Preface to Ursocrypha: The Book of Bear

Reading from Ursocrypha: The Book of Bear at WORD Vancouver, September 25, 2016

Preface to Ursocrypha: The Book of Bear, previously published as The Bears

At a time of great upheaval in my personal life, the Pacific Northwest coast of British Columbia was under direct and imminent environmental threat. I decided to do something I had always wanted to do: write a book. Impatient to hold a physical book that I had written, I hastily self-published The Bears in December, 2012.

Any musician will tell you not to practice in public. As a music teacher, I might have carried this advice across artistic disciplines. In spite of rushing to publish The Bears, the book gathered a small but enthusiastic audience.

Other writing projects followed. Two young adult adventure manuscripts, the Sarah Spellings stories, are available to read on Wattpad. I met other writers, attended a writer’s circle, and studied the bones of writing.

In the summer of 2016 I was invited to read from The Bears at WORD Vancouver, a festival of writing in all forms, promoting literacy and reading. I hadn’t picked up a copy of The Bears since it was published. I recognized the story, but it was as though a stranger had written it. I revised the manuscript. The title had always been problematic; everyone thought it was a children’s book. Friend and poet Suzanne M. Steele suggested Ursocrypha: The Book of Bear.

I send this story back out into the world, and hope it makes more friends.

Published by

Katie Welch

Katie Welch grew up in Ottawa. She graduated from the University of Toronto in 1990. A former tree planter, she writes, teaches and performs music, directs children's theatre camps, and has outdoor adventures in beautiful British Columbia. She has two daughters, Olivia and Heather, and lives with her partner, Will Stinson, in Kamloops, BC.

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