Corner Brook native Lorraine (Tobin) Kocot has never forgotten advice her father gave her before he died in August 2013.
“He said, ‘Life is beautiful and you should always do what makes you happy, with no regrets,’ and I am doing exactly now what makes me very happy and that is writing,” Kocot said during a phone interview from her home in Barrie, Ont., on Jan. 17.
Kocot, who wrote poetry for decades, is about to publish her second book.
“Hubert The Color Changing Dragon,” is a unique character, she said. The dragon is as positive as he is happy.
“He’s a very environmentally friendly dragon. He loves things looking beautiful. He even has his very own special song that he sings in the morning and at night,” she said.
Kocot self-published her book through Wasteland Press.
The book is illustrated by Javier Duarte, and Kocot said she is delighted with his work.
“It’s like he brought Hubert to life. (Javier) is absolutely amazing,” she said.
Kocot also took the illustrator’s advice when he suggested she place 14 colouring pages in the back of the book.
“I want to make children laugh and encourage them to read. And that’s the whole idea behind this book,” she said.
Kocot would like to visit places where she feels children could benefit from hearing the story.
“I’d love to go down to (Toronto’s) Sick Kids Hospital and Ronald McDonald House and have the honour and privilege of sitting in a room with a bunch of kids and reading the book to them,” she said.
The book will be available for purchase online through Chapters, Coles and Amazon in a couple of weeks, Kocot said on Jan. 17.
About the author
Kocot graduated from Presentation High School in 1976.
She moved to Toronto with some friends in 1979. Shortly after moving to Ontario, she met Stan Kocot. The couple married and have two children and two grandchildren.
Kocot’s parents, George “Copper” Tobin and Eliza Tobin, both died (in a span of seven months) in 2013.
The following year, she started writing in earnest after returning home from a lengthy stay in Corner Brook.
She wrote her first book, “I am a Survivor — Bullying Stops Here,” after hearing stories about youth being bullied both in Canada and the U.S.
She wrote the book, she said, to let youth know that, when it comes to bullying, they are not alone.
“I went through bullying when I was younger. … I used to get harassed a lot in school. My dad would say, ‘Hold your head high and walk past.’ And that’s what I’d do. … I’m a strong person and I got through it,” Kocot said.
While the book she self-published through Mascot Books is no longer on the market, Kocot said, she enjoyed talking to children and youth about the issue.
“I did a lot of book signings here in Ontario as well as in the States. I went to Immaculate Heart of Mary (in Corner Brook) in 2015 and talked to two different classes. I enjoyed it,” she said.
Although she has been living away from Newfoundland and Labrador for almost four decades, Kocot returns to Corner Brook every summer to visit family and friends.
“Corner Brook will always be my home,” she said.