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Book prize nominees visit lakecity

Two BC Book Prize finalists will be giving presentations about their books in Williams Lake next week.
Mark Leiren-Young is the author of The Killer Whale Who Changed the World.

Two BC Book Prize finalists will be giving presentations about their books in Williams Lake next week.

Former Tribune reporter  Mark Leiren-Young will talk about his new book The Killer Whale Who Changed the World (Greystone Books) which is short-listed for the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize

Children’s book author Margriet Ruurs, will talk about her new book Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family’s Journey (Orca Book Publishers) which is short listed for the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize.

The book event takes place at the Williams Lake Library Tuesday, April 18 starting at 6:30 p.m.

The authors will also visit students at elementary and high schools in Williams Lake, 100 Mile House, 150 Mile House, Clinton, Lillooet, and Quesnel during their tour.

Ruurs writes books for children, educational material for educators and has studied the use of technology in teaching reading and writing to children.

She loves to work in schools to tell children about being a writer and sharing her love of playing with language.

“I love to use my imagination and to dream up stories,” Ruurs said.

Leiren-Young is a former Tribune reporter and author of Never Shoot a Stampede Queen, which was all about his early experiences as a junior reporter in Williams Lake and is happy to be returning to the community with his latest book.

“When I found out that the BC Book Prizes was sending some of the finalists on tour, I asked if there was any chance I could be considered for Williams Lake,” Leiren-Young said. “I’m thrilled to be coming back to the Cariboo… What could be a more natural fit than talking whales in Williams Lake?”

Leiren-Young said he first fell in love with the story about the killer whale Moby Doll after he left the Tribune.

“I was writing for Maclean’s Magazine and interviewed the world’s most infamous environmentalist, Paul Watson. He (Paul Watson) told me about Moby Doll and I’ve been obsessed by the story ever since,” Leiren-Young said.

“Captain Ahab chased his whale for about three years. I chased my whale for more than 20.”

Leiren-Young says the book tour will be one of the few events over the next month that won’t be about politics, “unless you ask me about what the Kinder Morgan expansion would mean for the orcas.”

Still obsessed with the topic, Leiren-Young said he is now working on a feature length documentary about Moby Doll which he is directing. He is also launching a podcast series about orcas and oceans, Skaana (another famous orca) that he hopes will be available on iTunes by the time he arrives in Williams Lake next week.

More information on the BC Book Prizes is available at