Cherly Cooper’s Second Summer of War novel ‘great service to Canada’
BRACBRIDGE — E-readers — eat your hearts out.
For more than two hours Saturday afternoon, author Cheryl Cooper sat at a table at Kirrie Glen Golf Course and “did what writers most like to do — sign copies of their books.”
Hard copies. No Kindles here.
The Bracebridge writer was kept so busy it was almost embarrassing.
The lineup of more than 200 e-readers (‘eager readers’) snaked its way from just inside the front door to the back, as family, friends, fellow writers and fans of ‘Emily, Leander, Magpie and Biscuit …’ queued patiently for more than a half hour each, anxiously anticipating getting their hands on her new novel, Second Summer of War.
It’s her sequel to Come Looking for Me, and continues a tale of Canada’s defining War of 1812.
MP Tony Clement — who snapped a ‘selfie’ with Cooper — said “only in Muskoka can an author draw a crowd as large as (Olympic gold medallist) Dara Howell.”
He told the crowd that he empathized with Cooper’s husband Randy — who lamented that his wife is the “hardest working author” he knows.
Clement noted that his wife Lynn, too, is currently busy writing a book about her aunt’s part in the First World War — which began 100 years ago.
Randy said his only complaint after 32 years of marriage was that “as a retired air force man, she’s writing about the navy.”
Local book publisher, former MP and fellow author Patrick Boyer — who Cooper credited with “me being here today,” and who also has new book out himself next month on ridding Canada of the Senate — said he admired Cooper’s attention to detail in the book and the “accuracy and vivid telling of the tale of life on the war ships” on the Great Lakes 200 years ago.
He said her more than 100 speaking engagements to promote her books and talk about writing are a testament not only to her marketing fortitude, but her dedication and “commitment to the craft of writing.”
He noted her writing work with local inmates at the federal prisons in Gravenhurst.
And he said he was happy to report that her publisher at Dundurn Press, Kirk Howell, had packed several copies of her books in his suitcase for a trip this week to the London Book Fair, one of the world’s largest and most important book gatherings in the world.
Cooper said she was “happy to be doing what she always wanted to do,” since a teenager at school in Bracebridge reading Tiger Beat Magazine.
She says she is past “all the rejections letters” and is looking forward to taking the characters she created — “who have never left me alone” — in “new directions.”
Indeed, she said her sons Brodie and Evan want to make the novels into movies.
Cooper thanked her friends and family for encouraging her writing – especially her husband, her sons, her mother Marie and her late father Bruce Evans, who passed away last month but who dearly wanted to be at the book launch.
She said she was sure he was there in spirit.
Cooper’s first book, Come Looking for Me, began as a winning ‘work-in-progress’ first draft at the first Muskoka Marathon Novel-writing contest in Huntsville a decade ago.
The Second Summer of War celebrates another victory for Cooper.
As Boyer said, Cooper and her book have “done a great service to Canada” and to the men and women and the memories of those involved in Canada and its First Nations repelling the American invasion and starting to define the country.
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