As the most intelligent species on the planet, we have an obligation to look after all its other inhabitants.
That’s a belief novice author Katie Welch holds close to her heart, and it’s one of the themes she’s instilled in her recently self-published novel The Bears.
An environmental tale about the dangers of piping oil across northern B.C., The Bears comes with a timely ecological message that is dear to Welch.
“If we don’t take care of all the other species, we’re kicking ourselves in the knee. We’re hurting ourselves,” she said. “We ignore all this at our own peril, or at our children’s peril.”
The Bears is a work of fiction about an imagined oil spill in the province’s north. Three of the characters are bears, and the reader “hears” their thoughts. Meanwhile, there are three central human characters, all environmentalists, who are tied to the bears in a totemic way.
“It’s more about the bears. It’s from the bears’ perspective,” she said.
Dispersed throughout the 212-page novel are tales about the First Nations creation myth that touch on the great bear, how the eagle got its cry, and how wolf came to the people.
“I made them up, but they are based on First Nations stories,” said Welch.
A tree planter who worked her way from Ontario to B.C., Welch has a strong connection to the outdoors and said she thinks it foolish that we put the Earth and animals at risk in order to profit from oil.
Although she doesn’t mention Enbridge in the book, she said she believes the Northern Gateway project represents a significant risk to sea and wildlife.
The Bears is self published through Amazon.com and distributed by Ingram Publishing. There are copies for sale at Bookland in North Kamloops, and at The Grind coffee shop and the Art We Are, both on Victoria Street.
She said Chapters bookstore in Aberdeen has also agreed to sell her novel.
Welch holds a book signing at Bookland from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8, and will read from The Bears and sign copies at the downtown library starting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13.
The Bears sells for $14.95.