Elaine Park
Self-Publishing With A Team

Elaine Park, a former journalist and professor of English from the University of Calgary and Saint Mary's College who moved to Pender Harbour, BC, coauthored Women of Pender Harbour and lovingly brought the beautiful hard-covered book to the Sunshine Coast Writers' Festival Independent Writers' table. Along with other authors at the table, she agreed to participate in a survey about her book and process.

Elaine Park Joins A Self-Publishing Team

When Elaine Park moved to Pender Harbour from Alberta, she joined the Women's Connection Group where she soon learned of their ambitious research project. The women wanted to honour those who had gone before them and had been collecting interviews and photos for years. Along with Dorothy Faulkner and Cathy Jenks, two other women who were also relatively recent residents of Pender Harbour, she undertook to organize the massive amounts of material into a useful and readable history of the area from the point of view of women.

The book grew from a desire to preserve the voices of the women of the past. Volunteers had stepped up to interview the women, type the transcripts, collect photos, and raise funds to produce the book.

With start-up funding from some local public and private donors, the group of volunteers completed their interviews, compiled their research, wrote the book and saw it to the press with the help of Harbour Publishing.

Why This Book Is Self-Published

The Women's Connection Group wanted all proceeds to go to set up an archive in Pender Harbour to preserve the history of their community. If they had paid for anything other than the barest necessities -- like printing -- the book would have been priced out of range of its market and there would not be so much money for the archive.

As it is, locals and others can purchase the book, and they are doing so in huge numbers.

During the Writers' Festival, a local woman approached Elaine Park who was seated at the table behind a display of the book and said, "This is a fabulous book, The Women Of Pender Harbour! Have you read it?"

With her unfailing good humour, with obvious pride, and to the amusement of all, Elaine replied simply, "I wrote it!"

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