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HomeNewsLocal author's ghost story tale launches Wednesday in Lethbridge

Local author’s ghost story tale launches Wednesday in Lethbridge

A Lethbridge high school English teacher is excited to officially launch her first book “The Ghosts of Lille” Wednesday at Analog Books. Kimberly Kocken’s debut novel was released in December last year and is gaining a readership throughout southern Alberta. 

“I wasn’t planning on writing a horror novel, but it’s something I was always interested in when I was younger,” says Kocken, who purchased a property in the Crowsnest Pass, under the Frank Slide. “That ended up inspiring the story because there’s been so many tragedies. The house I bought is old. When my husband was talking to some local old-timers, they told him our house had been pulled here from a ghost town called Lille by horses.” 

The history of the house started to spark an idea for Kocken. “Our house is tiny and it’s two houses put together and it’s still very small. We have a creepy cellar people hate to go into, but my husband and I love it. Considering this area is rife with ghost stories as it is, that might be a good idea.” 

Years passed before Kocken was able to complete the book, as students and school staff played a big part in motivating the author to get it done. 

“It took a few years because I was a full-time teacher and that doesn’t give you a lot of free time. And when COVID happened, I was teaching online and didn’t want to write at that time,” Kocken adds. 

According to Kocken, the book is a ghost story and historical fiction. “It does talk about the history of the Crowsnest Pass and the ghost town of Lille, which is a wonderful hike and Frank Slide, which is literally the view from our backyard.” 

Frank Slide features in the setting of the story and in the plot, notes Kocken. 

“The Ghosts of Lille” transports the reader between several different timelines and tells the history of the house, inherited by a Calgary family. The family moves to the Crowsnest Pass and they experience some of the events past owners of the house experienced. 

A lot of people who have read the novel, Kocken says, are people not necessarily fans of horror. The story has meaning and has a lot of things for readers to learn. “The reception has been fantastic.” 

Kocken says plans are in the works to spread the news about the new book through book signings, presentations and contacting bookstores in Calgary, since the city is part of the story. “Doing the marketing of the book has been a lot more work than I ever expected it would be. I’ve learned a lot about entrepreneurship.” 

Currently, the book is available to purchase online. The book launch in downtown Lethbridge is scheduled from 6:30-8 p.m. 

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