By Dauna Ditson

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Brandon Csokonay self-published his first novel Cerberus & Cigarette’s after five years of writing, rewriting and revising.

His novel, which he refers to as “dystopia light,” is about an imagined future where the government prohibits restaurants from serving anything but bland prepackaged foods. Grocery stores still carry produce, but residents are denied access to fresh food unless they make it themselves. One restaurant – Cigarette’s – serves illegal fresh food.

Mr. Csokonay’s novel speaks to the “freedom and control” people have now and imagines the consequences if those freedoms are limited or taken away.

After spending two years on his novel, Mr. Csokonay hired a Vancouver-based editor to help polish his manuscript.

“I learned so much… it was like paying for a course,” he said.

While writing his novel was a series of highs and lows, his final manuscript is much better than his earlier drafts, he said. Working with an editor helped him “chisel down and fortify those characters,” improve his scenes and pare the work down to the essentials.

Mr. Csokonay recommends self-publishing for anyone interested in expressing themselves through writing.

With self-publishing, “you get to do whatever you want and the onus is on you to make it as good as possible and as relevant as possible,” he said.

Mr. Csokonay will hold his first book launch and signing at the Invermere Public Library from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m on Saturday, May 5th. Copies of Cerberus & Cigarette’s will be available for $20.

“The library was very accommodating,” he said, adding that he appreciates their support and is eager to share his book with readers.