Sara de Waard’s novel White Lies ‘deals with mental health issues, trauma, teenage romance, addiction and family’

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Sara de Waard’s first novel will certainly not be her last. In fact, she says, she’s already working on it.

de Waard, 45, said he was a screenwriter for nearly a decade before trying his first novel, “White Lies.”

She said the book is about “a 15-year-old girl who went through a really tough childhood, trauma in her past.”

Missy soon meets her first crush and works on it, along with topics such as “mental health issues, trauma, teen romance, addiction, and dysfunctional families.”

de Waard said White Lies took about a year to write.

“As a single mom, I’m very busy with the kids and sports,” she said.

“I used to write when I would take my son to western New York for football practice. So I would sit there for hours and hours by myself, de Waard said, adding “and so I wrote and after that I finished it.

She said the feedback she’s heard from friends and family has been great.

“They were telling me they loved it and they liked sharing my voice in it. And then I thought, ‘Well, maybe it’s just about friends and family.’

“I always love and hate that I need to see like-minded strangers,” she said.

She then obtained what any first novelist could hope for. His book was considered one of the 14 books for young adults you should read this spring and one of the 40 Canadian books recommended by CBC Books.

A review of her book, she says, brought her to tears.

“It made me cry. I felt so much that I was hoping a stranger would get some book.”

She said she wrote the book with a target audience of girls in high school, but has since learned that it was read by a much wider demographic.

On May 19, she hosted a book signing event at Grant’s Gifts on West Street in Port Colborne.

de Waard said the gift shop sold more than 70 copies. In addition, she was fortunate to receive two grants from the Ontario Arts Council.

“I have a scholarship to write the next one,” she said. “I’m on page 10. I have to do it by next summer, but I think it will be done sooner.”

For more information on Sara de Waard, visit her website at saradewaard.com.

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