Former Fairview resident and former journalist for the Fairview Post, Karin Melberg Schwier, has announced the release of her award-winning novel “Small Reckonings.”
Karin has published six non-fiction books on the experiences of people with disabilities. The focus of her non-fiction pieces has been on belonging and inclusion. She has also written two children’s books. “Small Reckonings” is her first fiction book.
Based on true events, Karin was inspired to bring this story to life after she met with a retired farmer who told her the story of another farmer he knew who raised a daughter with Down Syndrome. After hearing this story, Karin knew she wanted to explore it further.
“If you’re a writer, I think there are times when you hear the seed of a story, you know it’s the beginning of something you can’t let go. That’s what happened with this story,” said Karin during a phone interview on April 7.
“As I say in the acknowledgments of my book, it was a gift to be given the seed of a story that wouldn’t let itself go untold. To base a work of fiction on real events really adds a lot of authenticity, believability to the fiction.”
Karin said that she had been working on this piece and mulling it over for several years. She heard this story in the late 1990s, but with a fulltime job in communications and working as an editor for a magazine, she kept putting a pause on developing her book.
“I focused on the paying jobs but kept thinking about this story and the characters were slowly taking shape. Now and then, I would pull it out and really go at it for a few months,” explained Karin.
Karin said that readers will hopefully read her book and think that it is a well told story. But what she really hopes for is that a person will identify with some part of “Small Reckonings.”
“If I was really lucky, a reader would be transported to their own childhood on the farm, or it would bring to mind memories of someone with a disability they knew and had always regretted not being more open to that person,” Karin stated.
“I think this novel helped me, and maybe will show other people a way to examine the perceptions that were prevalent about people with disabilities in the 1920s and 30s and how remnants of those views still persist.”
The setting of Karin’s book was largely inspired by the Fairview area.
“People in Fairview might recognize bits and pieces of people they know, and the setting should be familiar,” Karin said.
Although she now lives in Saskatoon, she holds Fairview close to her heart and has pleasant memories of living in a rural community.
“I have fond memories of life on the farm there. Mom and Dad had a small dairy herd and we shipped cream, so I milked cows.”
Karin has also been hard at work on a second book to follow “Small Reckonings.”
“There is a sequel in the works that is about half done. If people enjoy this story, there’s more to it, and more that is set in a rural farming community that looks a lot like Fairview.”
Due to COVID-19 social distancing recommendations, an official book launch has been postponed.
“Small Reckonings” is available to purchase through Karin’s publisher Burton House Books at www.burtonhousebooks.com or by contacting Karin directly at firstname.lastname@example.org