After signing her first publishing deal, a Moorefield-based author recently released her debut novel.
Retired teacher Ivanka Fear has written five books in her Blue Water Mystery series and has signed a publishing contract with Maryland-based Level Best Books for the series.
The first Blue Water Mystery novel, The Dead Lie, tells the story of Lana, who grew up in Hamilton and had a traumatic experience when she was 18. This leads her to change her identity and move to Northern Ontario. After 11 years, Lana returns home only to face a series of mishaps. After her parents die in a car accident, she finds their birth certificates and realizes things were not as they seemed. Lana then starts to discover what really happened to her parents and who she is.
“It’s kind of a journey of self-discovery. She wants to find out who her parents really were, who she is, what exactly happened to her parents and why they’re dead,” Fear said.
Following her retirement from teaching, Fear was looking for a hobby to fill her time and turned to writing poetry in June 2018. However, she did not start out looking for a second career.
“I went back to something that I enjoyed when I was a child, and always loved to read and write. So I went back to that hobby, wrote a poem and wrote another poem [after that],” she said.
“It wasn’t something that I just said, ‘OK, I’m going to write now.’ I actually woke up one morning and had this poem in my head, so I wrote it down. And the next morning, I had another poem in my head when I woke up. It just blossomed from there.”
At her husband’s suggestion, Fear has published her poems and short stories in several magazines. One of her short stories inspired the character of Lana and her life as chronicled in the Blue Water Mystery series.
Fear wrote all five books before having a publishing deal in place. Receiving a deal was “like winning the lottery,” Fear explained.
“It’s so hard to get an agent in the first place, it’s very difficult. And then once you have an agent, there’s no guarantee your agent can sell your work. So I felt very fortunate when I got the call from my agent telling me that we have a deal,” she said.
Fear has signed a contract with Level Best Books for another mystery series titled the Jake and Mallory series. The trilogy’s first book, Where is My Husband, is due out in October.
“The idea actually came to me one night when I was sitting waiting for my husband to be off work. He wasn’t out on time, so the idea came to me: a woman is sitting in her car waiting for him and he never comes out from work. And she wonders what’s happened,” Fear said.
A lifelong reader and writer, Fear gets inspiration from everyday life, she explained.
“The ideas come to me from just small things that happen to me, someone I know, or something that I’ve read about or something I’ve seen, maybe something I’ve watched. They come to me at different times, when I’m going for a walk or just doing household chores, just busy with things like that.
“My mind is just not concentrating on anything, but just free to kind of ramble, the thoughts ramble through my head. Sometimes it’s in a dream, or when I wake up, I have this idea, and then go from there.”