Former Langley resident Bryan Bellec said his debut novel, Someone’s Story, is steeped in inspiration taken from his hometown.
“There are small aspects of H.D. Stafford in my fictitious school,” Bellec told the Langley Advance Times.
“I also jogged tons in Langley. I frequented the Nicomekl flood plains, Derby Reach, the Cloverdale Kwantlen, Campbell Valley, and the 200th street hill. Although my book is fiction, the characters and events are based on real people. Those people almost all lived in Langley,” he assured.
Bellec now resides in Winnipeg, but he studied at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and moved due to the high cost of living in the Lower Mainland.
“Winnipeg might have some extreme weather and a little bit of a bug problem now and then, but the cost of living is so much better it allowed me to write more,” Bellec said.
His early writings were technical manuals for work, but after a few years of that, Bellec said he began writing for stress relief.
“Over time I started to feel like the stress relief writing was good and started to take the structure of a technical manual and apply the creativity of stress writing,” he noted.
Someone’s Story is his first published work, which follows a teenager struggling to find his path into adulthood – hitting roadblocks and dealing with tough situations along the way.
“A major theme in my book is mental health. My inspiration came from watching a few close friends go through some trauma,” Bellec explained. “I combined their stories with mine.”
Someone’s Story is also very literally someone’s story, as it is written as a first-person narrative in the voice of a teenager that calls himself “someone.”
“I like to think I don’t belong to a specific genre,” Bellec added. “I wrote a young adult coming-of-age book but it reads well in other genres because of my creative choices to use pop culture and deal with relevant social issues from the last few years.”
Bellec said he wrote the novel from a place of passion with no intention of publishing at first.
After close friends and a pair of editors helped clean up his writing. From there, the author said he decided that he didn’t want to wait months to try and go with traditional publishing.
“I did lots of this myself. The cover is a painting by my girlfriend, from Maple Ridge, combined with some stock images that I put it together in Photoshop. I did all the formatting of the Kindle version and the paperback version,” he said.
“My current project has been brewing for a few years,” Bellec said of his next novel. It’s sci-fi horror about a parasitic creature, which he’s been writing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Is there more to this story?