A local author from Bonnyville has won an international award for a coming of age story called the Butcher Shop Girl.
Carmen Kissel-Verrier was born in rural Alberta, Canada. She lives with her husband and their two children on the shoreline of Moose Lake. These days, she is a technical writer and a graduate of Mount Royal University. but still loves a wild time spent with peculiar people and appreciates a good ribeye steak. She remains fascinated by the diversity of the human spirit which is a great inspiration for writing.
Kissel-Verrier’s book The Butcher Shop Girl: A Memoir for Misfits & Mavericks, will make you expect that it is ok to fully accept yourself. It will crack open your darkest hour, and deepest shame. You’ll see that regular girls lead extraordinary lives, all the time—and in the process, they find themselves. If they’re lucky, they’ll share it with you. That’s exactly what Kissel-Verrier did and her work took home the first-place finish in the Performing Arts category with the International Book Awards, which was just hosted by American Book best in Los Angeles, California.
“One of the things that makes it really exciting is that there are not a lot of literary competitions that are open to anyone outside of the United States,” Kissel-Verrier told Lakeland Connect. “So, this is one that my publisher recommended to me, and entered. We both entered this competition, and with no real expectation to win. Sometimes just becoming a finalist in these types of competitions is really exciting as well let alone, taking a first-place finish.”
Kissel-Verrier beat five other really fantastic titles in her category for the win, and says, “It’s very humbling and flattering.” There were over 2000 titles submitted in the contest.
“I had a very peculiar and completely unique upbringing and coming of age journey so I wrote about it,” Kissel-Verrier said. “The book actually ends when I’m 21-years-old, this is just a block of time, which is focused on my coming of age journey, and my upbringing.”
Kissel-Verrier was raised in a butcher shop in Bonnyville.
“My mom owned a butcher shop for 25 years in our community, she was a single mother, and before that, I was raised on a farm, I was literally raised in a butcher shop,” Kissel-Verrier said. “I learned a lot about life and I learned a lot about relationships, what to do, what not to do in those early years and, yeah, it led me on a pretty interesting journey.”
A Memoir for Misfits & Mavericks has slipped into the hearts of everyone who looks to overcome adversity and to punch the sky in victory.
“I had a most unusual coming of age journey, and I promise that you’ll find this story of persistence and resilience, riveting,” Kissel-Verrier said. “Maybe you’ll find yourself in here somewhere…if you do, I’d love to hear from you.”
For more on the Butcher Shop Girl click here.