Sitting Down With Children's Author Guy D. Holmes
Apr 22, 2013
If you have little ones and live in the Peace Region, at one point in time you have probably spent time flipping through a Guy Holmes children’s book.
Guy was born and raised in Elbow, Saskatchewan, and even from a small age had a penchant for books and reading.
Guy D. Holmes first children's book, ‘The Chicken Froze His Little Toes’, came on the heels of his retirement. His love for writing, art and entertaining children made writing children's books a perfect fit.
‘Pearl the Pig was a Dreamer’, his second book, became available in March of 2011.
We Go North had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Holmes about his work and living in the Peace.
Q. What brought you to the Peace Region, and what do you love about living in Grande Prairie/The Peace Region?
A. My wife, Louise, is a senior manager with the Government of Alberta. She was offered the opportunity to advance her career here in the northwest so we made the move, sight unseen, to Grande Prairie in May of 2012. We were immediately taken with the beauty of the Peace region.
I had the opportunity to travel throughout much of the Peace region this summer and fall. I love the diversity of the landscape; everything from tree-lined farmland to high-peaked forest ranges. The lakes, rivers and beautiful valleys are an artist’s dream, especially during the fall as the leaves begin to change color. We are truly blessed to live in a region with so much natural beauty and character.
The city of Grande Prairie itself offers everything a person could need. There is an abundance of shopping and restaurants, and a vast array of entertainment choices. We've enjoyed the Eastlink Centre immensely, as well as the amazing golf courses. We take our dog to the dog park and enjoy the miles of walking paths throughout the city. The parks are beautiful here. We find the people very down to earth and friendly. We live in a condominium complex and it is like living in a small farming community. Everyone is friendly, quiet, and eager to help and watch out for each other. It is wonderful.
Apart from the long, cold, snowy winter, our experience in the Peace region has been outstanding. We have truly enjoyed our year here. And, with a fantastic airport here in Grande Prairie, we were able to fly to Mexico this winter and get out of the cold for awhile. So, overall, even our first winter has been quite enjoyable.
Q. What inspires you to write the stories you do?
A. Without getting too philosophical, I am inspired to write the stories I do because of what I have seen and learned throughout my life as a son, parent and educator. And with no remorse or regret, since most of my life is behind me, I can say that I am now at the wonderful age of reflection. I look back at my life and harvest what I’ve learned and reflect on what is, or was, most important to me. I now have the opportunity to share what I’ve learned, and hopefully inspire, or teach, or remind others what is most important in this life… to show and tell your loved ones you love them, to respect and accept others for their differences, and to laugh.
Q. What project are you working on now?
A. It has been almost a year since “Pearl the Pig was a Dreamer” was released. I get asked quite often when my next book will be out. I wish I could crank these out as fast as I can write them but it takes about a year to complete a project from start to finish. Since I do all my own illustrations it takes six to seven months just to do the artwork. My goal was, is, to complete two books per year but sometimes life gets in the way and things don’t go as planned.
However… my next book, which is not officially titled yet, is due out this spring. It is called 'Mr. Fister Saw His Sister Eating Purple Pie'. It is a story about a girl who eats everything in sight, and mostly what belongs to her brother. It is a fun & silly comment on brother/sister relationships, and over-eating. It has a fun and surprising ending that I hope children and their parents will enjoy.
There is also a deeper, underlying message for those who want to explore. The illustrations are nearly complete and then there will be one final editing sweep and then it is off to the printers.
I also have a project due late this year tentatively titled “Poor Penny Purplesocks”. It is the story of a princess who lives high atop a beautiful castle and a poor girl, named Penny Purplesocks, who lives down in the village below. They have never met but can see each other from their vantage points. They imagine, incorrectly of course, how the other lives and long to live that life. It is a cute message about appreciating what you have.
Q. Where can we find your books for purchase?
A. I am currently selling my books out of a wonderful little store in Grande Prairie called Good to Grow.