Find out what happens when a marathon-running, romance-writing, feisty entrepreneur opens a B&B in Vancouver—and lives to tell the tale.
One Book, One Kootenay shortlist author Bobby Hutchinson brings her lighthearted, quirky Blue Collar B&B: Adventures in Hospitality at a special OBOK shortlist reading on Wednesday, June 18, 7:00 pm at the Nakusp Public Library.
From her childhood in coal mining town in the B.C. interior, Hutchinson’s world was all about storytelling thanks to her parents. Not content to only read stories (she says that learning to read was the most significant event of her life), she set out to create her own. She has been a traffic controller, daycare provider, seamstress, clothing designer, and marathon runner.
Bored with training for the marathon, she made up a story as she ran, about Phieddipedes, the first marathoner. She finished the Vancouver marathon, submitted that story to the Chatelaine short story contest, won first prize, and went on to become a writer, penning some 55 romance novels to date.
“I read and wrote my way through two marriages, three pregnancies and two divorces, learning by osmosis about plot, character, pacing and what makes a book readable,” she says.
The first Blue Collar B&B opened in Vancouver, but that childhood coal mining setting called, and she relocated in Sparwood. It was only a matter of time before the stories accumulated, and Blue Collar B&B: Adventures in Hospitality was born.
“I think writers are born with a genetic quirk,” says Hutchinson. “They need stories the way other, normal people need oxygen and food. It’s an addiction. And if they can’t find an intriguing story, they simply write one of their own.”
Blue Collar B&B is one of three books shortlisted for One Book, One Kootenay, in which readers vote for the title they think all Kootenay booklovers should read. South of Elfrida, short stories by Holley Rubinsky of Kaslo and Africa’s Unfinished Symphony by Fauquier resident Lucia Mann are also in the running. Copies of all three shortlisted titles, as well as ballot boxes, are available now in Kootenay-Boundary libraries.
Hutchinson also reads at Nelson Library on June 17 and Grand Forks Library on June 19.
One Book, One Kootenay is an initiative of the Kootenay Library Federation. More information is available at www.obok.ca.