Castlegar native Joshua Kuffert has published his first novel, Secrets of Wintersleep. The work of fiction is the first installment in the Dividing Fire series. The book is an adventure story for young adults, but Kuffert says, “The broader story will reach out to a bigger audience.”
Kuffert was born in Castlegar and is a 1999 Stanley Humphries grad. The story for his new book began to take shape many years ago while he was living in Nelson, exploring his creative side. He then moved to Vancouver to attend the screenwriting program at the Vancouver Film School.
Secrets of Wintersleep is self published through Amazon and was released on March 3. It is available for purchase through Amazon and is also available in Kindle and Kobo formats.
“In a lot of ways home (the Kootenays) was a bit of an inspiration for this part of the story,” Kuffert said. “The theme of the story is family and home and what that means. The main character goes through what a lot of kids go through in a small town. You want to go out into the broader world and see bigger horizons. By the end of the story she realizes there is a lot of value and identity to be found in her hometown.”
“I’ve tried to carry that with me with home too. Castlegar, Nelson Trail, I grew up there. So much of my life was there, it is a lot of who I am. I take a lot of pride in telling people I am from Castlegar”.
“This story has been the driving force behind my wanting to write. I have been working on it for ten years. Building the world, building the characters, carrying them around with me.”
Kuffert has been influenced and encouraged by his family and friends in his quest to become an author.
“I can attribute a lot of my writing and my passion to Ash Maddocks, a (Castlegar) musician and really talented lyricist. His lyrics were an inspiration to me to sort of play with words. I really need to pay him a lot of respect for pointing me to where I am now.”
Kuffert hopes that the second installment in the series will be ready by the end of 2015. You can keep track of the status of the series on the The Dividing Fire Facebook page.