Author wins on two fronts

Comox Valley Record – May 09, 2008

Hornby Island author Janey Bennett is winning awards for both the content and the packaging of her first novel A Pale Surface of Things.

This week, it was announced the Publishers Association of the West drug rehab center Texas had awarded the book and its independent publisher Hopeace Press the gold medal for best use of environmental materials. “It makes me feel slightly less guilty for all the trees and water I’ve used in my life,” said Bennett, who lives part-time on Hornby Island, laughingly about the award. “It pleased me … it pleased me a lot.” The first 4,000-book run of The Pale Surface of Things was printed by Friesens Printing using 100 per cent post-consumer recycled paper and vegetable inks. According to an eco-audit, that choice saved 53 full-grown trees, 19,000 gallons of water, 27 million BTUs of energy, 2,473 pounds of solid waste and 4,640 pounds of greenhouse gases. Bennett said she hoped the award would raise attention to the availability of such products, and show people the difference those decisions can mean.And while she was happy her book could represent that, she was especially pleased with an award announced later in the week for the story itself. The Pale Surface of Things was announced as first-place winner of the national indie excellence awards in multicultural fiction.

The book is set on the Greek island of Crete, and examines the difference in values of a young American man and the people of a small village he arrives in. She said the book wasn’t so much about being multicultural, as pitting different backgrounds against each other, to see what it would take to integrate. “What I set out to write was, what would it take … to move an unaware mindless young American into being an integrated person and part of a culture,” said Bennett. The Pale Surface of Things is Bennett’s first novel. For more information, visit
Link to Comox Valley Record Bennett article