Mountain Blues depicts Kootenay life of a reporter

Sean Arthur Joyce is a novelist from New Denver, B.C., and his latest book Mountain Blues is a bit of an homage to his life, pulling from his experiences as a reporter, and tying in the fictional life of a reporter named Roy.

Joyce comes to Golden on June 7 on his tour with the novel, and will do a reading at the Golden Public Library.

The story follows the life of Roy, who originally hails from the Kootenays, but has been living the city life for 15 years as a reporter. The protagonist meets middle age, and is burned out from his lifestyle. His newspaper is being downsized by a corporate takeover, and he decides to return to his life in the mountains. He finds the small town of Eldorado in the Valhalla Mountains and is delighted to discover the small community newspaper there. His first assignment at his new gig finds him in a predicament he knows too well: downsizing of an emergency ward in the community.

“He likes the town of Eldorado and the small town people,” Joyce divulges. “He has to figure out how to walk that line between activism and journalism.”

The topic might be one Joyce is familiar with, as he has been a freelance reporter since 1990, and has seen similar situations play out in the world around him. The kinds of problems Roy faces in Joyce’s latest novel have been going on in the Kootenays for around 15 to 20 years, Joyce said.

The community of New Denver has basically been put under notice that unless two doctors will live and work there, they may lose their emergency ward, Joyce explains.

While the novel draws from real life issues that face people in small communities, Joyce wanted a novel that would be a catch and fund to read.

“There are so many causes right now that people are being inundated with, and there are so many issues these days. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, and I didn’t want to do that to readers. I wanted readers to enjoy a good rollicking tale,” he said.

The Kootenays are a unique place where people make their homes, he said. In turn, the area attracts unique people whom he has based much of his work on.

“From that perspective, I had a lifetime of characters, as well as the characters in my own community to draw on,” he said.

Mountain Blues officially launched this month, and is available to order online at the NeWest Press website at www.newestpress.com/books/mountain-blues, local independent bookstores, Chapters, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or at the book launch at the library on June 7, at 6:30 p.m.

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