Greater Victoria writer releases first novel inspired by U.S. school shootings

Dear Mr. President tells thought provoking story of victims left behind

Emily Hein released her first book, Dear Mr. President, this year. The book is available online or at the Market on Millstream and Yates. (Photo contributed by Emily Hein)

A young local writer let her heart pour out on the page with the release of her first novel.

Greater Victoria resident Emily Hein, 23, recently launched, Dear Mr. President, which follows the story of a suburban mother whose life is turned around after losing her child in a school shooting.

Hein said the idea for the novel sparked from the multitude of school shootings that have taken place in the U.S. over the years.

“I also heard about gun threats at some schools I went to, which nothing ever happened, but I couldn’t imagine what it would be like if someone actually went through with it,” said Hein. She wanted to convey in her story what people who had experienced a school shooting were going through.

Hein began writing the book in the summer of 2018, and the book was published Jan. 31 this year.

“It took me about two months to write. I finished writing it the same summer after I graduated UVic,” said Hein. “I would sit down some days for eight hours at my computer and get so lost in writing. I enjoyed it so much, so it was easy to put time in to.”

Hein graduated from the University of Victoria in 2018 with a degree in biology, and is now studying to be a chiropractor at the University of Western State in Portland.

“It feels really good to have written a book, because it helped open my eyes to seeing where I want to go, and what I want to do,” said Hein. “I want to do something with a career as a chiropractor and help people, but I would also like to continue with writing and have a career as an author. I have some ideas for more books in the future.”

Hein said she had always loved reading and was interested in stories, but never considered herself much of a writer. However, after graduating she found more free time on her hands and ‘randomly decided’ to give writing a try.

The best part about writing Dear Mr. President was the emotions she experienced throughout, Hein said.

“I would get in almost a giggly fit because I was so happy with the story I was creating, or crying because I would be so deep in the story and feel what the characters were feeling,” said Hein. “I was moved by it.”

Hein said getting the book finished and published was a challenge, but she encourages people interested in writing a book to ‘never give up.’

“What I learned is to start with a plot and character lists. Have everything laid out and then work from there,” said Hein. “I wouldn’t say I had it completely mapped out. I just started, and then let the story unfold while writing it.”

The book is 218 pages and can be purchased online on Amazon, or at Barnes and Noble, the Market on Millstream or Yates, WHSmith and Waterstones. For more information visit austinmacauley.com/us/book/dear-mr-president.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Island dance classes billed as female empowerment tool

New Comox Valley business focuses on ‘promoting positive body image’

Duncan’s Big Stick lights up red to signal COVID’s devastation of the arts

“COVID-19 has been truly devastating to the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre”

Pandemic reunites 2000s era Victoria rock band The Origin

Saanich musicians recording for first time since 2008

From Nanoose Bay to the bookshelf, Howard the Gnome now a children’s book

Vancouver Island author explores Howard’s move down-Island

Nanaimo country singer releases new music video

‘Adrenaline’ is the second single from Joel Lee’s upcoming debut EP

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Hospice worker and patient butt heads in upcoming Nanaimo theatre production

Yellow Point Drama Group presents ‘Grace and Glorie’ at Cedar Community Hall

Art+Earth Festival gets growing this weekend

Find out what events are in-person and what’s happening online

Film about missing and murdered indigenous women makes Nanaimo debut

A mother and daughter search for answers in Sonia Bonspille Boileau’s ‘Rustic Oracle’

Nanaimo’s Harbour City Photography Club goes virtual to adapt to COVID-19

Club’s exhibitions, meetings and presentations are now occurring online

Nanaimo’s Western Edge Theatre returns to the stage in Port Theatre debut

Theatre group presents ‘2 Across,’ described as a ‘middle-aged romantic comedy’

Authors nominated for Victoria Book Prize awards

Finalists for 2020 announced in two categories

Three Nanaimo-area writers up for CBC non-fiction prize

Sheila Brooke, Vicki McLeod and Rachael Preston make 35-person longlist

Most Read