A Yorkton-area author has hit the bookstores shelves with her first published children's book Just Joshin'.
Cory Bugera, who was born and raised in Yorkton until Grade 6 when the family moved to Canora to open up the IGA store in the new mall with another couple, said the idea for the book really evolved over time.
"I became the Sunday School Co-ordinator at our church about eight-years ago, and when I had to find a Christmas Program for the kids, it was difficult to find one with the age and amount of kids we had each year," she said. "I started writing Christmas Programs to fit our circumstances each year - I wrote at least six, such as 'CSI - Christmas Scene Investigation' and 'Amazing Grace"' (on the 'Amazing Race' theme). At that time I guess I was feeling inspired to write and I liked the idea of having a message or lesson in the story. That's when I thought I should start to write children's books."
'Just Joshin' is a book about what happens when a young boy takes teasing too far.
As Bugera noted from the back of the book, "what happens when Josh takes teasing too far? He says he's "'just joshin' "when he plays little tricks on people. He definitely doesn't mean to hurt anyone, especially his favourite neighbour - but that's just what might have happened here!"
While Bugera, who now lives in Rhein, wrote the story, she did not do the art, and connecting with artist Kyle Martin, was a definite hurdle to seeing the book in print.
"Actually that was the whole problem with getting my book published," she said. "Some publishers that I talked to said not to get an illustrator - that they would find one for me. Others said that I did need an illustrator - so it all depended on where I was getting my book published.
"When I went with Trafford Publishing (which is basically a self-publishing company) they wanted me to do everything and just send it to them."
Then family stepped in to help.
"My brother-in-law in Saskatoon knew I was looking for a illustrator, and when he realized that a friend of his was getting into children's book illustrating, he set us up together," said Bugera.
"I've never met Kyle (the illustrator) as he is working and going to school in Saskatoon, and I hardly ever get to Saskatoon. But through emails (lots), it was amazing how I just told him what I'd like to see and … he did it, but better than I could have imagined it."
Bugera said the book came together rather quickly once she sat down to write it.
"Oh, it didn't take long to write it at all, once I had the idea in my head," she said. "As for it being illustrated, like I said, with both of our busy schedules ... we first connected in May of 2011 and by December 2011 we submitted it."
Bugera said by self-publishing the book, it speeded getting the book into print.
"Through the normal way of publishing, you would have to submit your manuscript and hope and pray that it gets accepted," she said. "With Trafford Publishing, you choose which package meets your needs and go from there."
Self published, or not, Bugera said it was a thrill to get the first book in her hands.
"I was so excited," she said. "Actually even before I received my copy, which was not until February 2012, my daughter saw that it was for sale on the Indigo and Amazon websites. Then she looked even further and saw that it was for sale on other book store sites, selling to Denmark and even Australia."
Reaction to the book has also been good, said the new author.
"Really good," said Bugera. "What I enjoy most and what my original plan was, was to promote the book through schools. So I have done readings at M.C. Knoll, Yorkdale and St. Mary's in Yorkton so far. The kids really seem to enjoy it and that makes it all worthwhile! Plus if they learn the lesson I'm trying to teach through the book, that's the best part."
You can order books through my e-mail: booksbyc...@sasktel.net.
The book is also available at The Golden Rule in Yorkton and The Canora Pharmacy in Canora, and a book signing at Coles in the Parkland Mall is being planned.