Former Tri-Citian Kerry Schafer publishes first book

By Dori O'Neal, Tri-City HeraldFebruary 18, 2013 

UPDATE: Former Tri-Citian Kerry Schafer will sign copies of her new book, Between, from 1 to 3 p.m. March 16 at Barnes & Noble Booksellers at Columbia Center mall in Kennewick.

Schafer lost her musician husband 10 years ago in a motorcycle accident, leaving her with two young sons to raise.

The loss led her to relocate six years ago to Colville, an area that reminded her of the small town where she grew up in Canada. It also gave her the motivation to pursue her lifelong dream of writing.

Her first official novel, Between, recently was published by Penguin Publishing. It's an urban fantasy tale that follows a doctor named Vivian Maylor who tries to ward off a family curse that allows her to enter other people's dreams.

Most of Schafer's life has been a mix of nursing and teaching, but writing is at the heart of her soul.

"I love nursing, but writing has always been my passion," Schafer said in a phone interview. "My kids are grown up now, so I have a little more time to write." Her sons are Ryan, now 21, and Brandon, 17.

Kevin Schafer was a respected and beloved Mid-Columbia musician. He died in 2002 when he lost control of his motorcycle on Badger Road in Kennewick.

"Both my boys are musicians like their father," Kerry said. "They play in a band together when they have time, because one is in college and the other is a senior in high school."

Since moving to Colville in the remote Okanogan region of north-central Washington, Schafer said she has become a better writer.

"I started to write (novels) about four years ago," she said. "I like living here in Colville because its so peaceful." Which, she adds, helps clear the mind and open a clearer path to creativity.

She juggles her writing time with her duties as a mental health counselor. She earned a nursing degree from Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, and a bachelor's in English from York University in Toronto. She also earned a master's in counseling psychology from Washington State University.

Between took shape in her mind several years ago and finally came to fruition in the past two years. The hardest part of getting the book published was finding an agent interested in her story.

"It took a while to find an agent but you just can't give up," she said. "Once you find an agent willing to represent you, they'll do all the leg work of getting a publisher interested in publishing it. I had a few rewrites to do before that but was told (the agent and publisher) liked the concept of the story."

Between is available at bookstores as well as Amazon.com. It sells for about $8 in paperback.

-- Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; doneal@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @dorioneal

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