Frustrated by their inability to get a literary agent, five housewives formed Penticton Writers and Publishers in 1994 to research, write, self-publish and market Penticton and Area Secrets & Surprises. They were Janelle Breese-Biagioni, 38, Cindy Fortin, 32, Yasmin John-Thorpe, 44, Lorraine Pattison, 49 and Penny Smith, 42. Later that year they received their shipment of 3,500 copies from the printer one hour after police had issued an evacuation notice due to the approach of the Garnet forest fire. Four of the original co-founders (Janelle Breese-Biagioni, Lorraine Pattison, Penny Smith and Yasmin John-Thorpe) continued to work together and self-published A Novel Approach to Self-Publishing (1995); Lovescape, The Romantic Novella Magazine (created by John-Thorpe and co-written with Smith, 1997); Penticton Silhouette of Four Seasons: a coffee-table pictorial book commissioned by the City of Penticton (spring 1998) and Supernatural Stories Around British Columbia (1998).

[BCBW 2003]