Not everyone gets the opportunity to be raised on the shores of a lake, let alone one as well known as Okanagan Lake.
Irish Beth Maddock (née Fell), who grew up in Vernon, says she’s so grateful for her upbringing that she has penned a children’s book based on a memory from her Okanagan childhood.
Maddock’s ties to this community also go back to the day when she was crowned royalty.
In 1994, she became the 34th Queen Silver Star, or Miss Vernon (as the Queen was then known when on duties outside of town).
Maddock now lives in Calgary and has just released The Great Carp Escape.
The book is an allegory based on the true story of a childhood adventure Maddock experienced while growing up on Okanagan Lake during the mid-1980s.
“Many lakes are awash with carp,” said Maddock. “However, there are not too many books about this particular bottom dwelling fish, especially in the children’s realm.”
The book follows siblings Beth and Paul, who are startled by the scaly, moustached fish they find along the shoreline.
Seasons pass, and the siblings avoid the swampy reeds at all costs until a flood brings a life-or-death situation for the carp.
With guidance from their father, the children find a solution to save the fish and its habitat.
Illustrated by Lucent Ouano, The Great Carp Escape has been accepted into The Great Canadian author’s program at Word Alive Press and has been endorsed by Vernon’s own Pet Blog Lady, Lisa Taron.
An illustrator in her own right and an advocate for all animals, Taron has given Maddock’s book two thumbs up.
“I look forward to introducing Irish’s book to the world on my blog,” said Taron, who features helpful articles, stories and promotions on anything to do with pets and animals.
Her Pet Blog Lady site has a following of more than 34,000.
Maddock says her dearest wish is to offer her children’s story as a fundraiser for schools, charities, churches and other ministries. (For more information on how the book may be used as a fundraising opportunity, visit irishbethmaddock.com.)
Distributed by Ingram, The Great Carp Escape is now available at select Canadian book stores, including Chapters/Indigo/Coles in the Okanagan and Calgary. It is also currently available online at Great Canadian Authors, Amazon, and Chapters/Indigo, with both ebook and audio book formats coming soon.
UPDATE: Maddock will be in Vernon to officially launch The Great Carp Escape at Vernon Teach and Learn Saturday, March 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m..
Lisa Taron, The Pet Blog Lady, will introduce the book. The event will also feature live fiddle music, balloons, cake and refreshments.