Irish Beth Maddock (née Fell) was a columnist for two local newspapers, had stories published in Reader’s Digest Canada, and broadcasted on CHBC Television. She is a published poet and has both performed in and directed plays and musical theater productions. A playwright for a church drama production, her three-part monologue Tapestry helped fundraise over $1,000. So began the realization that she could help raise much-needed funds for great causes with her creativity. The Great Carp Escape is her first published children’s book, and it’s based on the true story of a heroic rescue that took place in Maddock’s beachfront home on Okanagan Lake in British Columbia. The book was a Global eBook Awards nominee, International Indie Excellence Awards Finalist, and International Book Awards finalist.
A member of SCBWI, Inscribe, and The Word Guild, Irish would like to continue doing something about those ideas that get downloaded into her brain at 2:00 a.m.
Irish Beth Maddock has appeared on 100 Huntley Street, CBC Radio, 1075 KISS FM, The Rock 98.5 FM, The Catholic Register, and The Vernon Morning Star.
WAP: The Great Carp Escape is based on a true story. What really happened?
Irish Beth: Back in the 1980s, my family and I lived on Okanagan Lake in Vernon, B.C. One spring, the lake flooded into a pasture beside our home. There was a marsh nearby full of these big, fat, ugly, scaly carp, and being the bottom-dwelling fish, they followed the floodwaters inland. As the lake waters receded, a giant murky pond was left behind full of these carp—and then the pond began to dry up. This is the basis of The Great Carp Escape.
WAP: What made you decide to write this book?
Irish Beth: God has a funny way of downloading ideas into my head at 2:00 a.m., and this was one of them. He shed a whole new light on this childhood memory I had about saving the carp.
WAP: What were some of the responses you heard while working on publishing The Great Carp Escape?
Irish Beth: Though I wrote the manuscript in an hour and a half, it took me three years to figure out how the Lord wanted me to publish it. Initially, after family and friends encouraged me to pursue publishing, I had an editorial company give me their two bits on the manuscript. They were all positive and placed my story on their “recommend to publish” list. Then I had a publishing consultant from the southern United States share with me, in his lovely lilt, “Never did see a boooook about a carp come ‘cross ma desk bafore, but different is goooood.” I felt very encouraged after hearing this gentleman share that with me, so I pressed on with trying to publish my book. Yet it was not until the Lord finally led me to Word Alive Press that I knew I was on the right track. With their backing, my Grade Five dream of publishing a children’s book finally became a reality.
WAP: You mention that your book is an allegory. What is the underlying meaning of your book?
Irish Beth: The Great Carp Escape is an allegory about how Jesus (the dad in the story) brings us (the ugly carp) from dead water to living water and how Jesus thinks we are all wonderful and accepted just as we are. The story helps children see how they can be a voice for the voiceless and how all creatures need to be respected despite outward appearances. In particular, the book shows how knowledge and experience bring about understanding and compassion. The Great Carp Escape also marks a personal healing journey for my life in how the Lord parented me when parents were not around. Also how Jesus cares for all of us, no matter how ugly we may feel, and how He will always be there for us, loving us and caring for us in all our trials, adventures, and sorrows.
WAP: Will there be any more books to come?
Irish Beth: I’m just waiting on the Lord to see if He wishes to continue in the adventures of Beth and Paul. They have had other adventures few worth writing a book about! I’m working on another writing project in the meantime that pertains to my cat-sitting company here in Calgary.
The Great Carp Escape is an award-winning, inspirational fish “tail” based on a true Canadian experience that Irish Beth Maddock had as a child growing up on Okanagan Lake in Vernon, B.C. back in the 1980s. Learn more at irishbethmaddock.com.