Author’s struggles to fit in help him write first novel

All of us have found it difficult to fit in at times. Local author David Hopkins wrote a novel related to his own personal struggles with following the crowd.

The Sheltered Life of Betsy Parker is about a girl who experiences a rare allergic condition in which virtually nothing can touch her skin from a young age. These reactions cause Betsy to become ill, and even threaten her life.

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Betsy goes through her whole life sheltered, isolated from the world while trying to gain understanding, compassion and acceptance from society. Hopkins’ similar struggles inspired him to write the novel.

“I have been involved in the naturist lifestyle since 2005 when I was 17 years old and I suffer from autism spectrum disorder which has made it difficult for me fit in with my peers,” said Hopkins, a Delta Secondary graduate.

“It was these two factors that inspired the idea about how difficult it would be for someone to fit into society who truly could never have any clothing on.”

Hopkins feels literature and film never really display a human merely being naked and behaving just as casually as if that person were clothed. He said one of the purposes of the novel was to remind readers of the way we are all born: naked and completely unashamed in our nakedness.

Hopkins wrote the first draft of the novel over six weeks in the summer of 2014. He sought feedback from several friends and family as well as from local author Darren Groth.

He published the first edition early in 2016, but even after that he saw room for improvements and added a chapter later that year.

Hopkins has sold over 60 copies. His novel is in the Delta Secondary library and for sale at the Autism Centre in Richmond and on Amazon.

Hopkins graduated from Delta Secondary in 2007. Since then, he’s gone on to obtain an associate of science degree at Langara College and is in his last semester of music at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Langley. A viola player, he recently joined the West Coast Symphony.

Daniel Feldman is a Delta Secondary student doing work experience at the Optimist.

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