October 26th, 2020

Lethbridge author makes the best of COVID-19


By Lethbridge Herald on September 19, 2020.

Submitted Photo Author Danika Stone

Dave Sulz

lethbridge herald

dsulz@lethbridgeherald.com

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented plenty of challenges, but the adjustments have also provided opportunities. For one thing, it will allow Danika Stone to participate in events this weekend in two cities more than 3,100 kilometres apart.

I’ve been very lucky,” the Lethbridge author of novels for both teens and adults says of the pandemic’s effect on her scheduled events. “All the events I had planned I was able to convert into online events.”

That includes her scheduled participation at The Word On The Street festival in Toronto, where she will take part in a Words Across Canada online discussion Sunday at 1 p.m. MDT. Had she actually been in the Ontario city for the event, she would not have been able to also be part of the author lineup for the Lethbridge The Word On The Street festival. But the COVID curveball has also turned the Lethbridge event into an online affair, allowing her to “attend” a 4 p.m. session today.

Stone welcomes the decision to proceed with the Word On The Street festivals virtually. “I hope they keep some aspects of that in future years,” she adds, noting it provides access to the event for people who might not be able to travel to the cities hosting the annual literary celebrations.

Such a high-tech solution to the pandemic probably wouldn’t have been possible as recently as 10 years ago, says Stone, who is also relying on technology to carry out her teaching duties online as part of the new COVID reality.

Stone enjoys attending events like The Word On The Street which brings together people who treasure the written word. She has participated in the Lethbridge festival twice previously, and last year she journeyed to California for San Diego ComicCon International.

Lethbridge is really a community of writers and readers,” she says. “I feel fortunate to live here and be able to give back a bit to support people.”

She was able to do some giving back last year by serving a three-month stint as the Lethbridge Public Library’s Writer In Residence, an experience she says “was really cool.”

Stone’s latest novel, the mystery tale “Fall of Night,” under the pen-name D.K. Stone, is scheduled for release in November by Alberta-based Stonehouse Publishing. It’s the final part of her mystery trilogy set in Waterton, where she and her family have a long history. Both of her great-grandfathers on her father’s side were carpenters in Waterton, and one of them was involved in building the famed Prince of Wales Hotel.

When she originally wrote the story, it was, she says, “a very long mystery, and a very complicated mystery.” At an agent’s suggestion, she divided it into three parts. Book One, “Edge of Wild,” was published in 2016 and was followed in 2018 by “The Dark Divide.”

Book Three “is about all these hidden things coming to light and people having to deal with things they’ve done,” says Stone, who is excited about the conclusion of the series. Because it was initially crafted as one story, maintaining a cohesive flow throughout the trilogy wasn’t an issue, and the final book “feels like a very natural end point.”

Stone admits she’s going to miss the characters she has become attached to in her Waterton mystery series.

The characters really become alive,” she says. “They feel real to me, actual people I know.”

One of the characters emerged unplanned, at a time when Stone was grieving the loss of her younger brother.

I did not plan for this character to be here,” she says, adding it led to the novel touching on “how you let go of someone you were so close to.”

Such an unplanned evolution of the story was a welcome development for Stone.

That, to me, is the best writing,” she says.

Stone is an avid encourager of others who have writing dreams, and she stands as evidence that writers can succeed no matter where they live.

The world has become smaller, so much more accessible,” she says. “You don’t need to be in New York to be a writer any more.”

Stone’s previous young-adult novel, “Switchback,” published in 2019 by Macmillan, will be reprinted in a paperback edition due Dec. 8.

As part of a special pre-order campaign for “Fall of Night,” Stonehouse Publishing is offering special packages that include limited-edition prints of Lost Horse Creek painted by the author (yes, Stone is a talented painter, too) along with other goodies.

For more about the author and her books, visit the websites http://www.danikastone.com, http://www.authordkstone.com and http://www.stonehousepublishing.ca.lethbridgeherald.com

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented plenty of challenges, but the adjustments have also provided opportunities. For one thing, it will allow Danika Stone to participate in events this weekend in two cities more than 3,100 kilometres apart.

I’ve been very lucky,” the Lethbridge author of novels for both teens and adults says of the pandemic’s effect on her scheduled events. “All the events I had planned I was able to convert into online events.”

That includes her scheduled participation at The Word On The Street festival in Toronto, where she will take part in a Words Across Canada online discussion Sunday at 1 p.m. MDT. Had she actually been in the Ontario city for the event, she would not have been able to also be part of the author lineup for the Lethbridge The Word On The Street festival. But the COVID curveball has also turned the Lethbridge event into an online affair, allowing her to “attend” a 4 p.m. session today.

Stone welcomes the decision to proceed with the Word On The Street festivals virtually. “I hope they keep some aspects of that in future years,” she adds, noting it provides access to the event for people who might not be able to travel to the cities hosting the annual literary celebrations.

Such a high-tech solution to the pandemic probably wouldn’t have been possible as recently as 10 years ago, says Stone, who is also relying on technology to carry out her teaching duties online as part of the new COVID reality.

Stone enjoys attending events like The Word On The Street which brings together people who treasure the written word. She has participated in the Lethbridge festival twice previously, and last year she journeyed to California for San Diego ComicCon International.

Lethbridge is really a community of writers and readers,” she says. “I feel fortunate to live here and be able to give back a bit to support people.”

She was able to do some giving back last year by serving a three-month stint as the Lethbridge Public Library’s Writer In Residence, an experience she says “was really cool.”

Stone’s latest novel, the mystery tale “Fall of Night,” under the pen-name D.K. Stone, is scheduled for release in November by Alberta-based Stonehouse Publishing. It’s the final part of her mystery trilogy set in Waterton, where she and her family have a long history. Both of her great-grandfathers on her father’s side were carpenters in Waterton, and one of them was involved in building the famed Prince of Wales Hotel.

When she originally wrote the story, it was, she says, “a very long mystery, and a very complicated mystery.” At an agent’s suggestion, she divided it into three parts. Book One, “Edge of Wild,” was published in 2016 and was followed in 2018 by “The Dark Divide.”

Book Three “is about all these hidden things coming to light and people having to deal with things they’ve done,” says Stone, who is excited about the conclusion of the series. Because it was initially crafted as one story, maintaining a cohesive flow throughout the trilogy wasn’t an issue, and the final book “feels like a very natural end point.”

Stone admits she’s going to miss the characters she has become attached to in her Waterton mystery series.

The characters really become alive,” she says. “They feel real to me, actual people I know.”

One of the characters emerged unplanned, at a time when Stone was grieving the loss of her younger brother.

I did not plan for this character to be here,” she says, adding it led to the novel touching on “how you let go of someone you were so close to.”

Such an unplanned evolution of the story was a welcome development for Stone.

That, to me, is the best writing,” she says.

Stone is an avid encourager of others who have writing dreams, and she stands as evidence that writers can succeed no matter where they live.

The world has become smaller, so much more accessible,” she says. “You don’t need to be in New York to be a writer any more.”

Stone’s previous young-adult novel, “Switchback,” published in 2019 by Macmillan, will be reprinted in a paperback edition due Dec. 8.

As part of a special pre-order campaign for “Fall of Night,” Stonehouse Publishing is offering special packages that include limited-edition prints of Lost Horse Creek painted by the author (yes, Stone is a talented painter, too) along with other goodies.

For more about the author and her books, visit the websites http://www.danikastone.com, http://www.authordkstone.com and http://www.stonehousepublishing.ca.

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