Pilon School of Business
Degree: Advertising Account Management (post grad)
Year of graduation: 2016
Making a splash
How Christine Rees is helping other young writers take the plunge into the world of book publishing
Christine Rees may be a recent Sheridan graduate, but she’s already making a big impression on the writing world: her first published paranormal mystery fantasy novel, The Hidden Legacy, topped the Amazon Best Seller list in Canada and won the 2017 Raven Award for Favourite New and Young Adult Fiction.
Born and raised in Mississauga, Rees moved frequently as a child, and grew to love books and reading as part of her travel routine. Young adult fiction was a particular favourite and an influence on Rees’ writing style from that point forward. “I’ve always dabbled with writing, ever since I was young, and I guess I never grew up,” laughs Rees, who wrote her first book while still in high school. “Young adult fiction is one of those genres that you can play with so much and still find a good story.”
It was during her studies at Western University for media, information and technoculture that Rees discovered another connection to the creative side of copywriting — an interest that would draw her to Sheridan for a post graduate program in advertising account management. “I was fascinated by the emotional impact that advertisements have on people,” she says. Upon graduation in 2016, Rees divided her time between two positions at Sheridan: building Twitter and social communities for the advertising account management program with Peggy Barnwell, the program coordinator and marketing and advertising professor. Rees also worked on advertising copy and search with Sheridan’s digital marketing team, and with other outlets such as Telfie Buzz and Parsel magazine. “I enjoyed the sense of belonging, community and opportunities to inform others on social media,” she says. “It’s an especially important space to be in as an author, to interact with the book community and readers.”
During that time, Rees also worked furiously on finishing her first novel, The Hidden Legacy, which was published in December 2016. Today, she enjoys sharing her experiences with the Sheridan community and beyond as a program ambassador to engage with past, present and potential students. “I love digital marketing and am always looking for a way to blend it in with the writing parts of my life,” she says.
Rees’ ultimate goal is to become a full-time writer, expanding out from the young adult world into guidebooks and other non-fiction areas. She’s also planning a blog to provide young writers with tips and tricks she’s picked up over her whirlwind last year of book publishing, as well as planning her own book tour and putting her digital marketing skills to work promoting the next books in her trilogy. “I have young writers coming to me all the time and saying, ‘I have my first book written, now how do I get it published?’” says Rees. “And I have to break the news that sometimes it’s not the first shot out of the gate that makes it, but it doesn’t mean you need to give up — just maybe change directions.”