Heather Shtuka releases book about son's disappearance near Kamloops | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Heather Shtuka releases book about son's disappearance near Kamloops

Heather Shtuka's new book Missing From Me is available for purchase through Amazon.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Heather Shtuka

Heather Shtuka’s book about her missing son Ryan is now available for purchase online. 

She has been working on Missing From Me for more than two years, a detailed account of the process she and her family went through when Ryan, 19 at the time, disappeared from Sun Peaks Mountain Resort in February, 2018. It is available for purchase through Amazon.

“I’m not sure when it will be available in stores,” she said. “I have some copies with me in case I do a book launch. There are supply issues to factor in that I’m sure book companies are dealing with too but I hope the copies will be in bookstores by Christmas.”

Heather said the process of writing about and reliving the moments since she last saw her son alive has been heartbreaking.

She wrote the 100,000-word book to preserve her son’s legacy and is hoping it will help others going through similar experiences.

“I hope it gets other people interested in learning about Ryan’s story and missing people in general,” she said. “I hope it brings attention to the helplessness parents feel when all main lines of help in searching stops and how to continue on.

“It is written in real time and my hope is that readers will see how one navigates through those initial feelings of grief, shock and disbelief, it is such a difficult thing.”

READ MORE: 'Missing From Me': Ryan Shtuka's mother writes her own book

The cover of the new book is a vision of Heather's that is emotionally packed and took a long time to perfect.

“I love the cover,” she said. “We went back and forth many times until I figured out how to communicate the image in my head and I’m quite pleased with the results.  I wanted something that showed the mountain and captures all my thoughts and feelings, and heartbreak and sorrow.”

She is already getting feedback from those wanting to purchase the book on social media since posting about it this morning, Nov. 27.

“There is excitement about this coming out and to me that is incredibly humbling, but it is bittersweet,” she said. “Getting a first book published should be a highlight but for me it was on the back of a tragedy my son experienced. I hope I told the story well and that it honours Ryan as he should be.”

At the same time she was tackling the mammoth sized task of the book, Shtuka was also completing a public relations program.

Last month, she started her employment as an advocacy provider at a children’s hospital.

She now has more time to dedicate to her family and her new job.

“Writing the book was a labour of love and there was an internal pressure to get the story right and honour Ryan in the right way.”

Read more stories about Ryan Shtuka here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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