Chasing Smoke up for Atlantic Book Award

Aaron Williams’s debut details one of the former Telkwa Ranger’s firefighting seasons in B.C.

Former Telkwa Ranger Aaron Williams’s debut novel Chasing Smoke has been nominated for the 2018 Atlantic Book Awards.

In October 2017, Williams stopped by his former hometown of Smithers during his book tour.

Chasing Smoke, an account of his 2014 firefighting season — which he thought would be his last — earned a spot on the B.C. Bestsellers List for more than 13 consecutive weeks after it was published.

Now Williams may be able to add the 2018 Margaret and John Savage First Book Award to his list of literary accomplishments.

The new author is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he went to the University of Kings College for his MFA in creative non-fiction writing.

Williams told The Interior News in October what separates this memoir from others is it takes the human aspect rather than the excitement aspect, citing other memoirs overlook that angle.

“I think that a lot of people, when they want to write about these kinds of jobs it’s just about life. Oh, it’s dangerous and hot and scary and dirty and exhausting, but I don’t think the human relationship side is explored as much and that’s much more interesting to me … I think that is the thing that sets it apart,” he said.

Read more: Former Telkwa Ranger writes on life fighting wildfires

The Atlantic Book Awards will be given out on May 10 in Halifax.

–With files from Josh Casey.

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