Student pens first novel

By Katherine Fletcher

With all the required texts, most university students don’t have time to read a novel, let alone write one. However, University of Calgary fifth-year accounting student David Sirtonski has taken up the challenge and penned a novel. His book, Is This the Real World…?, is based on his experience in a co-op accounting program working as an auditor.

At the end of a work term, co-op students are required to write a report describing the skills they learned in the program. When Sirtonski began writing his report, he ignored the requirements and it turned into a humourous reflection of his work experience. Armed with positive feedback, he turned his report into a book.

Besides entertaining readers, Sirtonski’s goal is to inspire people, especially students. He said in the past couple of years inspirational books have been pivotal in his life. He’s always wanted to write one, but never thought it would be this soon.

“I just think it’s made such a difference in my life,” Sirtonski, 22, said of his book. “Helping people is awesome, so doing it on that scale is amazing.”

Sirtonski acknowledges his friends and family’s support in the completion of the book. His uncle, a published poet, helped him with finding contacts. His mother edited the book, while his brother aided with the book’s design and website.

“It was a real family affair,” Sirtonski said.

The book’s ultimate goal, he said, is to have students question their academic and future career choices. He stressed happiness is more important in life than making money.

“It’s tough on students because parents and society are focused on ‘get a job, make money, climb the corporate ladder,’” Sirtonski noted. “No one says ‘find something you like.’”

Sirtonski added that he does not discredit the co-op program in his novel. He said it was a good experience for him, and encouraged students to take part in the program. He is also in negotiations with the U of C bookstore to have his book available on campus.

Sirtonski’s book is published by Art Bookbindery, a self-publishing book company.

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