A resident of Schomberg has written his first book, a dream come true.
Robin Leacock has published Evolo, a science fiction novel for young adults.
The story is set in a dystopian future, where people live in fear of an apocalyptic event called the Last Day. The rulers tasked with protecting everyone create a new world to escape to, but suspicious events occur and secrets are revealed that call everything into question.
Leacock explained that on a smaller scale, the story deals with themes of creativity, imagination, and dreams, which “I think are all interesting concepts to explore, especially for younger readers”.
As far as the overview of the book is concerned, a lot of attention is paid to what is real and what is not, and whether those in power are telling the truth or not.
“So you could say our real world inspired me to create this fictional one.”
Leacock said he had written as a hobby all his life.
“When I was a child, I copied texts from books or magazines, typed them on my parents’ typewriter, then went door to door selling my unintelligible ‘news’ to my neighbors for quarters.
“Writing and publishing a book became one of my goals in high school. I was not a good student, but the only subject that interested me and in which I had good grades was English. Reading and writing were the only tasks that motivated me and became my passions.
Since then, he admits to starting and dropping hundreds of stories. A few years ago, his wife told him that if I really wanted to write and become an author, he should choose his best idea and follow it.
“She was right. This idea became Evolo, and its publication is definitely considered a dream come true.
In the process, Leacock learned a lot about himself as a writer.
“I learned the importance of planning and not being afraid to let others see my work. I have found readers I trust who will give me their honest opinions and reviews. I also learned that my community is extremely supportive.
Regarding the publishing process, he said he learns something new every day. As a self-published author, he’s taken on all the marketing duties, which is fun but challenging.
“I also learned about printing and distribution costs, and the importance of building an audience. It’s fair to say that I will do some things differently in the next round.
“The most important thing I’ve learned is that this is what I want to do. Nothing has ever felt more rewarding or creatively fulfilling than publishing my first novel, and now I want to do it more.
Leacock said he was “pleasantly surprised” by the reception. He heard from his friends, family, former students and young readers.
“They all enjoyed different aspects of the book, whether it was the twists of the story, its characters, its setting or its message. I also received constructive criticism which I know will help me in the future.
Fitz, the main character of the story, struggles with social anxiety. To make matters worse, in the future he lives in, the term “anxiety” is completely gone, so he’s just seen as a weird, clumsy kid that no one understands.
Fitz is fighting hard to overcome it all.
“I want young people to know that social anxiety is normal. They need to know that they are not alone and that they can still live their lives to the fullest, even with their anxiety.
He has already been asked about a sequel.
Although it’s a possibility, his main goal now is to get the book into the hands of young readers.
“The idea of a 13-year-old reader getting lost in the world I’ve created motivates me. I believe in history and I believe young people will love it.
“I am also looking to set up virtual meetings with English classes from GTA schools. I would like to share my experience with students and encourage them to write and read.
Of course, he regularly has “dozens” of ideas that go through his head. “I’m ready to attack them all.”
Evolo is available on Amazon, in paperback and Kindle format.
Leacock is an English teacher at the Pape-François Catholic School in Stouffville. He lives in Schomberg with his wife Andrea and their dog Milo.