By Lawrence Loiseau
Interlakes area writer Helga Zeiner has released her new book What Happened to Rose?
Her second work in English, What Happened to Rose? takes place primarily in the Interlakes area as she tells the twin stories of Rose and the book’s main protagonist Carola.
Initially Carola’s life in Germany appears to be perfect, says Zeiner.
“Beneath its rosy appearance, however, is a loveless existence. She flees her husband, family and friends to go to the Canadian wilderness to start a new life.”
While struggling to survive in an isolated Canadian cabin, Carola discovers the journal of man who confesses to a terrible secret to involving a girl called Rose, she explains.
However, Zeiner stops there.
“I don’t want to tell too much about the story though. It is, after all, a mystery.
“Although the book has only been out in America for about three weeks, I’m getting really positive feedback, from the local area, too.
“The reaction of local residents is especially important to me because it’s my first book set in this area. I was a bit nervous since it’s people I know.”
Two qualities Zeiner is known for are her detailed historical research and her fidelity to point of view.
In What Happened to Rose?, the contrast is considerable as each character is divided by time, nationality and age. This especially applies to the kidnapper whose writing is how we view Rose.
“I speak very strictly through point of view. If my protagonist tells a story, I try to keep that whole chapter in that point of view.”
“I am also writing in two different time zones, and mixing them up, so I had to be really careful with each voice, with the characters of the other timelines. So it was quite a bit of a challenge.”
Another unique aspect of Zeiner’s writing has been her approach to publishing.
When she first came to Canada, she couldn’t get anything published, she explains.
“Although I had already written six books in Germany, I got one rejection letter after another. I was an unknown here.
“So, I couldn’t be bothered to go through that process of getting accepted in the publishing world again. “That’s when my husband said e-books are coming out. Why don’t I form a publishing company? He had all the technical books on how to do it, so that’s what we did.”
Together they created the publishing company Powwow Books. At first, they published exclusively online, but have now evolved to print.
Folks can find What Happened to Rose? at Nuthatch Books at 104 Birch Ave. in 100 Mile House, and The Country Pedlar at 6-7149 Levick Cres. at the Interlakes Service Centre. To learn more about Zeiner, check out her website is www.helgazeiner.com.