Now that Kootenay author Diana Van Eyk has penned her debut novel In the Valley of Lost Souls, she feels like she’s come out of the closet as an environmentalist and activist.
“I’ve done a lot of office work, so you’re always quiet about the things you do on the side. But I’ve always been an activist,” said van Eyk, who said her novel is a solutions-oriented exploration of the environmental challenges facing the world.
“I’ve been paying attention to the whole climate issue for years and it really scares me. Like a lot us, I’ve gone through hard economic times and once I started to do better I became worried about other people, and how they’re doing during these challenging times.”
That led her to a narrative, inspired by a dream, involving two newly homeless middle-aged people who move into a squatting encampment together after meeting at an environmental meeting.
“They’re sharing this house with these other people, but these people have it together in a way they don’t.”
van Eyk first began writing the novel on a blogging platform online, giving herself the goal of producing a chapter a week. Her growing online audience convinced her to publish a print version through Balboa Press. It is now available at all the bookstores in Nelson.
The protagonists are inspired by their housemates to change the way they view the world, and change the way they live.
“In this environmental catastrophe people are struggling so much and this is an exploration of how we can heal socially, personally, financially and communally,” said van Eyk.
Part of the proceeds of the book are going to Pull Together, an initiative to represent First Nations’ legal challenges to pipelines.
For more information visit volsdve8.com.