Robert Bateman Secondary grad Raman Mander first published her book of poetry Little Hugs last October.
Starting Feb. 17, Little Hugs will be part of the spring merchandise collection in paperback at Indigo, Chapters, and Coles stores across the Lower Mainland. Abbotsford residents can pick it up at the Coles location at Sevenoaks Shopping Centre.
Mander said the wide availability of her book is almost hard to believe.
“When I decided to publish, I did not think that it would be in stores – as I am a new author and diving into my passion for poetry. Sometimes life will surprise you,” she said. “I am greatly excited to have readers connect with words that I once felt strong and deeply connected to words — and still do.”
Mander, also a nurse at Abbotsford Regional Hospital, wrote about her experiences with different feelings and facets in life and then published her poetry with Friesen Press.
The title comes from the experience she hopes readers get from her poetry, smaller “hugs” of comfort found in each poem that form one large embrace of encouragement and support after completion.
Seeing how far the publishing journey has taken her over the past five months has left her with nothing but encouraging words for others.
“You are allowed to have a voice. You are allowed to express yourself and follow your heart. You’re not made to be a certain way. You are made to be amazing. Follow what you want to be and what you want to do and let it into your life. If you have a passion, follow it,” Mander said.
Mander’s first book signing will be combined with a poetry reading on April 25 at 3 p.m. at Indigo Langley.
She will also continue hosting a poetry and open mic night, which have been held across Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford at Just Cakes Bakery, Maria’s Gelato, High Street, and House of James.
People can sign up for the readings through eventbrite.com or connect on Instagram @littlehugsfromraman for event news and updates.
“Feel free to connect on social media as I absolutely love to share my poetry and words of encouragement along with events. The greater goal is to create safe spaces for others to share their words. To create positivity and homes in our hearts of encouragement,” Mander added.
She plans to continue writing words of expression while working on a possible tour at Indigo and Cole locations around Vancouver Island, Metro Vancouver and Okanagan – possibly even across Canada.
More on Little Hugs: Encouragement for Your Soul can be found on Amazon.