An author of works for teenagers and adults will be visiting the NWT later this month.
Allan Stratton of Toronto will be in Hay River on May 29 and May 30 for his first visit to the community.
“My books range from fantasy to suspense to realistic fiction,” said Stratton in an e-mail interview with The Hub. “Depending on the book, readers are anywhere from Grade 5 through adult. Some of my novels have dealt with issues like the HIV/AIDS pandemic, child soldiers, discrimination, stalking and abuse. Two of my main themes are secrets and the importance of living with truth.”
Stratton’s lead characters are usually between the ages of 13 and 16.
“It’s an age when people take risks without thinking about consequences. A time of excitement, wonder and pain,” he said. “Adults are just children in disguise, only we have more experience to help us through the hard times.”
His books include The Way Back Home, The Dogs, Borderline, Chanda’s Secrets, Chanda’s Wars, Leslie’s Journal, The Grave Robber’s Apprentice, Curse of the Dream Witch, The Phoenix Lottery and The Resurrection of Mary Mabel McTavish.
Christine Gyapay, the head librarian at NWT Centennial Library, said Stratton’s topics can resonate with young people anywhere.
“He deals with some difficult topics, but he has some humour in there, as well,” she said. “He’s got a wide range of titles.”
Stratton will be making a presentation at the library at 7 p.m. on May 29.
“I usually read a short bit to give the audience a sense of what I do,” he said. “Then I ask for questions about anything. I give tips on writing and talk about how words are magic. We make up stories with squiggles of ink on paper that get read by people far away. Stories connect us to each other and to other places and times.”
The author noted he loves travelling, and has been to most parts of the world, except Australia and Antarctica.
“Meeting readers from places as distant as Vietnam, Italy, Germany and South Africa is very humbling,” he said.
While this will be his first time in Hay River, he has been to Northern Canada before. In 2012, he visited Iqaluit, Cape Dorset and Whitehorse.
“I love the North,” he said. “It has the best sky and the land is brilliant. Everyone I’ve met is open and friendly.”
Gyapay said she is hoping to arrange visits to schools by the author.
Stratton will also make stops in Fort Smith and Fort Resolution on a tour supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.