Linda Guest is an example of a writers’ group success story.
The 40-year-old Kildonan Estates resident is set to release her first book, Survival of the Flirting Impaired. Guest will hold a joint event with fellow writer Sheryl Fehr at Exquisite Taste (1-2089 Plessis Rd.) on Nov. 30 at 8 p.m., and will hold a reading at McNally Robinson (1120 Grant Ave.) on Feb. 7 at 7 p.m.
Guest presented what later became Chapter 4 of the book at a writers’ group she founded at the suggestion of her then-fiance, referred to in the book as "Palucid."
Guest, who is originally from South St. Clements, said the stories in the book are true, though many of the names have been changed. She described the story as being of how she left the dating scene to work on her career, and her struggles to get back into it after the fact. However, after a wide variety of experiences while dating, Guest eventually met her now-husband.
"There was just this moment where I thought ‘My life is turning out exactly how I would have wanted, and never even close to any of my wildest dreams, both at the same time’," said Guest, who has taught at Adult Education Centres for 13 years. "I captured that moment in writing and I got about 1,000 words in, and I just left it there."
That evening, the Millennium Library’s writer-in-residence at the time, Terry Jordan, was in attendance. Overall, feedback was so positive she decided to pursue the entire story further.
"Everybody keep giggling, (I hear) guffaws as I’m reading this chapter," Guest recalled. "Everybody’s asking ‘when’s the next chapter coming?’"
Guest hopes readers are "inspired" by the tales while being able to enjoy a few chuckles.
"People are telling me it’s a love story. People are telling me it’s humourous. I can’t argue with either one," Guest said. "I would hope that it’s funny, because I’d much rather laugh at myself than lament.
"The biggest of the big pictures is that I learned to have a healthy relationship with myself, and that opened up the doors to everything else."
The book was self-published with assistance from Friesen Press, and Guest said the company was a major help in getting the project from manuscript to finished product. She noted Friesen even offered to look over her manuscript first to make sure it was worth her while to publish.
"They confirmed what I’ve heard from others — that it’s a one-of-a-kind so far," Guest said.
Guest noted she foresees a trilogy, with one book detailing her transition from living common-law to being married, and one day, detail her adventures into motherhood.
Survival of the Flirting Impaired is currently available online through Amazon, and at McNally Robinson and the Coles Kildonan Place location. Guest hopes to expand into Chapters and Indigo locations shortly.
For more on Guest, visit http://lindaguest.wordpress.com