June 1-11, 2010: Shirlee's Northern tour - Peace River and Grande Prairie AB, to Fort Nelson BC Photo: Shirlee is welcomed to Fort Nelson, BC.
Author reading — 7 pm Tuesday, June 1, Peace River. Featuring many northern aviation stories, including "The Murphys of Musk Ox Lake," the story of Peace River resident Neill Murphy (right), who was in attendance (from Shirlee's newly released book, Amazing Flights and Flyers)
July 2012 -  “Paddle for the Peace” is an annual event in support of the continued natural life of the Peace River downstream from Hudson’s Hope, the site of BC Hydo’s two dams, and in protest against a third proposed dam (Site C) on this beautiful river.
Writer of award-winning fiction and non-fiction Canadian Adventure Books
The Trailer Trash Trio, so named because they practiced at Shirlee's on-location trailer. L to R: Shirlee, Julia and Danielle warming up for their "Instructors' Talent Night" presentation at WordsWorth Writing Camp 2011.
Books Juvenile & Young Adult
Books Non-fiction
Bikers and Bombers 2014 - Nanton Alberta Shirlee regulary attends special events at Bomber Command Museum in Nanton, where her books enjoy super sales.
Shirlee Smith Matheson
Photo Gallery
Shirlee (far right) with her class of storykeepers, WordsWorth Writing Camp 2011.
About Shirlee
Photo: Book table.1 (“This Was Our Valley”, by Shirlee Smith Matheson and Earl K. Pollon, says it all. Book sales of “the dam book” were brisk.)
Shirlee, on location at Fort Nelson Museum meets Marl Brown, founder and creator of the museum and therefore a wonderful source for her research.  Shirlee was fascinated to learn that Marl had sold his beard for $10,000 in order to raise money to build the fabulous Fort Nelson Museum!
“Shirlee attended, and presented her books, at the August 23, 2014, event at Bomber Command Museum, Nanton, Alberta. Photo credit: John Chalmers.”
Reunion 2011 Shirlee, Mavis and Marl Brown
Short Story
2012 - Shady Grove - Out behind the barn
July 7, 2013 - Shirlee on the Western Oasis Stage at the  Calgary Stampede with the Dusty Saddle Gang.
Photo Gallery.
Enjoying a musical evening in Hudson's Hope, BC, August 2011. L to R: Colleen on stand-up bass, June on dulcimer, Ed on guitar, Shirlee on mandolin, Bill on guitar.
Shirlee showing her latest young adult novel to children attending the Calgary Children’s Book Fair held Saturday, November 27, 2010
A happy book buyer!
Thursday, June 10, Shirlee gave readings/workshops to First Nations Reserve, Prophet River - Shirlee with Elders Shirlee is listed In Silhouette: Profiles of Alberta Writers in the on-line Alberta Writers Directory which is found on the Frontenac House website - to read her extended bio go to the bottom of her biography page and see “excerpted from In Silhouette, an ebook about Alberta writers by Bob Stallworthy”
Photo: Shirlee at the Paddle For The Peace-Book Table
Photo: Dr. David Suzuki, guest speaker at Paddle for the Peace, and Shirlee (he had earlier written a letter to the author, commenting favorably on This Was Our Valley, and his wife bought another copy at the event).
Shirlee Smith Matheson has lived in all four Western provinces, and presently makes her home in Calgary.Her nonfiction books bring to life stories of real Canadians - pilots and priests, explorers and engineers, bushmen and prospectors.Her historical teen novels reflect the excitement of phenomenal journeys and major Canadian missions, and introduce readers to very odd places that really existed once upon a time. Her contemporary teen novels are also guaranteed to excite young readers everywhere.
The place for real life adventure books!
Left: Shirlee with Dave Scollard, Frontenac House, with the first copy of Amazing Flights and Flyers
Photo Credit to John Chalmers
Fastback Beach While on probation for stealing a car, Miles Derkach learns about hot rods and rebuilding cars. When the hot rod he is working on is stolen, Miles knows where to look and then has to face up to his friends.  This hard-hitting, high action, young adult novel is centered in the world of hot rod cars - those who own them and others who would do anything to sit behind the wheel of one of these high performance souped-up vehicles.  Orca Book Publishers, Victoria,  2003 softcover: ISBN 9781551432670  List price: $ 9.95 CDN  hardcover: ISBN 9781551435800  List price: $ 16.95 CDN  To Order: contact local book stores, Internet, publisher or author at email listed on this website Awards: Canadian Children’s Book Centre Choice Reviews:  “This book is a good pick for boys who are reluctant readers. From the starting lap through to the finish line, it will rev up their enthusiasm. It’s about fast cars, stripping motors and racing. As an added feature, it creates a space for the reader to think about life choices.” Wendy L. Hogan, Resource Links, p. 40, undated.   “On the young adult front I would have to choose Fastback Beach by Shirlee Smith Matheson. My copies of her Flying the Frontiers series are well-thumbed and I have found that her novels for young adults are instilled with the same adventurous spirit and pithy language.” Rose Scollard, Canadian Bookseller, July/Aug./03More Reviews - Fastback Beach by Shirlee Smith Matheson (Orca Publishers) Extract from Canadian Bookseller magazine, July/August 2003 issue, p. 47, Industry News, "Chatterbox" section:  "Which upcoming fall release(s) are you most looking forward to reading, and why?  A letter from Rose Scollard, the publisher of Frontenac House Limited, Calgary, says, in part: ". . . On the young adult front I would have to choose Fastback Beach by Shirlee Smith Matheson (Orca Publishers). My copies of her Flying the Frontiers books are well-thumbed and I have found that her novels for young adults are instilled with the same adventurous spirit and pithy language.”  "Fastback Beach does a superb job of illustrating the struggles teenagers go through when there is a conflict between what they believe is right and what their friends are doing. This is the story of an adolescent becoming an adult, making decisions, and dealing with the consequences of his actions. Highly recommended." Deanna Einarson, teacher, Springfield Collegiate Institute, Oakbank, MB published in CM Magazine, Vol. X, No. 2 (Sept. 19/03).” "This book is a good pick for boys who are reluctant readers. From the starting lap through to the finish line, it will rev up their enthusiasm. It's about fast cars, stripping motors and racing. As an added feature, it creates a space for the reader to think about life choices." Wendy L. Hogan, published in Resource Links, Jan./04 (given an "E" rating). Top of page Shirlee Smith Matheson 
New Edition
Flying Ghosts Flying Ghosts is a fast paced adventure story set in Northern Canada and Alaska. Fifteen-year-old Jay Smith's quiet life in the Alaska wilderness is shattered when his uncle, Midnight, arrives in his yellow Norseman airplane with news of war. It is 1942, and Canada and the United States have joined forces in a desperate bid to defend North America against Japanese attack. Together the two countries will build a 1,500-mile highway through the wilderness in only eight months. Suddenly Jay's life is filled with adventure and the colourful characters he meets working along the Alaska Highway. As the highway nears completion, Midnight disappears in the Valley of Lost Planes, and Jay sets off to find him. But will a strange old prospector named Goldbug, who guards lost planes, let him into the valley? Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Toronto  ISBN 0-7736-7400-4 List price: $ 7.99 CDN To order: contact local book stores, Internet, Publisher or author at e-mail listed on this website. Awards:  Canadian Children’s Book Centre Choice, 1994 Film rights sold, 2000 Reviews: “Flying Ghosts is a book that makes you want to read faster: you suspect, and it happens to be true, that nothing about this intricate and rapid-paced story will be resolved until the very last page.”  Marie Campbell, Quill & Quire.  Vol. 60, #1, Jan./94  “Adventure abounds in this second young adult novel by Calgary author Shirlee Smith Matheson.  . . . The pace is rapid, the characters many and varied, and the mood in constant flux in this novel of Canada’s North.” Joye Hardman, The Calgary Herald, Nov. 6/93 Shirlee Smith Matheson
Previous Edition
Juvenile and Young Adult
Prairie Pictures “For twelve-year-old Sherri, moving has become a way of life – migrating with her wanderlust family from Calgary to Fort McMurray to Regina. Now she’s preparing to start Grade Six in Gardin, an Alberta prairie town that has recently been shaken from its cowboy culture to become an industrial hub. Sherri must once again meet new teachers, adapt to a new curriculum -- and try to make friends amidst the cultural conflicts found in this wild country.   “Prairie Pictures is told with compassion and stark realism, and portrays a lifestyle that is becoming increasingly common across North America.” Wandering Fox Books, an imprint of    Heritage House Publishing Company Ltd.,  #103, 1075 Pendergast St., Victoria, BC V8V OA1   (website: www.heritagehouse.ca) ISBN 0-7710-5857-8 List Price: $9.99 CDN   More information about Prairie Pictures To order contact local book stores, Internet, Publisher or author at e-mail listed on this website. Previous Edition:   McClelland & Stewart 1989, Toronto, 1994 Awards:  Canadian Children's Book Centre Choice, 1989. Nominated Manitoba Young Readers Choice  Reviews for 1989 edition: “[Matheson’s] appreciation for the Canadian West is clear; she writes of the prairie landscape and of the people and their history with an insider’s view. She also has captured well the rhythm and swing of a young girl’s thoughts.” Deirdre Kessler, The Guardian, Charlottetown, PEI “Going where the job is has become a lifestyle for many families in Canada, and this story shows how it affects some children.” The Independent, Elnora, Ontario “Each chapter deals with an episode in a year in the life of Sherri and her family in a booming village in southern Alberta. The problems of adjustment to the new school and making friends will be shared by many readers and appreciated by others.” CM: A Reviewing Journal of Canadian Materials for Young People. “Matheson’s theme has depth and the reader feels the poignancy of the transient worker and his family.” Kathleen Tripp, Calgary Herald Shirlee Smith Matheson
Jailbird Kid  Angela Wroboski has recently moved with her mother, Connie, from their small hometown into the city to rid them of a dark past. Now Angela must deal with the fact that her home will be anything but "normal." Her dad, the infamous Nick "The Weasel" Wroboski, has served three jail terms for various crimes, including robbery, during her lifetime, and on June 5, Angela’s fifteenth birthday, he's released from a two-year sentence in Fort Gavin Prison. Arriving home with an attitude and attire that's sure to mess up her friendships and future, The Weasel tries in his own way to prove that this time he's going straight. But the influence of the old gang, led by notorious Uncle Al who's now operating an enigmatic "business" that's more than a little shady, remains a constant threat to Nick's future as a family man. When Angela learns that a crime is being planned that could blow apart her family, she must quickly decide how to intervene without breaking her father's code to "never discuss family business outside the home." Dundurn Press  ISBN-10: 1554887046,  ISBN-13: 9781554887040  List price: $ 12.99 CDN  To order: Contact local bookstores, Internet, publisher or author at email listed on this website  Reviews:  "I found myself rooting for Angela as I turned the pages. A touching story and a good read for ages nine to twelve." — Barbra Hesson, Calgary Herald July 4, 2010   ". . . this is an intriguing tale that will not disappoint. The chapters are short, the vocabulary is simple and the action is ongoing.”  — Cindy Matthews, Waterloo Record, August 7, 2010 Shirlee Smith Matheson
The Gambler's Daughter  The Gambler's Daughter is a sequel to Flying Ghosts. Thirteen-year-old Loretta, her six-year-old brother Teddy and their gambling stepfather "Bean Trap" Braden are one step ahead of the law and a band of angry miners looking for revenge. Run out of town for winning more than his share of their wages, Bean Trap and the children jump borders, hide out in ghost towns and stow away on trucks, sleds and trains, dodging sore losers hot on the trail of the winnings. Now Loretta must take the biggest gamble of all and put an end to the pursuit—can she and Teddy get out of the game and start a new life, or are the stakes too high?    Dundurn Press, Toronto Website:  http://www.dundurn.com   ISBN13: 978-1-55002-718-1  List price: $ 11.99 CDN  New printing Dunedurn, 2009 Awards:  Canadian Childrens Book Centre Choice, 1998 Nominated, Golden Eagle Book Award, 2011 - 12 To order: contact local book stores, Internet, Publisher or author at email listed on this website.  Reviews:  “Local authors continue to impress: . . . The Gambler’s Daughter: a Wild West novel for children. Matheson, whose children’s books include Prairie Pictures, City Pictures and Flying Ghosts, has been rightly hailed for her appreciation of the prairie landscape and her ability to capture ‘the rhythm and swing of a young girl’s thoughts.’ She’s done it again.” Ken McGoogan, The Calgary Herald, Nov. 4/97    “The historical period is the 1940s, just after the Americans have entered the war. The Alcan Highway, made necessary by the threat of attack from Japan, is pushing through the wilderness, bush pilots are up, flying by the seat of their pants, but the main occupations are still the frontier ones of trapping and mining. It is an interesting period, and Matheson makes it come to life both in this book and in the parallel one, Flying Ghosts. Youngsters might well get hooked on this one and go on to the other – a useful spinoff. Highly Recommended.” Mary Thomas, CM Magazine (Vol. IV, #17, April//98) Shirlee Smith Matheson
Keeper of the Mountains  Keeper of the Mountains takes place in the rugged wilderness of British Columbia. This historical novel recalls a true account of Charles Bedaux's 1934 Sub-Arctic Expedition, a bizarre attempt to cross 800 miles of rivers, muskeg and mountains using Citroen all-terrain vehicles.  Chris Haldane, a 15-year-old horse wrangler, is hired to accompany this mysterious expedition. But Chris must also make a personal journey— into the sacred twin mountains. There, he dramatically discovers the meaning of being a Keeper.   Thistledown Press, Saskatoon, 2000,  ISBN 1-894345-13-4  List price: $14.95 CDN $10.45 US  Awards:  Canadian Childrens Book Centre Choice, 2000 This book is out of print, to order check Internet or local museums/bookstores for available copies Shirlee Smith Matheson
City Pictures City Pictures is a sequel to Prairie Pictures. To thirteen-year-old Sherri, it seems her family has always been on the move. Leaving behind the prairies of Gardin, Alberta, she and her family are back in Calgary, where her dad has a promising job. Sherri dreads facing yet another new school in the fall, without a single friend in the city. But then she meets Samantha.   Sam has got it all—great looks, personality, and the latest clothes and music. Her friends are away for the summer, so Sam has time to take Sherri under her wing. Sherri is thrilled; she knows that she can learn a lot from Sam, who has an answer for everything. But then Sam and Sherri are accused of shoplifting, and Sherri must look for her own answers—about trust, friendship, and the price of fitting in.    New Edition 2015 Wandering Fox Books an imprint of Heritage House Publishing Company Ltd.,  #103, 1075 Pendergast St.,  Victoria, BC V8V OA1 (website: www.heritagehouse.ca) ISBN 978-1-77203-055-6  Price: $9.95 - 224 pages paperback, 5” x 7” To order contact local book stores, Internet, Publisher or author at e-mail listed on this website.  Previous Edition McClelland & Stewart, Toronto, 1994 ISBN 0-7710-5860-8 List Price: $9.99 CDN Out of print   Awards: Canadian Children’s Book Centre Choice, 1995 Swedish language rights, B. Wahlstroms Bokforlag AB, Stockholm, Sweden, 1995 Shirlee Smith Matheson
New Edition 2015
Previous Edition
LostNew Edition Lost: Unsolved Mysteries of Canadian Aviation Frontenac House, 1138 Frontenac Ave. SW, Calgary, AB, T2T 1B6 ph: 403-245-8588 Website: www.frontenachouse.com Frontenac House Publisher ISBN 978-1-927823 (pbk);  978-1-927823-27-9 (pdf).   224 pgs. Retail: $19.95 Cdn. To order:  contact local book stores, Internet, Publisher or author The story behind the front cover … One of the persistent themes that runs through Lost: Unsolved Mysteries of Canadian Aviation is the baffling enigma of aircraft that completely disappear, sometimes within miles of busy airports and crowded cities, and cannot be found despite desperate and prolonged searches from the air.   Sometimes wreckage is found decades later; on other occasions the aircraft simply vanishes, seemingly forever.   • In 1937, for example, a four-engine bomber leaves the Soviet Union on a highly publicized flight to Anchorage, Alaska to demonstrate the feasibility of a direct air link with North America. The bomber disappears without a trace and has never been found, despite exhaustive efforts that continue to the present day.   • A Cessna 150 goes missing on a flight from Fort McMurray to Red Deer, Alberta; one of the most intensive searches in Canadian aviation history, that lasted three months, took 1200 hours of air time, and covered 54,000 square miles, fails to locate the slightest indication of a crash site or a downed plane.   • A Hudson bomber disappears in a lake in Nova Scotia during the Second World War; despite decades of repeated effort by determined searchers using high-tech equipment, all recovery efforts have encountered nothing but frustration.   • A famous hockey star is lost while flying home from a fishing expedition; despite tremendous publicity, extensive searches and generous reward offers, the aircraft was not found for over 50 years.   • A Trans Canada Airlines (Air Canada) passenger liner is in radio contact with the Vancouver airport, only two and one-half miles from Richmond, and is observed beginning its approach to land, when all contact terminates. The wreckage of the aircraft is not found until 47 years later. How can such disappearances be possible? How can determined, skillful, trained search personnel, using sophisticated equipment, be thwarted in their effort to locate crashed aircraft? The answer, perhaps surprisingly, is that a downed aircraft, especially in mountainous country such as the rugged slopes of western Canada, can be diabolically difficult to spot from the air.   *** Former Edition True Stories of Canadian Aviation Tragedies:  With 10 chapters and over 15 true stories detailing Canadian aviation adventures and misadventures, this collection is sure to bring back memories of major events that captivated the interest, and concern, of people around the world.  Matheson has meticulously researched these stories, adding personal interviews with survivors, or families and friends, to recapture the tenseness of the times.  Chapter titles range from "Flight Plans for Freedom - the story of Ken Leishman, Canada's 'Flying Bandit'", to "Where's Johnny?" that chronicles the disappearance of World War II aviation hero Johnny Bourassa; and "Stalin's Falcons," the mysterious disappearance of one of Russia's top flyers whose big bomber and its crew left the skies in August 1937 while flying from Moscow to Chicago over the North Pole.  Photos and maps accompany the text.  Fifth House Publishers  Fitzhenry & Whiteside Company.  ISBN 1-894856-18-X List price: $ 23.95 CDN This edition is out of print. Reviews: for Lost: True Stories of Canadian Aviation Tragedies“[Lost] relates the harrowing tales of how too many aviators came to grief, the frantic searches to find them, and the sometimes ghostly events which occurred during and following the searches, some of them continuing to this day. Matheson is the author who brought us the acclaimed Flying the Frontiers series, and this well-written book provides solid evidence that her research and writing skills are still intact. . . . It’s bad manners for reviewers to spoil the authors’ surprises and plot twists, so it’s best that you discover them yourself, after you’ve bought Lost: True Stories of Canadian Aviation Tragedies, a suspenseful, enjoyable book.” Bob Merrick, COPA Flight, p. B-14, Jan./06  “Shirlee uses her highly acclaimed writing skills to entice anyone, but most certainly pilots into the depths of an extended search by those of like mind. [She] makes no determinations but carefully leads you to your own conclusions. You may well have survived some of your own tales, and you will certainly enjoy Shirlee’s skill at her craft. She has been described as a writer who has true feelings and understanding of her subjects, especially those dealing with airplanes and pilots.” Capt. John Scott, PX, Retired Airline Pilots of Canada, p. 26, #3, Oct./06 Top of page Shirlee Smith Matheson
Shirlee Matheson with Major Fred McCall, (Retired), O.M.M., C.D., son of Captain Freddie McCall, in attendance at RCAF Mess Dinner, Aero Space Museum, Calgary, AB, 2008.
FormerEdition Cover
A Western Welcome to the World - The History of the Calgary International Airport This large-format book contains over 100 photos, and documents the creation and growth of one of the nations's friendliest and most technologically advanced airports.  Calgary International Airport possesses a wild and wonderful history as well as a promising future.   Cherbo Publishing Group, Encino, CA, USA,  1997 distributed by Temeron Books, Calgary  ISBN 1-882933-16-8    Out of Print Shirlee Smith Matheson
Maverick in the Sky: The Aerial Adventures of WW I Flying Ace Freddie McCall  From the perils of World War 1 aerial dogfights to the daring antics of his post-war barnstorming stunts, the adventures of Captain Freddie McCall, flying ace and maverick Calgarian, come to life in Shirlee Smith Matheson's newest aviation story.  As the top 5th ranked Canadian World War 1 fighting ace, McCall was a true Canadian hero. His wartime accomplishments were amazing, and a testament to his clan motto, Dulce Periculum - Danger is Sweet. His extraordinary flying skills and self-reliant entrepreneurial spirit make him one of Canada's most memorable twentieth-century characters.  Frontenac House 1138 Frontenac Ave. SW, Calgary, AB T2T 1B6 ph: 403-245-8588 Website: http://www.frontenachouse.com  ISBN 978-1-897-181-16-4,  112 pgs.   Retail $9.95 Cdn. To order contact local book stores, Internet, Publisher or author. Reviews: “Flying Ace – Storied Life of pilot recorded in new book” “The photo of an open cockpit biplane precariously lodged atop a carousel at the 1919 Calgary Exhibition is titillating . . . Who was this maverick pilot who so skillfully avoided catastrophe that day and continues to spark our imaginations today? . . . This balanced view of McCall is a product of extensive research Matheson conducted while preparing an exhibit for the Glenbow Museum [which] has chosen Captain Freddie McCall to personify wartime flying and early aviation in Alberta.” Pamela McDowell, Neighbors, The Calgary Herald, p. 1, Jan. 24-30/08  “Shirlee Matheson does a highly credible job recounting the story of one of the most successful fighter pilots of World War I. . . . This very well-written book is a great tribute to a great aviator who is as important as Bishop and Collishaw in achieving so many victories against the German Luftwaffe. A great book, an easy read, and an excellent insight into Canada’s aviation history.” Capt. John Scott, PX, Retired Airline Pilots of Canada, #3, p. 27, Oct./07 Photo to left - Shirlee and Fred teamed up for many presentations depicting the life of Fred’s father, Captain Freddie McCall, chronicled in Shirlee’s book, Maverick in the Sky: The Aerial Adventures of WWI Flying Ace Freddie McCall. This photo was taken by John Chalmers at the Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society held in Edmonton, AB, in 2011. Fred and crew built a full-scale replica of the Curtiss Jenny that his father had so expertly stalled on the merry-go-round at the Calgary Exhibition & Stampede in 1919. The amazing event is depicted on the cover of Maverick in the Sky. The aircraft reproduction and complementary pictorial display are on permanent display at the Glenbow Museum’s “Mavericks of Alberta” exhibit.   Sadly, Fred (born December 24, 1928) passed away on March 26, 2013. Shirlee Smith Matheson
Shirlee Smith Matheson and Earl K. Pollon (Detselig/Temeron Books). This award-winning book was released in a brand new edition with an update that details the ongoing effects of a mega project, in this case the monstrous W.A.C. Bennett Dam and its Williston Lake reservoir on the Peace River in northeastern British Columbia.
Shirlee and Dave Scollard, Frontenac House, with the first copy of Amazing Flights and Flyers.
Youngblood of the Peace  Youngblood of the Peace tells the true adventures of an Oblate priest who lived with Cree, Saulteaux and Beaver Indian people of BC and Alberta. It is a book rich with stories of the old ways, of the new ways, of ingenious and sometimes startling methods used by this Oblate priest to attract his parishioners to the churches he built in the North.  Youngblood of the Peace is a journey, a story about a dwindling race. It is the story of the Peace, and of one of the pioneers who could never leave. A book that captures an era, a place, and a society that has become "lost in time.” ISBN 1-55059-033-2 List price: $14.95 CDN 235 pages This edition is published by Detselig Enterprises., Calgary, AB; however, this company is no longer in existence. Awards:  Honourable Mention, Alberta Nonfiction Awards, 1987 (first published by Lone  Pine Publishers, Edmonton, 1986)  One Act Play, Fringe Festival, Edmonton, 1988  Order: this edition is out of print.  Check local museum gift shops or Internet for remaining copies. Reviews: “Matheson Arrives With Youngblood.” “Many books published in Canada never sell 500 copies. Calgary writer Shirlee Smith Matheson not only sold twice that many of her first work recently, but she did it in a single week. She sold the 600 copies she’d brought [to the official launch in Fort St. John] and drummed up orders for 400 more. . . . With Youngblood of the Peace Matheson has arrived. She’s going to be around a long time.” Ken McGoogan, The Calgary Herald, E5, Nov. 9/86  “Youngblood’s Colorful Career” [The book] is like a trip home – not over super-highways but by the muddy back roads. . . . [It] is more than a single snapshot. It is a well-preserved family album of the Mighty Peace.” Western Catholic Reporter, p. 16, Feb. 9/87  “Youngblood of the Peace is rich with stories of the old ways, of the new ways, of ingenious and sometimes startling methods used by this Oblate priest to attract his Indian and white parishioners to the churches he built in the north of Alberta and British Columbia. [It] is a journey, a story about a dwindling race. It is the story of the Peace, and of one of the pioneers who could never leave.” The Cornerstone, Journal of the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation, Vol. 10, #1, Spring/87. Shirlee Smith Matheson
A Royal Balance:  The Life and Times of Hal Wyatt  Frontenac House,  1138 Frontenac Ave. SW, Calgary, AB, T2T 1B6  ph: 403-245-8588  Website: www.frontenachouse.com  ISBN 978-1-927823-04-0 (bound);  456 pgs.  Retail: $35.00 Cdn.  “I never thought of philanthropy as an obligation, just an opportunity to help people over a rough spot. I still from time to time come to realize that things are not going well and I ask, ‘Can I help?’” Hal Wyatt.  This simple quote exemplifies Hal Wyatt’s philosophy, and his prairie heritage. While honoring personal commitments to his country through service in the Second World War, to his lifelong employer – the Royal Bank of Canada – and equally to his family, friends, and community, Hal’s sense of honor and humour combine to bring a very personal story to light. The awards that came, unbidden, to honour his achievements were numerous: the Order of Canada, the Alberta Order of Excellence; the Queen Elizabeth Silver, Gold and Diamond Jubilee medals; the 125thAnniversary of Confederation medal; two Honorary Doctorates (University of Saskatchewan and University of Calgary); and chairmanships on numerous corporate and philanthropic boards. This is the story of one of our most modest, and honored, Canadians. Hal Wyatt’s story is a gem!   ***  A Royal Balance – book overleaf The word “balance” is an honest and open word: it involves looking after multi-faceted endeavours so all will benefit and none suffer. It is not an easy talk, especially when one must manage an ever-escalating career that engenders many transfers, much travel, and ability to successfully deal with the bosses and coworkers, and maintain solid relationships with family and friends.  Further, in Hal Wyatt’s life, the term “royal” begs to be paired: his association with the Royal Canadian Air Force, with the Royal Bank, his close association with Mount Royal University, as chairman emeritus of the Mount Royal Foundation and namesake of Mount Royal’s Wyatt Recital Hall and music series. And then there were his frequent meetings with members of the Royal Family, starting with the arrival in Hal’s home town of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, of King George and Queen Elizabeth in 1939, which also gave rise to Hal’s entrepreneurial attempt regarding the manufacture and sale of periscopes so people could better view the carriage. His meetings with the Duchess of Gloucester while Hal was stationed in Yorkton, and later with Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles, added further to this royal association. And, intertwined with Hal’s career, his board chairmanships, his philanthropic works, was his family: his love for Marnie his wife of 62 years; his children Andrea, David and Kathy, and his ten grandchildren. Throughout, and vitally important to Hal, are his friends. Hal never forgets a name, is an often-heard comment, or to send a card or make a phone call to ask how they’re doing. At nine-two years of age in 2013, Hal is active, alert…and fulfilled. Hal’s story recalls challenges met and – most often – overcome, with humor, down-to-earth philosophy, and astute knowledge of the world of finance.  ORDER: Order through your local book store, from the publisher or from the author.
More Information from Glenbow
Flying The Frontiers Volume I, A Half Million Hours of Aviation Adventure    Flying The Frontiers Volume I, A Half Million Hours of Aviation Adventure, brings to life tales from the log books and journals of people for whom aviation is a way of life. These intrepid and independent pilots, engineers, aircraft salvagers, and smoke jumpers tell of their adventures and misadventures over the endless bush and forbidding barrens of Canada's North, allowing readers a rare glimpse at a unique way of life that has taken these men and women across Canada and around the world.  Told firsthand by the people who experienced them, these are wondrous aviation tales of near-misses and amazing successes, heroism and foolishness, innovations and renovations, where the element of risk is part of every flight plan. Now in its fifth printing!  Fifth House, Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Toronto This book is currently out of print. To Order: check Internet or local museums/bookstores for available copies Hardcover:  ISBN-10: 1895618460;  ISBN-13: 978-1895618464 Softcover:  ISBN-10:  1895618517:  ISBN-13/EAN: 978895618518    Reviews: “Portraits of ‘Positive Attitudes” “Ever since she lived in the Peace River country, explains Shirlee Smith Matheson in her preface, she wanted to write about the kind of people she met there – people who ‘through hard work and positive attitudes, tackled jobs that more practical people would never dare.’ . . . What is the common denominator? Adventure says the author, and her book assuredly bears out this assessment.” Virginia Byfield, Alberta Report, p. 47, Dec. 12/94  “The author has discovered 12 people and woven a thread around them: in various ways they have contributed to the pioneering of aviation in Canada during the period from the 1920s to the 1990s. All have flown the frontiers of Canada, be it bush flying, instructing, barnstorming, crop spraying, opening up the Arctic, or outfitting in the Rockies. . . . This is a good book for anyone interested in some unusual detail of aviation development in Canada due to the fortitude and ingenuity of some of these pioneers.” Grahame Inglis, Airforce, p. 55, April/95  “Flying the Frontiers encourages browsing: its themes and issues …are presented subtly, and await discovery. Matheson’s skillful handling of narrative creates the impression, in most places, of indirect involvement in the story, but her presence is never intrusive.” Geoff Cragg, CBRA (Canadian Book Review Annual), Transportation 5079, undated. Shirlee Smith Matheson
Amazing Flights and Flyers The latest in Shirlee Smith Matheson's popular Canadian aviation stories, Amazing Flights and Flyers, is a fascinating collection of adventures ranging from aerial hijackings to secret Nazi weather stations in Labrador, from the missions of the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association to an incredible aerial rescue expedition in the Antarctic. Every story is different, every story is astonishing, and every story is completely true!  Frontenac House Publishers, Calgary ISBN 978-1-897181-29-4 List price:  $19.95 plus GST To Order: contact local book stores, Internet, Publisher or author. Reviews   "In this compendium of short stories the author has meticulously researched each and every fact to ensure accuracy . . . and spun them into some fifteen easily read stories." Captain John R. Scott, Editor, Px Magazine, and Airforce Magazine, Spring 2010  “If you are looking for an engaging read this is the book for you. Matheson provides some fifteen stories, mostly dealing with the North and all examining the excitement and dangers of aviation and of the pilots and engineers who were part of the story of aviation history.  . . . This is a great book.” Editor, Alberta History, Spring 2010  “History and Mystery – Romping through the decades with Shirlee Smith Matheson” “[This author] has brought us several general aviation books which celebrate the achievements of Canadian aviators who have been so important in helping to build the Canada we know today. Recently she released a book entitled Amazing Flights and Flyers that continues her penchant for seeking out offbeat stories that illustrate just how important aviation and aviators were to our country’s development.  . . . The stories are all good. And if variety is your pleasure, this is the book for you.” Bob Merrick, COPA Flight, B14, July/10 Top of page Shirlee Smith Matheson
Country Roads  Country Roads, Shirlee's story "Valley Girl”, appears in this anthology, published by Nimbus Press ISBN 9781551097596288 pages $19.95 "Honest Brave Tales from just plain folks . . . a compelling new anthology that pulls together 34 engaging stories . . . that highlight the shared experiences of rural life. Some entries are only a few pages, flashes of memory filled with meaning. Former Manitoban Shirlee Smith Matheson eloquently writes of her childhood near Riding Mountain National Park, sharing short but evocative stories and family and loss." — Julie Kentner, Winnipeg Free Press, June 19, 2010 Shirlee Smith Matheson
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This Was Our Valley  Co-authored with Earl K. Pollon, this book reveals the economic, social and environmental impact of a mega-project—the WAC Bennett Dam, then the world's largest earth-filled dam, built in the 1960s to harness the power of the mighty Peace River. Readers will come to know the people and places now buried beneath 600 feet of water in the dam's reservoir, known as Williston Lake.  The potential of Hudson's Hope, the third oldest community in British Columbia, has been a recorded fact dating from the diary notes of Alexander Mackenzie and Simon Fraser. The book deals with the conflicts that arose when a particular area became valuable to the rest of the world. Pollon and Matheson, who know the area intimately, tell the story. The dam's influence is carefully explored and well-documented as Pollon and Matheson resurrect the true stories that lie buried beneath the waters of Williston Lake. The winner of the 1990 Alberta Nonfiction Award and finalist for the Roderick Haig Brown BC Book Prize.  BC Hydro is currently conducting hearings on the environmental and economic aspects of building a third dam on the Peace River, called “Site C”. Read This Was Our Valley to gain a definitive view of this plan, and of the inside story of the WAC Bennett and Peace Canyon dams already operating on the Peace River.  This 2003 edition of this book was been completely  updated from earlier edition published in 1989.  ISBN 1-55050.244-0.  331 pgs; 86 bxw photos,  This edition was published by Temeron Books Inc., Calgary, AB; however, this company is no longer in existence.  Suggested Retail Price $24.95  Order: This edition is out of print. Check local museum gift shops or Internet for remaining copies.   Reviews: “This book may be compared with that of James Wilson (People in the Way, UofT Press, 1973) in which he describes ‘the reality of the Columbia River project in relation to the people of the Arrow Lakes region’ of southeast BC. In This Was Our Valley, Pollon and Matheson seek to do the same thing with respect to the Peace River projects and the people of Hudson’s Hope and the upper Peace region. One difference is that Wilson wrote as an outsider looking in (he had been an employee of BC Hydro based in Vancouver), while Pollon and Matheson write as insiders looking out.” J.D. Chapman, B.C. Studies, #86, Summer 1990.  “This book is attractively produced and well-illustrated. It deserves to be in all collections of works on western Canadian science and history.” W.A.S. Sarjeant, Dept. of Geological Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, Geoscience Canada, p. 179, Vol. 18, #4, Dec./91  “I like this book and recommend it to anyone who is interested in reading about dam-building controversies. It’ll probably leave you dam mad.”  Anne Capune, Wilderness Alberta, Vol. 19, #4, 1989. Top of page Shirlee Smith Matheson
Flying The Frontiers Volume III, A Half Million Hours of Aviation Adventure  This volume captures stories from all sides of the flying field—old stories and new, heroic and imprudent, in peace and in war. These aviators and engineers have taken to the air in fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, and even in a space shuttle.  Among the people you will meet are wartime flyers, one who flew with the famous Flying Tigers over the Burma Hump, another who spent most of the war in a German POW camp, where he participated in "The Great Escape"; a BC costal pilot with a hemorraging patient aboard, who was forced to seek harbor on the black, choppy waters of an unknown channel; a helicopter pilot who awoke from a nap to discover a polar bear poking its nose into the other seat; a Fort Nelson flyer fighting to preserve his local airport, and the airline he built there, as Transport Canada follows its mandate to sell off its airports; a northern bush pilot and engineer, who has turned his knowledge of aviation into everlasting works of art, which grace all three covers of Flying the Frontiers and two Canadians who embrace space, one as an educator, the other as an astronaut for NASA.  Detselig Enterprises,  Calgary, AB, 1999  ISBN 1-55059-176-2  Suggested List price: $19.95 CDN  This publishing house no longer exists, and this book is currently out of print. To order: check Internet or local museums/bookstores for available copies. Reviews: “They may not be in the Hall of Fame, but these people made history too!” “This book brings to light many fascinating people with spellbinding stories about flying in the long, and not-so-long-ago past. There’s action, there’s drama, there’s romance, and above all, there’s an enduring love of flying that has withstood the test of time. It’s a book that will appeal to anyone with even a passing interest in aviation, and help them understand those who had a passionate interest in aviation.” Bob Merrick, COPA Flight, p. 23, March/00. “The great variety of subjects – from fledgling commercial outfits, to aviation art, to the tragic end of a flight to Antarctica – makes this book an important addition to the history of flying . . . Matheson’s descriptions of difficult flights, dangerous landings, or simply a love of flying are written with true feeling and understanding for the situations and decisions flyers and engineers had to make.” Patricia A. Myers, CBRA (Canadian Book Review Annual) p. 439, 2000 edition. Shirlee Smith Matheson
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Flying The Frontiers Volume II, A Half Million Hours of Aviation Adventure Climb aboard and get ready for takeoff on an extraordinary journey with some of Canada's most striking storytellers—our pilots. Flying The Frontiers Volume II, More Hours of Aviation Adventure, presents true life tales of professional and pleasure pilots, engineers and many others who push beyond the traditional boundaries. This volume continues the story of a disappearing era as aviation brings the trappings of modern life into the back of beyond, leaving fewer frontiers. It shows the impact of these explorations on both the environment and the people who make the bush and the barrens their home.  These are stories of people who view our country from the air, men and women in love with flying and with the unique challenges that flying brings to them—negotiating a landing among ice floes in the Arctic Ocean, maintaining and repairing airplanes in 60-below weather, converting World War II reconnaissance planes to fire-fighting vehicles, hauling 7 million day-old chicks to Cuba or seeding clouds for the Shah of Iran.  Detselig Enterprises,  Calgary, AB, 1996  ISBN 1-55059-131-2 Suggested List Price: $19.95  CDN This publishing house no longer exists, and this book is currently out of print.  To order: check Internet or local museums/bookstores for available copies. Reviews:  “Bush Pilots Should Never Fly From Our Memory” “What makes this book unique is that Matheson has not only zoomed in on the bush eagles, who developed flying techniques undreamed of by aviators in the more civilized parts of the world, but also presented the stories of people who played supportive, yet important roles: engineers, aircraft mechanics, radio operators. . . . Still, the chances are that where wilderness survives, a pioneering pilot will turn up, ready and eager to be of assistance – and to retell a few good yarns in the bargain.” Jacek Malec, The Calgary Herald, p. B11, Aug. 31/96 “Canada’s Contribution” “The author has chosen some true Canadian characters to highlight, and the descriptions of her subjects are so complete that if feels like the reader has purchased 17 complete biographies instead of just one book with 17 chapters. It is evident that a lot of time and effort went into the research and writing of this book. The result is worth the reader’s attention. . . . Overall, it’s an entertaining and enjoyable book, especially if you like reading about flying almost as much as actually doing it yourself.” Jennifer Gwosdof, Private Pilot, USA, Feb./.97 Shirlee Smith Matheson
Literary Logbook for January 2015   Events open to the public are noted: Join Me If You Can!  Events are continually being arranged. Please check this page reqularly for new information
Action January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 Thursday, March 5 to Sunday March 8, 2015:  Member Attendee, Women in Aviation International Conference, Dallas, Texas. April 2015 Thursday, April 2, 2015, 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon): presenter, University of California, San Bernardino College of Extended Learning (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute), "Writing and Publishing Your First Book" (Faculty Lecture Class at the LGBT Community Center of the Desert, 611 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Suite 201, Palm Springs CA). Contact: Edward Lopatin: e-mail:  EJPSCA@dc.rr.com Saturday, April 18: Presenter: 2015 Foothills Young Authors Conference, École Highwood High School, High River. Contact for information: Mary Donaldson Organizing Committee Member, Young Author's Conference 2015; e-mail: donaldsonm@fsd38.ab.ca  Saturday, April 26: Presenter, Calgary Young Writers Conference, Crescent Heights High School. Contact for information: (Webpage should be up and running with this years information by the new year!) http://www.calgaryywc.com May 2015 Saturday May 2, 2015 "Authors for Indies” - Monkeyshines Children’s Books and Toys, 113, 2215 - 33 Ave SW, Calgary, AB  T2T 1Z9  Phone: (403) 240-1723  Email: monkeyshines@telus.net (Time TBA) Tuesday, May 12, 2015, 7:00 p.m. (presenter): Calgary Smorgasbook!  A Youth Literature Buffet, Cardel Theatre, 180 Quarry Park Blvd S.E., Calgary, AB (an evening of showcasing new works by artist members hosted by Young Alberta Book Society).  Admission to this event will be by donation of non-perishable items to the Calgary Food Bank.  Contact: Jennifer Plamondon, YABS.Email: info@yabs.ab.ca, or call 780-422-8232. Wednesday May 20, 2015,  7:00 p.m.: Speaker, Canadian Women in Aviation, Alberta-Rocky Mountain High Chapter.  For information: Contact Brenda Blair, Email: rmhexecutive@hotmail.com June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 Events are continually being arranged.  Please check this page regularly for new information. For direct bookings for author readings and/or writing workshops: phone: 403-283-0843 or email author. Jan       Feb       Mar       Apr       May       Jun       Jul       Aug       Sep       Oct       Nov       Dec Top of page Shirlee Smith Matheson
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Biography Shirlee Smith Matheson’s definition of success is being “a story keeper” – writing adult nonfiction biographies as well young adult novels that add to society’s collective knowledge. Shirlee has lived on farms in Manitoba near the Riding Mountains, and in Alberta west of Sylvan Lake; and in urban areas ranging from Lacombe, Alberta; to Vernon and Hudson’s Hope, British Columbia; in Australia; and in Calgary.  Shirlee’s enrollment in writing programs at the Banff Centre afforded her the privilege of meeting, and having as instructors, some of Canada’s top writers: W.O.Mitchell, Alistair MacLeod, Irving Layton, Robert Kroetsch, Richard Lemm, Phyllis Webb and Orm Mitchell. She further attended summer programs at the Iowa School of Writing.  The advice she received from these instructors and mentors has served her well. As of 2014, Shirlee has had 18 books published; further, several titles that went out of print following several reprints are currently being edited, updated and released by new publishers. “It’s great to see these books gain new life,” Shirlee says. “They had become ‘old friends’, not only to me but also to readers who refer to these stories that they had read when they were younger and were now interested in purchasing copies for their children or younger friends. Yes, my writing career has now spanned a couple generations of readers!”  The latest in Shirlee Smith Matheson’s popular Canadian aviation stories, Amazing Flights and Flyers, is a fascinating collection of adventures ranging from aerial hijackings to secret Nazi weather stations in Labrador, from the missions of the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association to an incredible aerial rescue expedition in the Antarctic. “Every story is different, every story is astonishing, and every story is completely true!”  Shirlee's literary material is in the University of Calgary Library Special Collections at: Shirlee's Literary Material Non-Fiction  Lost: Unsolved Mysteries of Canadian Aviation, Frontenac House 2015  A Royal Balance: The Life and Times of Hal Wyatt, Frontenac House 2013.  Amazing Flights and Flyers, Frontenac House, 2010  Maverick in the Sky: The Aerial Adventures of WW I Flying Ace Freddie McCall, Frontenac House, 2007  Nonfiction titles currently out of print:  Lost: True Stories of Canadian Aviation Tragedies, Fifth House Publishers, (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Toronto) 2005 Youngblood of the Peace, Lone Pine 1987, reissued Detselig/Temeron Books 1991 (currently out of print)  This Was Our Valley, Detselig/Temeron Books, 1989, reissued 1991, 2003, co-author Earl K. Pollon (currently out of print)  Flying the Frontiers-A Half Million Hours of Aviation Adventure, Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 1994, 7th printing 1997 (currently out of print)  Flying the Frontiers Vol. II, More Hours of Aviation Adventure, Detselig/Temeron Books, 1996, reissued 1997 (currently out of print)   Flying the Frontiers Vol. III, Aviation Adventures Around the World, Detselig/Temeron Books, 1999 (currently out of print)  A Western Welcome to the World – The History of the Calgary International Airport, Cherbo Publishers, 1997 (currently out of print)  Young Adult  Fastback Beach, Orca Book Publishers, 2003; 7th reprint 2013  Jailbird Kid, Dundurn Group, 2010  Prairie Pictures, McClelland & Stewart Inc., 1989, re-issued 1994;  New updated edition released by Heritage House Publishing., 2014  City Pictures, McClelland & Stewart, 1994, B. Wahlstroms Bokforlag, Sweden 1995; new updated edition,  Heritage House Publishing Co., 2015  Flying Ghosts, Stoddart, 1993, re-issued Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2005  The Gamblers Daughter (sequel to Flying Ghosts), original printing Beach Holme, 1998; updated printing Dundurn Group, 2009  Keeper of the Mountains, Thistledown Press, 2000 (currently out of print)  Awards  Canadian Children’s Book Centre Choice Awards for Teen Novels, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2003  Athabasca University Distinguished Alumni Award, 2001-2002  Emerald Award for Environmental Excellence, finalist, 2001,  Northern Lights College, British Columbia: Honorary Associate of Arts degree, 2001  Canadian Award in Aviation, 99s Organization of Women Pilots, 1999  Alberta Culture First Prize for Non-Fiction, 1990  B.C. Book Prize, Roderick Haig-Brown silver award, 1990.  SPEAKING & WRITING WORKSHOP TOPICS (SOME EXAMPLES):  “History and Mystery”  Not your detective-style mysteries -- but stories of real-life people, places, and predicaments! In this busy workshop, you will learn how to find, enrich, and write about characters and events that keep readers turning the page; how to seek out sensational and undiscovered stories through research and interviews; and turn real-life tales into exciting dramas. Discover the story’s exciting “take-off” point that catapults readers into your literary world; the significance of involving the five senses; understanding “comic-book action” --while bringing “what if” imagination to the page. Come prepared to write, discuss, and share your adventurous ideas! “Mining for Gold” – discovering treasures in biographies and memoirs ! What would you do if someone asked you to write their life story? How would you start? With a “hook” of course – a fascinating incident that immediately captures the uniqueness of that person. In this class we’ll discover how to zero in on that exciting take-off point, and how to interview people to discover their inner wealth. Through class exercises, we’ll explore intriguing places (setting), learn to write about out-of-the-ordinary people (characters), and weave exciting stories (plots) to create important and meaningful stories about the people around you, from family and friends to local heroes! Pure gold!  Other topic titles:  o   “Finding where you fit – and getting there” o    How to Prepare for Public Readings - School Visits & Workshops,  OR: o   "Hello! I'm Your Live Author!”  o   The Good Old Days: Telling Old Stories To New Audiences  * Author’s talks can be revised to capture a particular audience’s interest and time allotted. Contact me at my email address listed on this website. Extended Biography Top of page Shirlee Smith Matheson
Contact - Let’s get excited about books How to Host a Book Tour Visit or Workshop  Shirlee Smith Matheson gives presentations to: colleges, writers' organizations, seniors' groups, aviation clubs, etc. and will visit libraries and schools Grades 1-12. You can contact me to book a visit by email.  Shirlee Smith Matheson bio:  “Adventures and mysteries abound in Shirlee Smith Matheson’s 20 award-winning teen novels, nonfiction books, short stories and plays. For her aviation mysteries, and wilderness and urban dramas, she meets, researches, and then writes of characters that live on the edge. Learn how you can turn real life stories into exciting dramas through opening your eyes and ears to the sensational stories all around us.”   MINING FOR GOLD  Shirlee Smith Matheson What would you do if someone asked you to write their life story? How would you start? With a “hook” of course – a fascinating incident that immediately captures the uniqueness of that person. In workshop classes we’ll discover how to zero in on that exciting take-off point, and how to interview people to discover their inner wealth. Through in-class exercises, we’ll explore intriguing places (setting), learn to write about out-of-the-ordinary people (characters), and weave exciting stories (plots) to create important and meaningful stories about the people around you, from family and friends to local heroes! Pure gold!  Stories of real Canadians are brought to life in Matheson's nonfiction books—priests, pilots, explorers, engineers, bushmen and prospectors—their adventures excite readers of all ages.  By combining readings from her books with inter-active workshops, Shirlee Smith Matheson will visit groups, from grades one through to adults, to introduce them to techniques for writing fiction and nonfiction. Compatible grade groups (1-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12) are requested, with maximum attendance at readings, 100; at workshops, 25. All that's needed is a library or classroom, a table, a black/white board—and a roomful of potential writers.  Call:  Simply phone the author at 403.283.0843, to discuss your needs and set a date. You may have to call several months in advance to get a booking on a specific date. October and November are always the busiest months. Check "action" the Literary Log page for a suitable date. This page is kept up to date on a regular basis.  Young Alberta Book Society:  Alberta schools, libraries and organizations could also allow the Young Alberta Book Society (YABS) in Edmonton to handle arrangements. Membership is $50, including GST, per year and YABS will provide the funding for mileage and accommodation during October. Trailblazers bookings open May 1 and run to late September. Call 780.422.8232 or visit their website: http://www.yabs.ab.ca  Young Alberta Book Society, 1759 Groat Road, Edmonton AB, T3M 3K6  Phone: 780-422-8232 Readings:  Readings may also be arranged through The Writers Union of Canada. Phone: 416.703.8982, or email for information to info@writersunion.ca Writers Union Website Preparation for Visit:  After you have set the date, it is beneficial to prepare the students by reading some of the author's books ahead of time. The students will be curious and excited about the visit, and can then make up a series of questions to ask the author. If you cannot purchase the books from your local book store or library sales supplier, please use the Order Form: To make arrangements for a visit please Email: shirlee@telusplanet.net.                Please note that audio or video taping during presentations is not allowed.   Reading Duration:  One-hour (two per half-day). Maximum 100 students per reading audience. $300 per half 1/2 day = 2 readings (plus travel/accomodation), prefer 1/2 day (i.e., two one-hour readings, or one two-hour workshop)  Workshop Duration: Two hours (one per half-day). Maximum 25 students per workshop. $300 per workshop (plus travel/accommodation).  How to Book:  Direct bookings for author readings and/or writing workshops: phone: 403.283.0843 I look forward to hearing from you  Events are continually being arranged. Please check the Literary Log Action page regularly for new information.  Palm Springs Writers Guild Links Book a speaker Search by topic Top of page Shirlee Smith Matheson
Maverick paperback on amazon.com
Amazing Flights paperback on Amazon.com
Photo by Elisa Sereno-Janz (My violin teacher)
Review Article by Captain John Scott, October 2007 issue of Px magazine, Retired Pilots of Canada  For information about Retired Airline Pilots of Canada go to   Review:  - Maverick in the Sky by Shirlee Smith Matheson (Frontenac House)  ISBN 978-1-897181 16-4.  Price: $9.95.  "On March 28, 1918 [Freddie] McCall recorded his third victory while on artillery patrol over Allied lines at 3,000 feet. He observed two Rumpler two-seaters cross the line, very low and later reported, 'I dived on the rear machine and fired 200 rounds at 100 yards range...'" is but one of the introductory paragraphs Matheson introduces to the reader as she parades through but one McCall's thirty seven (or as many as 44) kills.  Shirlee Matheson does a highly credible job on recounting one of the most successful fighter pilots of World War I. She chronologically develops the story of Freddie's long history from his Calgarian birthright until his tragic death due to a blood clot that had resulted after a car accident in January, 1949.  It was some seven years after his passing that the Calgary Aviation Commission recognized Freddie by naming the airport as McCall Field, in his honour. He was also inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame and was celebrated as the People's Choice for outstanding Citizen of the Century.  This very well written book is a great tribute to a great aviator who is as important as Bishop and Collishaw in achieving so many victories against the German Luftwaffe. A great book, an easy read, and an excellent insight to Canada's aviation history.  Shirlee Smith Matheson is a Calgary-based free-lance writer and has published six aviation books. Maverick in the Sky is scheduled for publication by Frontenac House Ltd., of Calgary www.frontenachouse.com  It will soon be available in regular book stores as well as most aviation museums, including the AeroWorks Gift Shop at the Aero Space Museum Association of Calgary aeroworks@asmac.ab.ca
Amazing Flights and Flyers on Kindle
Maverick in the Sky on Kindle
Maverick on Kobo very soon.
NEW Digital Book Reader Copies of my books.
2013-2015 News Professional:  The biography that I authored of retired banker and Canadian philanthropist, titled A Royal Balance – the Life and Times of Hal Wyatt, was launched at two venues: Mount Royal University on Saturday, December 7th, 2013, and at the Hilton Garden Inn on Sunday, December 8th.  Hal, who had celebrated his 93rd birthday on November 30th just a couple weeks before the launch, vividly recalled the challenges and excitement of his military service in the Second World War (retiring with the rank of Flight Lieutenant); his work the financial sector in Canada and abroad, retiring in 1986 as Vice-Chair of RBC; and his philanthropic contributions ranging from universities to the arts to business. The 450-page book, published by Frontenac House of Calgary, has been well-received, and was a joy to write.  Heritage House Publishers of Victoria are launching a new young adult line called Wandering Fox, with updates and new editions of former award-winning novels that have gone out of print and to which the rights had reverted to the authors. Choosing four authors from one of each of the western provinces, my books Prairie Pictures and City Pictures are currently being given hot new covers and a complete edit and rewrite. Much has changed since these books were published in 1989 and 1994, respectively. The new edition of Prairie Pictures was released in 2014 and City Pictures is scheduled to follow in 2015.”   NOTE: a new edition titled "Lost: Unsolved Mysteries of Canadian Aviation” was published in 2015 by Frontenac House Publishing of Calgary.   Personal: Continuing to learn to play mandolin and banjo – but having fun with the eternal struggle! Playing mando every week with Prairie Mountain Fiddlers (the novice group!). Just had my father’s 100-year-old violin restored, so perhaps will add that to my musical determinations! Shirlee Smith Matheson
Go Back
Amazing Flights on Kobo
Backward Glances
These are "historical" stories from my childhood growing up in Manitoba on a farm near the Riding Mountains, near Rossburn, or Russell. These are precious memories, and the stories were published in various places including Western People magazine, and broadcast on CBC Alberta Anthology:  Check the stories out by title! Shirlee Smith Matheson
Love Letters From and Old Soldier
Short Stories by Shirlee Smith Matheson
Valley Girl