Former Yukoner Jerome Stueart and Yukon author Marcelle Dubé will read together form their books on Dec. 13 at Baked Cafe. It will be an evening about fantasy novels. Marcelle Dubé is still deciding from which of her many books she will read: Kirwan’s Son, which is set in a world untouched by humans; JILIMAR, a story set in a world without technology; or Obeah, which is set in the Yukon, but with a different species than humans living in the territory.
Stueart will launch his newest book, The Angels of Our Better Beast, published by ChiZine Publications. It is a collection of short stories and poems. He also did the illustrations for the book. Stories in the the book are fantasy genre, but also have a connection to day-to-day life. The story “Bear With Me,” for example, is about online-dating. It turns out that the man on the dating-website is a bear.
“My failures in online dating inspired me to do that story,” Stueart says.
Inspiration for his werewolf story came from the Kluane Lake Bluegrass Festival, he says. He wrote “Sam McGee Argues with His Box of Authentic Ashes” in response to Steve Slade’s Heritage Yukon’s prompt for an Arts in the Park Heritage Day.
Jerome Stueart currently lives in Ohio, but lived in the Yukon for 12 years and became a Canadian citizen in the territory. Stueart left two years ago and he feels very happy to return to Whitehorse for this event.
“It means a lot to launch this book here in Whitehorse. I feel like I became a writer here,” he says.
His writing career began in the territory, writing for CBC and publishing short stories in anthologies.
“I was nurtured here as a writer. Barb Dunlop and Marcelle Dubé organized the Yukon Writers Conference and later the Yukon Writers Retreat in Haines Junction… A tradition that’s been carried on by the Yukon Writers’ Collective Ink and by individual writers and writing teachers,” he says. “Barb and Marcelle did a lot for writers here – a lot to grow us.”
Marcelle Dubé is looking forward to reading with Stueart. She has known him for many years now.
“Jerome has a quirky perspective on just about everything – which is very useful in a fantasy writer. “
The reading on Dec. 13 will also be an event to celebrate the Yukon as a great place for writers, an inspiring place that attracts writers.
“It’s right for me to come back and launch here. I figure if you have to leave the Yukon, it’s nice to come back and show something for your time away! To say, okay, I did something with your investment in me. But also, this is home.”
The reading will take place Tuesday, Dec. 13 at Baked Café starting at 6 p.m.