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N.W.T. author Katłįà Lafferty's debut novel up for award

·2 min read
Land-Water-Sky / Ndè–Tı–Yat'a has been nominated for an Indigenous Voices Award in the fiction published in English category. (Fernwood Publishing - image credit)
Land-Water-Sky / Ndè–Tı–Yat'a has been nominated for an Indigenous Voices Award in the fiction published in English category. (Fernwood Publishing - image credit)

Northwest Territories' author Katłįà Lafferty has been nominated for an Indigenous Voices Award for her debut novel, Land-Water-Sky / Ndè–Tı–Yat'a.

The six-part composite novel drew inspiration from the Dene author's childhood and trips to her grandmother's birthplace in the North Arm of Great Slave Lake.

"It's kind of the age old story about the battle between good and evil, and there's a lot of different characters that kind of come up against each other and they're just tangled throughout time and history," she said in a recent interview with CBC's The Trailbreaker.

The book has been nominated in the fiction published in English category. Other nominees in the category include Nathan Niigan Noodin Adler's Ghost Lake, Jenn Ashton's People Like Frank, Michelle Good's Five Little Indians and Michael Hutchinson's The Case of the Missing Auntie.

The award recipient will be announced in a virtual event on June 21 to coincide with National Indigenous Peoples Day.

The Indigenous Voices Award was created in 2017 to support the diversity of Indigenous literature across Canada.

Plans in place to turn book into graphic novel

"I didn't really have an end in sight when I started writing the book and it all kind of just came together as I wrote," Lafferty said.

"There was no real plan. Each of the characters unfolded and just kind of came to life on the page and I just followed that."

"That's probably the best advice I can give to any person that's wanting to be a writer. Just get it on the page and don't be intimidated by your mistakes."

Lafferty said plans are in place to write separate novels for each character, turning the book into a series.

She also said Land-Water-Sky / Ndè–Tı–Yat'a will be turned into a graphic novel.

"I'm super excited about this, because I think it's just going to reach so many more readers," she said.

"As Indigenous people, we're very visual people. And so even those Elders who want to read it can pick it up. And they're going to see the language in these bubbles, which is really cool."

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