It's sometimes a lonely existence for first-time novelists.
They can spend untold hours at the keyboard dreaming up a world that doesn't exist beyond their imagination.
And it can be a tremendous boost to come across a friend who's willing to listen to the writer's angst and offer genuinely constructive feedback to help him or her get to the finish line.
Vancouver writer Jen Sookfong Lee knows what it's like to complete a novel. In fact, she's written three: The End of East, Shelter, and The Better Mother. Her fourth book, The Conjoined, will come out later this year.
Lee was recently appointed as the writer-in-residence at the University of the Fraser Valley, where she'll be available on Mondays and Tuesdays to help budding authors on campus.
"I’m most looking forward to the one-on-one consultations with students," Lee said in a recent interview on the university website. "I often say that this kind of focused mentoring is the most rewarding for me as an author, but I think it’s also most helpful for the students as well. It takes time and attention to figure out what exactly each student needs to facilitate their writing careers. The process of watching young writers discover their voices and literary obsessions is continually fascinating to me."
Many CBC Radio listeners are familiar with Lee's erudite and often funny take on books. Fans of her work will be interested to know that she'll be the keynote speaker at the Mission Writers Festival on March 5.