With more than three decades working in public education, Pamela Maxwell has a passion for literacy. She has taught elementary to high school students, working with them to build a love for learning and literacy for 32 years.
She retired to the Columbia Valley in 2013, where she has happily tended to customers at the Olde Tyme Candy Shoppe in Radium Hot Springs for the past five years.
One of the standards of education is learning not only how to write, but to write creatively. In 2015, Ms. Maxwell began developing the idea of writing a children’s book.
“It was always something on the bucket list. I always wanted to do a children’s book,” says Ms. Maxwell.
But family pulled at her time and, for awhile, the book was shelved. Then last year, she began again in earnest, roping her talented daughter, who lives in Ottawa, into creating the illustrations.
“I wanted to encourage her in her artwork. It became a mother / daughter project,” Ms. Maxwell says.
Her daughter, Amy Maxwell, had a son in the middle of the project, adding an element of joy but also added time to the whole process. Eventually, with the help of a few long-distance visits and many phone calls, they completed the book and signed on with a publishing house to release it.
Ms. Maxwell’s book, I Want To Be A Writer, follows the journey of Pencil who, ever since he left the factory, could not wait to become a writer. He comes up against many trials in his pursuit of his dreams.
Ms. Maxwell got her hands on her first box of books just a couple weeks ago. She says to finally hold the book in her hands almost took her by surprise.
“There was that sense that it would never come out; it took so long to get it done,” she says.
So, what does Ms. Maxwell hope children take away from reading this book?
“An interest in writing, of looking at things in a different way. Thinking about the objects that they use all the time or the things they see and where they came from, just to really get their imaginations going,” she says.
She encourages others to try their hand at writing, especially children’s books – “We need more writers” she urges.
Ms. Maxwell started her book tour with local kids at the Radium Public Library last Friday, July 26th during summer reading club. She will be at the Invermere Public Library Thursday, August 8th at 1 p.m. during summer reading club.
Ms. Maxwell will have books available for sale for $20.
For more information, visit www.pamelabmaxwell.com/.