SACKVILLE, N.B. — What began as a doodle during a high school class has launched into a first full-length novel for Mount Allison University English student Taylor Losier. The Quispamsis, N.B. resident celebrated the publication of her first book, Ragged, recently on campus.
Losier, who is currently in her second year of studies, began writing the story in grade 10 after a friend asked about one of her drawings.
She says, “It was a sketch of a person, I thought he needed a story, that’s how Ragged began.”
Losier continued to work on the novel, which takes place in a fantasy world run by deities and mighty spirits, completing it in grade 12. It was at Mount Allison, when she met up with Underbridge Press founder and fellow student Elijah Teitelbaum that the story found its way to print.
Teitelbaum, a second-year religious studies student from Toronto established the student-run Underbridge Press during his first year at Mount Allison.
“I did two internships with different publishing houses in Toronto while in high school. I decided to set up Underbridge Press to work with other students who are interested in publishing and get some first-hand experience. We were able to establish ourselves as a student club and it’s been great to work with other students on so many behind-the-scenes publishing tasks,” he says.
Ragged is the first publication for Underbridge Press and is truly a student-centred project with students working on every step, including writing, copy-editing, typesetting, and liaising with the manufacture, Winnipeg-based Friesens books. The book cover also features the artwork of first-year Fine Arts student Isabel Francolini.
In a time when e-books are becoming more and more prevalent, both Losier and Teitelbaum are pleased with the decision to publish the novel in a traditional paper format.
“I love everything about books, the way they feel and smell, I could spend hours in a bookstore. My first draft of Ragged was hand written in journals and on loose leaf and came together from years of paper notes. Having it published in a traditional book format is wonderful,” says Losier, who is also a Bell Achievement Award recipient, one of Mount Allison’s top admissions scholarships.
“Publishing a book in a traditional format is a totally different experience then publishing an e-book. By doing a print version, more students were able to get involved and it really showed all the ‘behind the scenes’ work that happens with a publication. I think it was very valuable experience.”
Ragged is available for purchase by contacting Underbridge Press at email@example.com and at Tidewater Books in Sackville.