In 2019, Kitchener-based author Farquhar achieved a lifelong dream: getting her first book published.
“It was like a dream like that first year of getting my debut novel published, it was so surreal to me, because it had been a life goal of mine for forever,” Farquhar said.
Her debut book, Watermark, went on to win a Northern Lit Award, and the acclaim the novel received has since sent her career to new heights: scoring a book deal with U.S. agency, Triada US Literary Agency.
“Some people try their whole lives to get an agent - so that's a huge step forward,” she said. “They usually help you to tweak it to get it where it needs to be,” after which they will try to sell it to editors at a publishing house.
Before writing her first novel, she always thought that good writing and hard work was all it took to hook publishers in.
“But once I had actually written the novel and started the intensely discouraging querying process, I realised how unlikely it was to get published… I suddenly realized - this probably isn't going to happen for me.”
She spent a number of years writing, but having trouble breaking into the publishing world - and when she finally did, it was a surreal experience.
“Still, I sometimes feel like it's a dream. And now I get to be an author at people's book clubs and go on a book tour and do all of these things that had just seemed like superstar fantasy ideas,” she said.
Farquhar is now working on her next book, which she says will be different from her last.
“We've decided the genre is going to be called feminine gothic horror,” she said. “It’s a bit of a darker book. And basically, the thematic question at the heart of the book is, how far will a mother go to be reunited with her child and a lot of it takes place in the woods.”
The inspiration for the novel came from her own experience as a parent. As a parent, she says, you become consumed by this powerful love for your child.
“But then you realize the shadow side of that is, ‘what would I do if something happened to my child?’”
She dealt with that anxiety for a number of years, but once her firstborn was a bit older, she felt she was able to explore the concept in a fictional way.
Currently, they’re in the last stages of editing, and Farquhar says it will likely be ready to submit to publishers in August.