Deana Driver loves sharing stories about Saskatchewan people.
She's a long-time journalist and freelance writer who owns DriverWorks Ink Publishing with her husband, Al. The business venture has allowed the couple to publish the tales of unsung heroes in Saskatchewan and the other Prairie provinces.
Driver has released five books of her own through the publishing company, and other authors have published their stories through the company.
Her desire to tell a story has landed her the status of a best-selling author in Canada.
"Fascinating Prairie people is what I enjoy," she said.
Driver was at the Estevan Public Library on September 20 to discuss her experiences as a writer and the five books that she has released.
“Just a Bunch of Farmers,” which came out in 2001 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Weyburn Inland Terminal, was the first. Then there was "Never Give Up" about Ethiopian runner Ted Jaleta and his journey to living in Canada, which was her first best-seller.
In her next book, "Prairie Pilot," she compiled 100 short stories written by the late Walter Williams, a former resident of Kerrobert who owned an International Harvester dealership and flew his small airplane to help people in need.
Two years ago, she penned "Never leave your Wingman," a best-selling story about seven-time cancer survivor Dionne Warner and Dionne's husband Graham; and "Sailor in the Christmas Trees," an illustrated children's book that she released last year.
Sometimes, the experiences of the people that she has met have helped her out. When she was two chapters away from finishing "Never leave your Wingman," Driver's mother was diagnosed with inoperable liver and pancreatic cancer.
"And that came as a blow to our family; we had no clue that mom was that sick,” said Driver.
She came across the Warners' story after Driver's second child, Lisa, was volunteering at the 2010 Relay of Life in Regina. Dionne was scheduled to speak at the Relay despite battling Stage 4 live, lung and bone cancer.
“The more Lisa told me about Dionne, the more I thought 'This lady might be a book,'” said Driver. “Her story is one of those that I look for. I look for inspiring stories that other people can learn from, and other people can really benefit from.”
Graham and Dionne are fun-loving, honest people with great personalities, Driver said. When Dionne was going through chemotherapy a few years ago, the Warners would dress up in costumes and dance into Dionne's sessions; costumes ranged from Saskatchewan Roughriders gear to western attire to celebrate the Canadian Western Agribition in Regina.
During one of her treatments, Dionne donned war paint and a pink t-shirt that says "Cancer Sucks."
"Never leave your Wingman" includes photos of the Warners in their outfits; the first printing also had a DVD so that people can see what makes Dionne one of the remarkable Prairie residents captured in Driver's books.
Driver is currently travelling across the three Prairie provinces to speak at libraries and schools about DriverWorks, the company's product and the fascinating people the Drivers get to meet.