Kelowna author receives national award, second novel already underway

Okanagan College Professor and novelist Dr. Alix Hawley has been named the recipient of the national First Novel Award for her debut novel All True Not a Lie in It.
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KELOWNA - Even before the honour of winning a prestigious Canadian first novel award has set in, Okanagan College Professor and novelist Dr. Alix Hawley is already hard at work on her second novel.

In a crowded Toronto ballroom, the Kelowna based author was named the recipient of the national First Novel Award for her debut novel All True Not a Lie in It. It is an attestation of Hawley’s talents as a writer, and of the reading community’s appetite for the stories she imagines.

“Writers have to keep chipping at their stories until the book starts to take shape, and that can be a lengthy and sometimes discouraging process,” says Hawley. “Receiving this award is a lovely boost, and an encouragement to keep going.”

The literary recognition is leading Hawley into her second novel: a sequel to All True Not a Lie in It, which continues to recount the adventures of American pioneer Daniel Boone, who attempted to settle Kentucky and was captured by the Shawnee. She describes that it is in its early “messy note taking and drafting” stage. Readers can expect to have Boone’s character reappear, but will include more about his wife, Rebecca, and their children.

As with her first novel, Hawley will once again write the novel longhand.

“My scribbles and notes would make no sense to anyone but me. I like the secretive feel of that while I am writing. I then enjoy translating those notes, pen on paper, into the draft.”

While it is all business and back to writing for Hawley, she admits that when she was announced as the winner, she thought she had heard wrong. It’s a testament to the caliber of finalists for the award, all bright emerging Canadian authors: Emma Hooper, Sean Michaels, Guillaume Morissette and Chelsea Rooney.

“We congratulate Alix on her remarkable achievements as an author,” said Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “Her recognition as one of Canada’s finest emerging novelists is a tribute to her talent and hard work and a good example of the high degree of intellect, expertise, and knowledge our College faculty possess."

Hawley’s first public appearance since the big national win will be back at home in Kelowna. On Saturday May 23, from 1 to 3 p.m., the public is invited to a book signing event at Mosaic Books (411 Bernard Avenue), where Hawley will be reading passages of her winning novel All True Not a Lie in It.

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