Mirror Image is the latest by Qualicum Beach author Dorothy Collins.
The story deals with a recently divorced woman, Trina, who heads to Australia on a solo journey and finds an unexpected love affair.
The story behind Dorothy Collins, however, is just as interesting.
Mirror Image is the second book she’s published for the world to read, but it won’t be the last.
She’s very sure of that.
How does she know? Because she’s already written six more, for a total of eight novels. Most of them are action novels, but Mirror Image is a romance.
“I actually was trying to write my memoirs, and these books kept getting in my way. So I wrote them, and it turned out to be eight,” said Collins. “Amazingly enough, they were all written one right after another without any time in between.”
The publication of her third book is already in the works and her fourth is currently being edited.
One more lives on her computer and three others are handwritten and waiting to be transcribed into digital form.
She writes all her books by hand in her home.
She currently has 10 binders full of handwritten manuscripts, with some novels filling more than just one large binder. Rather than typing the books into her computer by hand, she uses a voice transcription software that turns her words into digital text.
She originally hadn’t planned on publishing, but the unexpected death of her daughter Bonnie pushed her to get her work out into the world.
“The only way I could get over her death was to work on the books and concentrate on them,” said Collins.
Bonnie had always been an ardent supporter of Collins’s writing, and Mirror Image is dedicated to her.
Collins said her original thought was to put the books in print for her family to share.
“Promoting the books for money was not my goal, because I don’t have the time to do that. Because I have to get them all in print. Because I happen to be 85 years old. So I haven’t got a lot of time, because it takes at least a year for each book, to get them edited and in book form and get them published,” said Collins.
Collins says the response to her first novel was more than she expected.
“Amazing that the response I get from people. They will introduce me to people saying ‘she’s an author! I’m so proud that I know an author’ and things like that,” said Collins. “It is quite amazing. It is quite a feat to get it done, and I am proud of what I’ve done.”
Her first novel, Today the Waiting, is for sale online with a variety of retailers, and has helped her gain an international audience. People from as far away as the UK, Australia and the United States have purchased her work.
When asked if she plans to write the memoir she had originally planned, she laughed.
“I don’t have time!” said Collins.
Those interested in meeting Collins and hearing her read an excerpt from Mirror Image can attend the book’s launch at Qualicum Beach Library at 2 p.m. Friday, June 28.