Gail Reimer Jonas read from her recent book entitled “Farmer Gail and the Hen House Mystery” during a meet-and-greet on Dec.15 at the Virden Branch of the Border Regional Library.
The story, her first foray into the world of becoming a published author is set right at home on her farm in the Oak Lake area.
“I had this story in my head because it happened right in my yard and on my farm,” she said. “I have grandchildren and I’m always telling them a story, so I told them this one as well and it just kind of grew on me. They seemed to really enjoy it and I thought “Why don’t I write it down for my grandkids? So, I did.”
“Farmer Gail and the Hen House Mystery” is geared at young readers up to about the age of 10.
“It depends on their reading skills and interests,” she said. “Some children at that age have been very attentive and interested and have a lot of questions to ask about it, especially if they don't live on a farm.”
While Jonas is pleased with how her first effort turned out, she acknowledges that the learning curve was a bit daunting at times.
“I always wanted to try my hand at publishing a book,” she said. “Once I started the process, I knew that I was going to finish it. It took over a year for sure. I needed to learn a lot and get it to a publisher. They offered courses in how to publish a book…the whole gamut…so I took them. So, of course that extended the whole process of getting the book to print. I really enjoyed it, the learning, the writing and working with my illustrator Kyla Wiebe.”
Looking ahead to 2023, Jonas has her sights set on her next work.
“It’ll be another true story that originates on my farm,” she said. “It’s all in my head. Some of it is already on paper. So, we’ll see again where my life carries me as far as the time frame, but I’m hoping to start putting it on paper this winter. “Farmer Gail and the…. We’ll see what the title of the next one is.”