After spending 40 years teaching special education in RSU 10, Jan Bordeau has turned to writing fiction and self-published her first novel.
Bordeau, who lives in Mexico with her husband, said she tried several times in the past to write stories but was never able to get past the first chapter. However, with the help of a nationwide writing contest, she was able to find the motivation to begin writing again.
"There's a contest called National Novel Writing Month, where you have from the beginning of November to the end to write a 50,000-word novel," Bordeau explained. "My son, who lives in North Carolina, started the challenge and I decided to do it too. After the contest was over, I spent the next couple of months adding to it and editing different parts."
Bordeau's story for the contest ended up becoming her first published novel. The book, "Harper Haven," is about a young couple in rural Maine who buy a Victorian-style fixer-upper house, and upon arriving at their new home, discover some uninvited occupants.
Bordeau said she self-published through online retailer website Amazon.com.
"I submitted my book to Amazon, and after they reformatted it to the size of a paperback novel, they sent it back so I could edit it the way I wanted it," she said. "Now that it's published, you can either order it as a hard copy or through the Amazon Kindle."
Bordeau said she would like to publish her next book through a regular publishing agency.
"I'd like to try a regular publisher next time so I can get my book in the bookstores," she said. "Right now, my first book is exclusive only through Amazon."
Many of the details from "Harper Haven" came from Bordeau's life, including the premise of the book and the main character.
"I've always dreamed of buying an antique fixer-upper house, so it was just a matter of making that fit the story I was writing," Bordeau said. "The female lead in my book is a teacher, so it's similar to my life in that way."
In recognition of Bordeau's first fiction novel, the Mexico Public Library is hosting a book signing from 4 to 5:30 p.m. April 1.
"Most people have really enjoyed the book so far," Bordeau said. "It's a nice, clean book. It could probably be a Hallmark movie."
Bordeau said she is "about eight or nine chapters" into her next book.
"It's going to have an angel theme to it," she said. "It's about a young girl who is killed and tries to help her family from Heaven."
Copies of "Harper Haven" will be available at the book signing for $10 each.
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