For children’s author Troy Wilson, the love of writing started early.

“I was a pretty shy kid, ” said Wilson.

“I didn’t have like a huge amount of self-esteem at that age. She zeroed in on my strengths and my interests.”

It took just one teacher.

Mrs Eivindson read Wilson’s book one day during Grade 1 and he was hooked.

“They laughed when they were supposed to laugh,” said Wilson.

“That was a real revelation to me. It planted a seed at the very least. At Grade 2, I knew I wanted to be either a published author or a cartoonist.”

It took nearly 30 years of pushing through self-doubt and rejection from publishers, but he never lost hope.

“I’m actually really grateful that it was rejected because it honestly wasn’t that good,” said Wilson.

After some rewrites, The Sinking of Captain Otter was finally published There are some definite similarities to the 1977 original, and it’s even dedicated to the woman who started it all.

“To Mrs. Eivindson for assigning praising and reading aloud the original version of Captain Otter. And to my six-year-old self,” read Wilson from the book.

“I’m being inspired by myself, which is an interesting thing.”

And in turn, Wilson is inspiring others.

“Whether they’re out there practising hockey, writing, or drawing, whatever it might be, it’s as valuable as what adults are doing,” said Wilson.

“It counts it matters, it matters a lot.”

Kori Sidaway