Mike Fedorowich had been writing little stories for himself since he was a child, but he never believed he would become a children’s writer.
“When I was in school as a kid I wrote all kinds of crazy stories,” said Fedorowich, a retired police officer. “They didn’t go anywhere – I’d write a story and then crumple it up and throw it away. No, I never, ever believed that. Especially the writing career that I came from because we don’t write about nice things.”
Fedorowich’s career as a police officer took him across the country and he now lives in Nanaimo. He said every day of his career he was writing as part of the job, but it was a habit he ended up taking home with him.
“I would write when the TV was on and I would write just silly stories and rhymes and verses. Nothing to do with policing, just writing,” he said. “And then I started thinking of my grandkids and their curiosity and just their zest for life and everything was so new. They would pick up a pencil and and be absolutely fascinated by a pencil. And then if it made a mark it was even more interesting.”
Fedorowich said seeing that sense of wonder inspired him to start writing stories for his grandsons. This fall he turned one of those stories into his first children’s book, The Gardenville Bunch in Off the Beaten Path. He said the second Gardenville Bunch book is already in the works and he’s planning to turn it into a seven-book series.
Off the Beaten Path sees the Gardenville Bunch, a friendly group of anthropomorphic fruits and vegetables, organize a competition and end up learning about the value of teamwork.
“Through the competition they run into all kinds of different obstacles that they have to overcome as a group, otherwise they would all be lost,” Fedorowich said. “And through co-operation and to the end they’re able to overcome it.”
Fedorowich said it’s important to him to have a moral or a lesson in his stories. He’s planning another unrelated children’s book with a focus on public safety told in nursery rhymes and he has many more stories to come.
“I have probably 100 stories in my office and I have them pinned on my board and I have them all over the place and I just pick them as I’m going and I just start writing,” he said. “Surround myself with toys, kids, it’s a nice environment. It’s the office I’ve always wanted.”
Off the Beaten Path is available from amazon.ca or from Fedorowich directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.