Debut novelist felt commitment to release Learning to Breathe

Janice Lynn Mather’s debut novel has been in the making for more than a decade.

She wrote the first draft of Learning to Breathe in one of her first writing classes at the University of British Columbia back in 2003 or 2004. Since then she’s gone back to it many times.

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“I feel like I had a commitment to get this one wrapped up and out into the world,” says the Tsawwassen resident.

The novel, geared towards young adults, is set in the Bahamas. The story sees Indira, 16, who’s from a smaller island with more rural, country atmosphere, sent to Nassau to get away from some family circumstances and to go to school. While staying with relatives in Nassau, she’s the victim of a sexual assault.

The story is about Indira dealing a bad situation that’s in no way her fault, explains Mather.

“It’s really about her finding her own way and taking back ownership of her life and making an identity and some peace for herself.”

Mather has worked as a journalist and a performance poet. She says she’s pretty much always known she’s wanted to be a writer.

“I’ve always loved writing. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed doing.”

She has a launch event set for Thursday, June 21 at 6 p.m. at Albany Books, 1240-56th St., Tsawwassen. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.



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