How far would you allow a stranger to question your life?
Woven around wisdom tales with roots in Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Islamic, and Taoist traditions, When It Matters Most, explores how our framing of relationships, grief, and purpose impacts our own experience and the lives of those around us.
Disconnected, arrogant, and a little too fond of scotch, Simon drifts through the routines of his day, garnering the praise that sustains him. Decades of experience provide a menu of phrases and gestures to soothe and gently manipulate those in his care. His pastoral gifts are particularly evident when he presides at funerals, where he savors equally the admiration of onlookers and the extra paycheck.
Simon’s only point of tension rests with his nineteen year old daughter, Ailish, whom he loves but no longer enjoys. Both are resigned to their cohabitation, enduring as they wait for the day she completes her degree and they are released.
A knock on the office door interrupts the uniformity of his days, when an unfamiliar child challenges Simon over his handling of a eulogy. Transfixed by her unlikely maturity, he continues to listen, even as the child relates a wisdom story. By the time she departs, Simon finds himself no clearer about her identity and far less certain of his own.
With each subsequent interaction with the dying and their families, Simon encounters another enigmatic visitor who compels him to break routines and delve more deeply into his own life and relationships.
Drawing on a background of corporate leadership, mediation, and religious thought, Keven Fletcher works as a storyteller and advisor within a globally diverse, academic community.
Currently serving as the Chaplain and Faculty Mentor at St. Michaels University School, Keven divides his time between public speaking, process facilitation, and exploring life choices with staff and students. An ordained minister within the United Church of Canada, his roles centered on congregational ministry and conflict resolution support. Prior to this work, Keven joined an organizational change and development firm, specializing in values identification and organizational culture within both the private and public sectors. Alongside these endeavors, Keven headed a non-profit that promoted discussion on ethics within the corporate community, including the establishment of a regional ethics award in conjunction with the country’s largest credit union. Keven also served on the boards of outreach societies that focused on providing food, shelter, and services to members of the street community.
When It Matters Most reflects a distillation of all these roles.
The book’s core rests on a series of traditional wisdom tales that Keven learned while preparing messages for his 1000 strong community. Wanting to bring the globally diverse stories to a wider audience, Keven wrapped a narrative around the tales, connected to the life of a disaffected minister. To illustrate the veracity of the wisdom, the novel focuses on the emotional and spiritual complexities of death as a way of shedding light on how we choose to live. Drawing on his direct experience with the dying and their families, along with his time in corporate board rooms and homeless shelters, Keven creates an ensemble of characters that represents the span of the human condition.
In his career, Keven has spoken at gatherings ranging from professional associations and education symposiums to circles of kindergarten students. His current community represents twenty-five countries and five continents. Given the requirements of his role, writing and speaking are a constant part of his life, including contributions of non-fiction work within his field.
Holding degrees in Economics (Bachelor of Arts) and Theology (Master of Divinity and Master of Theology), Keven’s formal academic focus was on Applied Ethics and Corporate Culture. Afterwards, his learning interests expanded to include Mediation, Conflict Resolution, Leadership Theory, Character Education and Professional/Personal Coaching.
Keven lives in Victoria, British Columbia with his amazingly resilient wife of over 25 years. Their daughter is currently completing her Master’s in Ireland, causing him moments of intense jealousy. Over the years, the household has included a series of cats, several Great Danes, and, almost inexplicably, one Miniature Schnauzer. When not speaking or deep in conversation, Keven can be found commuting on his bike, playing with his camera, or enjoying great food with friends.