Posted on 1 Comment

Ottawa Book Launch

We held the Ottawa book launch for Emily Jayne and the Kairos Codex at the Seven Stars Over Publishing Ltd. office on Saturday March 18, 2023. It was a well attended and lively event. There was a toast to the author, J.A. Secker, by his spouse, Julie Lefebvre, and he talked for several minutes about the inspiration for this novel, his writing process and the valuable feedback he received from the members of his writers group, his family and his friends. On the inspiration for this novel, J.A. Secker mentioned several factors, one of which was a request from his daughter.

“It was 2012. I’d been writing a vampire horror novel, but my youngest daughter wasn’t interested in vampires, or in the new origin story I set in Mexico. She was nine, and she asked if I would write a story that she’d like to read. This middle-grade speculative science fiction novel, completed and published 13 years later, is the result of her request.”

J.A. Secker and Seven Stars Over would like to thank their guests at the Ottawa book launch for participating in this special event, for their cards and gifts, and for their interest in this debut novel. At the request of the author, we have included the Acknowledgements section from his novel below the photos.

Author J.A. Secker with members of the Ottawa based writers group to which he belongs. From left to right, Matt Egner, Jenn deLagran, J.A. Secker, Gayle Chiykowski, Caroline Wissing, Melanie Curtis Raymond and Peter Smith.
The author signing copies of his book for his sister, Barbara, and her partner, Keith.

Thank you to my family, immediate and extended, for their incredible interest, encouragement, support and feedback. Thank you especially to Julie, Michèle, Lauriane and Pascale for putting up with my hours and days spent thinking, writing and talking about the worlds of Emily Jayne, Sarah, Rex and their friends and enemies. Thank you to my friends, especially Paris W. Vachon and Julia Plummer, for their interest in and feedback on Emily Jayne and the Kairos Codex.

Thank you to Maria Coletta McLean for early encouragement and support, and for connecting me with a writers’ critique group in Ottawa. Thank you to the members of my writers critique group, for your constructive and critical feedback on this novel and its earlier versions, for helping me see what worked and what didn’t, for your friendship and inspiration, and for always providing positive moral- boosting praise for what I has written: Julia Rose Anderson, Althea Basudde, Gayle Chiykowski, Jenn deLagran, Matt Egner, Lisa Justas, Melanie Curtis Raymond, Peter Smith and Caroline Wissing. And a special thank you to my middle-grade beta readers, Mélodie, Rémi and Sarah.

Thank you to Dr. Carl Sagan and Dr. Paul Wesson for igniting my passion for astrophysics and cosmology, and to Dr. William E. Harris for advice, guidance and inspiration during my master’s and doctorate degrees.

Thank you to organizers of and speakers at the Ontario Writers Conferences (2011-2016) and Can Con 2019. I loved everything about these events, but especially discovering who writers are, what they do and how they think. Thank you to the Ottawa Public Library (especially the Beaverbrook branch) for connecting me with the books I wanted to read, and those I didn’t know I wanted to read.

Thank you to Stephen King, for the marvel, wonder, thrill and terror of his novels. Thank you to Ken Follett for his many fabulous novels, and for giving us strong and smart female lead characters. Thank you to the many science fiction writers who have added colour and texture to the landscapes of imaginary worlds and universes, including Isaac Asimov, Becky Chambers, Arthur C. Clarke, Larry Niven, Frederik Pohl, Jerry Pournelle, Kim Stanley Robinson, Robert J. Sawyer and Vernor Vinge.

And special thanks to: Waubgeshig Rice, for constructive feedback on my Ojibwe character, Samuel; Ann Sanderson, for the beautiful illustration on the front cover; Gregory Wichlacz, for his stellar graphic design of the book cover; and the teams at First Choice Books and Victoria Bindery for their excellent work with the printing and binding. And finally, thank you to Caroline Wissing for the superb job she did editing my manuscript. Any mistakes that remain are my own.