Invermere resident Kim Baker always wanted to be a writer.
Growing up, she would often find herself with ideas for stories, sometimes even jotting them down. But she lacked the confidence to turn her creative thoughts into stories.
“For a long time I thought you had to be someone very special, you couldn’t just ‘be’ a writer,” she said.
As a young adult, Ms. Baker spent about six years traveling the world, finding herself and gaining an education that could not be found in a traditional classroom setting, she said. Her experience led her to the realization that if she desired to be a writer, then that is exactly what she should do.
While living in Holland, Ms. Baker came up with a story idea that wouldn’t leave her head.
“I started forming this character and this idea for a story involving that character,” she recalled. “This particular idea kind of took root so to speak in my head and just persisted.”
The main character is a dandelion growing up in a garden of flowers who feels bullied by the world.
“It’s his evolution throughout the story to find he’s just as much a living thing as they are,” Ms. Baker explained.
The Pedal Gang is made for young readers, and is about fun, adventure, and overcoming discrimination and bullying. Danny the dandelion lives in a magical community of flowers.
It took Ms. Baker a long time to find the courage to start writing, and to share her words with others. When she did, she was encouraged by the reaction from friends and family to her story. And when The Pedal Gang was finally finished and ready to sell, it was exhilarating, she described.
“It’s like stepping past a fear – a massive rush,” Ms. Baker said. “I’m an outgoing person but also very introverted, so putting yourself out there like that is like jumping out of an airplane for the first time.”
She sent the manuscript to a few publishers and had positive response, but ultimately decided to launch her book through self-publishing.
Now that The Pedal Gang is done, she is thrilled with it, and she has plans to write more.
“When I’m writing these I get a lot of joy because they’re fun. The characters can be fun and you can use your imagination,” she says, adding she is happy to have written a fantasy book for young readers.
“As a genre I love fantasy, and I love the idea of kids being introduced to it at an earlier age. Nothing drastic, just bits and pieces.”
Ms. Baker is currently working on the second instalment of series. The Pedal Gang is available online at Amazon.