public Library, the evening of June 26. Photo by Lindsay Briscoe

Without giving too much away, can you give our readers with a brief synopsis of the book?

The book tells the story of how my mother came to live in Red Lake. She was born in Pikangikum. Her mother was Ojibway and her father Scottish. The story of how my grandparents met and raised seven children always fascinated me. They had so many struggles. I wanted to share the stories that I heard from my mother when I was growing up about her life. It wasn’t an easy life being the only girl with six brothers. The family moved to Red Lake when a forest fire destroyed their trap line by Pikangikum in approximately the year of 1939. They travelled by canoe. The book adds a little history of Red Lake First Nations people.

Can you explain how you go about writing your books? Or was it a different process this time around?

My first book was “The Cedar Canoe; What Happened to Ryan?” That book told of my losing my oldest son to suicide by cocaine overdose in Red Lake. It was a difficult book to write but one that I felt compelled to write in the hopes of maybe reaching others who are grieving or who are dealing with drug abuse.

This book was much more “fun” to write but yet still difficult. I found myself so involved in the lives of my relatives now gone, that I was even dreaming about them.

Why did you choose to self-publish?

chose to self-publish because I don’t have the patience to go through the whole attempt to get published by a publisher business. Self-publishing allows me to publish on my timelines and I get to design the book almost entirely the way that I want from front cover to back. It is quite an easy process now and not as expensive as it was.

What advice do you have for others who are thinking about writing a book?

I would encourage others to write and share their stories. It takes dedication and determination or it will never get done. Hours of research is involved and time writing and re-writing. I have had the support of my writing friends and mentors. Christine Penner Polle has been my editor and Kaaren Dannennmann also co-editied this book.

What’s next?

I am currently working on my next book, which will be about growing up in Red Lake during the sixties and seventies!

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