By Alvin Tsang
A former high school correspondent for this paper is making a name for herself as a published author.
Westboro’s very own Bella Crysler self-published her first book called Bubble Gum & Black Coffee on Jan. 30.
“Growing up, my best friend’s mom was the editor of Kitchissippi Times, and growing up I saw a lot of writers doing really cool things,” Crysler said. “I fell in love with the physical print industry. The newspaper was one of those first inspirations for me.”
Crysler wrote for Kitchissippi Times in 2018 when she was graduating high school, and during that time, she was in the middle of writing a poetry collection that would later become Bubble Gum & Black Coffee.
“The title is meant to symbolize the transition from childhood, where everything is super sweet, and everything caters to you and a quick release of happiness all the time, versus adulthood which you have to learn to like—where it’s like bitter coffee, it grabs you and keeps you awake just because you need to, not because you want to. But, eventually you learn to like it too—and I think that’s all about growing up. That’s what my poetry is all about,” Crysler said.
Crysler wrote her book’s opening poem back in the ninth grade and the book’s final poem right before the time of publication this winter.
“From start to finish, it’s true in my experience and journey, and I hope the same for other people. It tackles a lot of universal themes of growing up, falling in love and learning lessons. It’s deeply personal but widely accessible,” she said.
The book was self-published through Kindle Direct Publishing and is available on Amazon as an e-book and on paperback.
“I’ve sold close to 100 books now, which is amazing. I didn’t really have a sales goal going into it other than not losing money from doing it,” she said.
Crysler is already working on her next novel and is hoping she will have it wrapped up by next year.
“I don’t want to say the title of my next book yet because it’s so tentative. It’s about…well, right now, actually. It’s about seeing things more deeply than the immediate angst of the first book. It’s going to have longer poems, a wide range of topics, and at least 100 poems,” she said.
Crysler is also a co-creative director of the Vogue Charity Fashion Show—Canada’s largest student-run fashion show. The show will run from March 3-5, and it will be livestreamed for national viewing.
There will be 124 performing talents in the fashion show, from dancers to musicians to models, and every aspect of the show is designed and choreographed by students.
Tickets and stream links to the Vogue Charity Fashion Show and the Amazon link to Bubble Gum & Black Coffee can be found on Crysler’s Instagram: @i.m.crysler.