Betty Jane Hegerat

Jan 2014 #2 Betty Jane Hegerat

What is your latest release and what genre is it? My latest publication is an essay in the brave and wonderful anthology, a family by any other name; Exploring Queer Relationships (Touchwood Editions 2014) Bruce Gillespie, the editor of this anthology, was previously featured on Reading Recommendations

Quick description: The book explores what family means to people today and includes a wide range of perspectives on queer relationships and families. My essay, Finding My Grace, deals with my coming to terms, both emotionally and spiritually, with my daughter’s coming out.


Brief biography:
In a previous life, I had a career as a social worker, but twenty years ago I decided to put my storytelling talent to the test. I took some writing courses, wrote and wrote and wrote, and finally enrolled in UBC’s optional residency MFA in Creative Writing. I’ve taught creative writing in various places. As well as numerous stories in literary magazines and some in other anthologies, I have four books: Running Toward Home (a novel, NeWest Press 2006), A Crack in the Wall (a collection of short stories, Oolichan Books 2008) Delivery (a novel, Oolichan Books 2009) and The Boy (a hybrid of non-fiction, fiction, and memoir, Oolichan Books 2011).

Links to buy Betty Jane’s book:
The link for a family by any other name: Touchwood Editions
Links to the publishers of my books are on my website.

Betty Jane’s promo links:
My Website
Goodreads link to a family by any other name

What are you working on now?
Primarily short pieces of non-fiction that I hope I’ll be inspired to expand into essays some day. I am also looking forward to the publication of my first YA novel which is tentatively scheduled for release in fall 2014.

Betty Jane’s reading recommendation:
I always have a pile of short story collections on the bedside table, and another next to my “reading chair”. I’ve recently revisited Alice Munroe’s earliest books, and one of my favourite more recent collections is Western Taxidermy by Barb Howard. Barb is a friend and colleague but I recommend her book without bias. A novel which held me in its thrall for reasons I have never been able to pin down and is at the top of pile of “re-read” is David Guterson’s The Other, published in 2008. (Barb Howard was a featured author previously on Reading Recommendations.)

Here are a few photos (taken by Robert Hegerat) from the very successful Calgary launch of a family by any other name!



Barb Howard

WEB-Barb-Howard-072-head-shot-crop Barb Howard

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Western Taxidermy. Short Story Collection.

Quick description: A “best of” collection of 14 short stories by Barb Howard. This collection won the Canadian Authors’ Association Exporting Alberta Award. Several of the stories won honours and awards before their publication in this book form.


Brief biography:
Barb Howard was the 2013 Writer in Residence for the Calgary Public Library. She has written 3 novels, one story collection, and has published widely in literary and commercial magazines. She is co-editor and contributor of a non-fiction anthology of essays. In a previous less-charmed life, she was a lawyer.

Links to buy Barb’s book:
Where possible, please support your local independent bookstore.
eBook and Print editions available from:
NeWest Press
Amazon Worldwide

Barb’s promo links:
Website (all other links are on my website home page)

What are you working on now?
Working on several new short stories and a feature-length nonfiction essay.

Barb’s reading recommendation:
Dominant Traits by Eric Freeze. Great short stories by another Alberta-born author Check it out!