"Little Bird" author moves to Grand Forks
Grand Forks has a new resident author. Jean Lloyd moved to the area last fall and is selling her book “Little Bird” at the gallery 2, Pedallers’ Place and the Christina Lake Living Arts Centre.
Lloyd wrote the book when she was living in Fernie, but it is based around Trail, where she grew up.
“It was really a personal thing for me,” she said, explaining how the story came about. Lloyd said she didn’t have much of a childhood, and as part of her healing, she would travel back to areas from her childhood when she meditated. Some of the locations included Elk River and Granite Mountain.
Lloyd, who is Métis and practices shamanism, would share these stories with her dream circle and received praise for her storytelling.
“They told me, ‘I can feel the wind on my face when you share that,’” said Lloyd, adding that they encouraged her to tell her stories.
The book has a tribal theme, includes mysticism and has many stories within stories. It is set in the future in a setting where the people live off the land and can travel through portals.
She says the book was completed with the help of many Fernie community members, especially some of the local school children.
The children are the illustrators of “Little Bird.” A friend suggested that Lloyd ask the grade four and five students at the Fernie Academy to take on the illustrating as an art project.
As a result, Lloyd received 26 watercolour illustrations and used almost all of them in her book. The children were excited to take part and were rewarded with credit for their work and a copy of the book.
Lloyd sent the book for publication in April and held an official launch in June.
“At first, I gave out more than I sold,” she said, adding she was happy to give books away in the community that had supported her.
When summer rolled around, her and her husband started to question if they really wanted to spend another winter in Fernie. They had previously been to the Grand Forks area because Lloyd had worked in liquor distribution. She had applied to be transferred out here, but the transfer was never successful. Now that she is retired, she found herself free to move to the Boundary.
“It’s been a gentle winter (here),” she said laughing.
She continues to sell her book locally and is happy if she sells an average of one book a day.
Lloyd current project is a collection of short stories. While working in liquor distribution, she has heard stories from a diverse group of people and she would like to expand their stories into the collection. This new book won’t be aimed at a specific age group and she isn’t sure when it will be finished. It took her three years to write and publish “Little Bird.”
In the meantime, Lloyd is keeping busy with the local Aboriginal groups, has taken up drumming and is available for readings. For more information, visit her site.