Author Ramona Wildeman, who moved to Kimberley earlier this year, has been selected as one of three finalists in the Children’s Book category for the Canadian Book Club Awards for her book, “Siege of Herons – Collective Nouns Alphabetically.”
Wildeman has been writing for most of her life, recalling her grade 2 report card which said she wanted to be an author. “Seige of Herons” is her first picture book.
“I love words and language. I have always loved collective nouns,” Wildeman told the Bulletin. “There are old words and new words – the exhultation of larks dates back to the 15th century, a holiness of doughnuts is relatively new.
“This book was a finalist in the children’s book category but it is not just for children. It is for all folks that love words and want to share their delight with others. I am on a mission to reintroduce collective nouns back into active language.”
In her pursuit to give collective nouns their proper due, rather than leaning on, say, a “bunch” or even a “flock” of quail, Wildeman has collected 26 particularly captivating collective nouns, which describe a group or a collection of objects, people or animals, and arranged them alphabetically.
This includes a “bevy” of quail, a “quiver” of surfboards and, of course, a “siege” of herons.
“It can be treated almost like a reference book; I envision it sitting on coffee tables and in grandparents’ homes, libraries and schools,” she said.
The Canadian Book Club Awards (CBCA) announced their 2022 finalists on Sept. 21 following what they said was a record-breaking year for them. Winners of the Canada’s largest readers’ choice awards will be release in December of this year.
“With a record number of entries from both trade publishers and independent authors, this year’s awards are a bold reflection of readers’ appetites to have more inclusivity in the publishing world,” said CBCA program director, Kristain Oliveria-Barnes in a press release. “In this era of publishing, who publishes a book has a lot less to do with how great a book is.”
Wildeman said she is “delighted” to be a finalist for CBCA award.
“To have a vision or an idea and then to find a way (with help) to bring it into the world in a tangible format feels almost like a miracle” she said. “To have it land and be well received by others is icing on the cake.”
Wildeman said that she would not have been able to bring this vision to fruition without the support of her friends and family, her illustrator Lou Dahl and the Self Publishing Agency.
“I think this project is a perfect example of having an idea not quite knowing how, or where to proceed, but if you are open to asking for help and tell enough people – things align and help arrives and dreams do come true.”
Originally from the Okanagan and spending much of her working life in Vancouver and Langley, but growing up in a small town, Wildeman said she moved to Kimberley because she is married to a fly fisherman, and the mountain air, small-town life appeal to her.
“I love it here,” she said. “I am taking it all in; the changing of the seasons, the quiet, the deer, the rivers and the views.”
You can buy a hard-copy edition of “A Siege of Herons,” directly from Wildeman’s website anacceptabletime.com or a soft-cover imprint from www.amazon.ca