Her first children’s novel “The Porcupine Who Would” was inspired by several funny encounters with porcupines on a field trip up the Westfall River to assess mountain caribou habitat. Having been previously informed by biologists on the web of the difficulty in finding porcupines to do field research, her interest was high. Motivated by the trip and years of environmental studies, this story about landscape ecology, Kootenay animals, and dreaming soon unfolded. After months of polishing and using children as critics, the draft was sent out to various publishing houses. The depressing rejections that followed, convinced Claudette it was time to ‘do it herself’ and Queen’s Bay Publishing was formed. Praised by Thomas Power, Dave Quinn, Ben Gadd, and other nature writers for its “lyrical and compelling story”, it makes for an engaging bedtime fable for all ages.
Much of Claudette’s earlier writing was researched articles on interior forests and the politics of wood supply in contrast to cutting -edge environmental science published in local and coastal journals.
Gardening, small scale farming and orcharding has long been one of Claudette’s loves. “Musings” -a column on the “Art of Gardening”- was printed in the United States paper ‘Northern Journeys’ for several years. Canada’s Harrowsmith magazine also did a feature on the Kootenay Doukhobors and their gardens written by her entitled “From Russia with Love”.
More recently, Claudette has been delighted to do readings and storytelling sessions about porcupines and other topics from her children’s book in the Kokanee Park Visitors Center during the summer, and autumn presentations in district schools and libraries. She is listed as a presenter through the Columbia Basin Environmental Educators Network and can be contacted for bookings through them www.cbeen.org or this website.