A Novel Idea

With such a literary family, it was only a matter of time before Maible Matrishon published her very own book.

The Grade 4 student at Golden Horn Elementary School in Whitehorse wrote, photographed and self-published Island Experiences as an e-book in February.

Recently, as a tenth birthday present, her mother Moe Boksa and step-dad Ian Usher surprised her with a paperback version of the book. They also created a website for her to market her book and where she can blog regularly.

“I thought the paperback and website were pretty cool,” Matrishon says. “And it’s a step up from just a Kindle edition.”

Having the finished product in her hand and on the screen is exciting, but writing it was her favourite part.

“I also like reading it over and over again — to see all that I can change and all that’s really good.”

Island Experiences is a fictionalized account of life on Bocas Del Toro, a private island off the coast of Panama, where she and her family have spent the last two winters. The novel follows a girl a little older than Maible as she frolics with sea creatures, enjoys local fruit smoothies, and as the back cover says, “experiences the firsthand joys and pitfalls of buying a private island.”

The impetus for writing Island Experiences came as a result of a projec she worked on while in the Caribbean. While living on the island Matrishon is home-schooled using the Yukon curriculum. Last year, while doing a project on her family history, she learned she is related to the famous mystery writer, Agatha Christie. Matrishon was inspired by Christie, and her parents provided the moral and practical support to complete a book based on their own experiences.

Usher has self-published two memoirs, A Life Sold and Paradise Delayed, and Boksa is writing a series of children’s books as well as Cranberries and Cordwood: The Adventures of Dog Sled Girl about her life in the Yukon.For the moment, however, the spotlight is on Matrishon.

Yukon Education Minister Scott Kent recently commented on her “impressive creativity and energy.”

“My friends think it’s pretty cool too,” Matrishon says.

And so do their parents. After several of her friends’ families asked about publishing their own children’s work, Boksa and Usher set up a new publishing venture for young writers called Fledgling Authors (FledglingAuthor.com). They offer e-book and paperback publishing, as well as basic website services.

Matrishon may very well be a repeat client.

“I like writing stories and I’d like to do more books,” she says.

Agatha Christie wrote nearly 100 works and has sold approximately four billion copies worldwide in many translations. And that was before the digital publishing revolution.

Starting at such a young age, who knows, Matrishon might even outpace that famous relation of hers.

She and her family are hoping to hold a book signing this summer in Whitehorse. Updates will be posted on www.MaibleMatrishon.com. Island Experiences is available for $8.09 on www.Amazon.com.

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