Ladner author Darren Groth is smiling a bit more these days.
His sixth novel, Munro vs. the Coyote, was recently nominated for the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award in the Canadian Children’s Book Centre 2018 Book Awards, while his seventh novel, Infinite Blue, written with his younger brother Simon, has just been released.
Simon will be coming to South Delta later this month for the launch and other promo events, including the Whistler Writers’ Festival.
Born and raised in Australia, Groth moved to Ladner with his wife and children in 2007.
He said the award nomination is a great thrill to get recognition on the Canadian literary scene.
“My son is on the autism spectrum and characters with intellectual disability have populated my books,” he said. “This book actually spotlights characters with intellectual disability and is set in my original home town.
“There is a Canadian lad who is experiencing some real troubles at home and goes on a student exchange to Australia to try and get himself back with the support of his parents. He volunteers in an assisted living facility. They are really the stars of the book, so it’s very much characters that are not featured in fiction typically and certainly not in young-adult fiction, which is the category for this.”
Groth said he plans to go to Toronto for the awards ceremony.
“It’s a pretty big deal and a great chance to network and such. I’m very proud of this nomination.”
Infinite Blue is the first effort for Groth and his brother Simon.
As well as the Whistler Writers’ Festival and a couple of school presentations, the two will officially launch the book at Book Warehouse on Main Street in Vancouver on Oct. 10.
On Saturday, Oct. 20, they will be doing signings at Albany Books in Tsawwassen from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. and from 12 to 1 p.m. at Black Bond Books in Ladner.
“It will be terrific to have Simon over here for this and tour around with me and pretend to be famous for a while,” Groth said with a laugh. “There is no shortage of love triangles in young adult fiction, but this is a love triangle between a girl, a boy and the water. Water plays a huge role in the story.”
Groth said they had a blast collaborating on the book and they have ideas for future projects.
“He’s such a brilliant writer. It’s really special to be able to have done this together. Our other brother Sean is also a writer and he lives in England. We are trying to come up with a way for all three of us to work on a project together, so that’s quite exciting.”