Comox author Loraine Hartley, with a few copies of her debut novel, “My Delightfully Dysfunctional Family.” Photo supplied

Comox author Loraine Hartley, with a few copies of her debut novel, “My Delightfully Dysfunctional Family.” Photo supplied

Comox author pens novel about life in a blended family

Generally speaking, authors write their books, then determine a title.

But not always.

Loraine Hartley’s experience was the exact opposite, which is somewhat fitting, for a book titled, My Delightfully Dysfunctional Family (And Me).

“The title of the book was stuck in my head for a couple of years, and it wouldn’t go away,” she said. “So I thought, OK, maybe I am supposed to write this book, even just for my own use.”

She said the original plan was to have it for her children, but it was through the urging from friends that she decided to publish it.

“It started – really, just as a nice legacy for my children. Then I let a few people read it and they told me it was really good and I should publish it. So it started small and then grew.”

Hartley, who has lived in Comox for the past three years, said spirituality has played a major role in her life for the past 36 years, and it was front and centre with the book-writing process as well.

“I always say if it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t be able to function quite as well as I have been functioning. July 2, 1984 is when I asked Jesus into my heart,” she said. “This book is about my life, and the interactive relationships within my family… but it is also about how my personal relationship with Christ, and my knowledge of the Bible have helped me and directed me through it all… it gave me the confidence I needed.”

She said every time she faced challenges while writing the book, something would happen to lead her along.

“I have had so many pushes along the way. It took me three years to write and there were times when I would think, ‘Oh, this is a stupid book. Why am I even writing this? Nobody is going to be interested in reading it? Why am I wasting my time?’ And any time those thoughts have come to me, something amazing has happened.”

One particular episode stands out for Hartley.

“I had written an article for BC Magazine way back in October of 2019 and just when I was at my worst, they phoned me up out of nowhere and said they wanted to publish my article. So it was published in the spring of 2020.”

She offered this summary of My Delightfully Dysfunctional Family (And Me).

“It is a book about life, and the twists and turns it takes. It is a book about love, courage, and the undeterred resilience of spirit within the author.”

The book is available at Books for Brains and Blue Heron in Comox.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Vancouver Island marmot is an endangered species. Pictured here, a marmot at Mount Washington. (Black Press file)
VIDEO: ‘Frisky’ Vancouver Island marmots caught on camera

Marmots are catching the eye of researchers when caught on security cameras getting ‘quite frisky’

Karilyn, right, with her older sister, Sabrina. Both siblings are members of the YANA family, after being helped by the community organization on separate occasions. Photo supplied
Siblings both members of the YANA family

Comox Valley non-profit helped Geiger family on separate occasions

A second-floor balcony continues to smoulder after a fire extinguisher was used to get a small balcony fire under control at the Washington Inn Apartments. Brian Hayward, who lives on the third floor, was alerted to the fire by the smell of smoke wafting into his apartment. Photo by Brian Hayward.
Courtenay firefighters respond to balcony fire at Washington Inn Apartments

Firefighters were called out to the Washington Inn Apartments Sunday, April 17,… Continue reading

RCMP forensics investigators scour the site north of Highland School in Comox, where multiple people were stabbed during a party Saturday night, April 16. Photo by Terry Farrell
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Comox bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault near Highland Secondary

Cumberland is surrounded by trees — and logging. Its council is supporting a call to stop old-growth logging in vulnerable areas of the province such as Fairy Creek. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland backs request to save B.C.’s old-growth forests

The Comox Youth Climate Council is asking local governments to take stand

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver In a picture from April 2018. Photo credit, Melody Charlie.
Five western Vancouver Island First Nations celebrate legal fishing victory

Court ruling confirms Nuu-chah-nulth fishing rights in case dating back to 2003

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Most Read