Erin Latimer’s first book, Frost was released at the end of August and it’s all thanks to the push from her millions of readers.
“It’s always been the readers that have pushed this forward,” she told the PNR in an interview.
Latimer is the pen name of a Saanich Peninsula writer, who prefers to stick with the nom de plume.
She began writing on a website called Wattpad, a tight knit community of readers and writers and a site that began only a couple of years ago and has shot up to 18 million readers since.
“It’s almost like a Youtube for writing because you can post little tidbits of your story and update chapters as you go along and readers can weigh in directly.”
She said her first book, Frost, was actually written all based around reader feedback because that’s originally where it began.
“I didn’t actually write it with any plans of publishing it at all,” she said.
It was when a reader had asked for a winter-themed fantasy that Latimer found inspiration. She was also inspired by where she was living a the time — Grand Prairie, Alberta. That city provided the setting in Frost.
With Norse mythology woven in to the tale, Frost revolves around a teenage girl, Megan Walker, who kisses a boy, freezing him by accident because she doesn’t really know what she is (and to find out, you’ll have to read the book).
Uprooted by her foster parents and moving to Grand Prairie from California, Megan is unimpressed with the cold and the snow and soon discovers that her ancestry is a bit weirder than she thought.
Coming out at around 200,000 words on Wattpad, Patchwork Press later picked up her book, cutting it in half.
Latimer’s work has accumulated 10 million reads on the web site.
“All I wanted to be since I was really young, like seven or eight, was to be an author,” she said.
Her book can be found at Tanner’s Books in Sidney and she is already working on the sequel, set to be out in the middle of next year.
Latimer also does a lot of vlogging about books for something called The YA (Young Adult) Word Nerds, which is where a group of authors who write in the young adult genre make videos seven days a week. Sundays are their live chat days on Google. The authors rotate each day, every week, with their collaboration on Sundays.
The subject can be anything from how to write good dialogue to how to kill off a character.
Latimer said it’s very interactive in its approach.
“Readers can just directly tune in and talk to us while we’re on the chat and we’ll answer them on air so it’s really fun,” she said.
Latimer has also taught classes on building a writer’s online author platform in sessions at the Vancouver Public Library . She said she will be teaching there again this coming January.