One day Gillian Walters was walking on the beach with her son when she saw something that didn’t look right.
“We saw this little lump on a rock,” Walters recalled. “At first I thought it was just part of the rock.”
When Walters looked closer, she realized it wasn’t part of the rock, but an injured seal pup.
“I remembered that there is this myth that says don’t touch wildlife, but it looked like it was in distress,” Walters said. “It was dying. The birds had started to pick at it.”
Walters then decided to make a few phone calls and eventually got in touch with a wildlife official on Salt Spring Island who instructed her on how to rescue the dying animal.
“I put it in my purse and took it the vet hospital,” she said.
After following the seal pup’s journey from Vancouver Island to Salt Spring Island to Vancouver to Gibsons, where it was released into the water after making a full recovery, Walters, a lifelong artist, decided to write and illustrate a children’s book about the experience.
“The book is about mindfulness and compassion,” Walters said.
This past April, the Nanoose Bay resident self-released her first children’s book, King Zoom and the Great Seal Pup Rescue.
“I’ve had a lot of good response from parents and kids,” Walters said.
On Saturday (July 18), Walters will be holding a book signing at Kool & Child, 2517 Bowen Rd., from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m.
Walters, a registered clinical counsellor, attended Malaspina College in 1992 where she focused on photography and painting.
She says the hardest part wasn’t writing the children’s book, but deciding to write it.
“I’ve been writing since I was a kid, so the writing part was easy,” she said. “It was just deciding to go for it and do it.”
Walters credits a self-publishing conference in Nanaimo for keeping her motivated.
“I got the bug. I just started going crazy writing it and proofreading it over and over,” Walters said.
Walters plans to turn King Zoom into a series, and is currently working on other books.
“The next one is going to be about children with Tourette’s Syndrome and there is one about bullying and also ADHD and anxiety,” she said.
A portion of the proceeds from King Zoom and the Great Seal Pup Rescue will be donated to the Island Wildlife Natural Care Centre.
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