While his career could be seen as challenging to some people, Rob Kaye said self-publishing his book was a challenge itself.
Kaye, a Qualicum Beach resident, published Born to the Wild: Journals of a National Park Warden in the Canadian Rockies, in 2015.
“Not only was the book writing itself a challenge to me, but my job not so much, I had to learn to market it,” Kaye said.
Kaye’s book recently received bronze in Recognizing Excellence in Independent Publishing for the Independent Publishing Book Award.
Born to the Wild was Kaye’s first foray into writing and self-publishing. He said it was quite the process trying to find all the avenues a big publisher would use as opposed to self-publishing.
Born to the Wild follows Kaye as he grew up around Jasper National Park in Alberta before eventually becoming a park warden.
Using some of his journals during his time as a park warden and other wardens’ journals, Kaye said, it wasn’t too difficult to write the book.
Kaye, who was a park warden for 33 years, said when he started as a park warden, they were using journals everyday to keep on top of what they were doing.
“They (the wardens) were out in the back country a lot and the superintendent and the chief park warden wanted to know what they were doing out there all the time. So out there, everyday in the back country, they would write down what they were doing.”
However, Kaye said throughout his career, the use of journals declined.
Fortunately, Kaye said, he has a good memory.
“I don’t have a good-wwshort term memory or medium-term memory, but my long-term memory is really good because I loved what I was doing,” he said. “My journal might only be a paragraph for one day, but if I forgot something, just reading that brought everything out.”
When he retired in 2010 and moved to the Island, Kaye said it was a drastic change from his previous lifestyle. He said a lot of park wardens when they retire don’t know what to do after their career.
“I just started wrting and that really helped me. It helped me wind down my career,” he said.
Kaye said he started writing Born to the Wild in the fall of 2010, and it took about four-and-a-half years before it was published.
But Born to the Wild, he said, is only just a part of his decades-long career. Kaye said he also spent some time working in Elk Island National Park, but “that’s a whole other story.”
Kaye’s book is available locally at Mulberry Bush Book Stores in Parksville and Qualicum Beach for $21.95.