ASHLAND A children’s book written by the late Verna Mae Hall Bishop is available on Amazon.com, published posthumously by her daughter, Sharon L. Navazio, who lives in Largo, Florida.
Navazio, a retired medical social worker, is not a writer, so getting a book published was an experience, she said, but an important task.
“I wanted to publish the book out of respect and as a tribute to my mother,” she said. It was published on June 22.
Titled “Taming Taming Thunder Bolt,” the book follows a boy who looks for adventures while he helps others.
Navazio said when her mother died in 2011, she inherited her mother’s manuscripts and this was one of them.
“When I first started reading it, I was so surprised,” Navazio said. “The more I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. I wanted to know what happened to that little boy.”
Bishop was born on Hall Ridge in Ashland, the youngest of seven children. The family lived in a three-room house the parents built, until Bishop’s mother died when she was 6 and she went to live with her sister in Catlettsburg.
She attended college for a year and went to work for Ashland Oil, eventually becoming the company’s law librarian because of her exceptional organizational and writing skills, Navazio said.
During her career, writing was an important aspect of her job. After retirement, she moved to Pennsylvania to live with Navazio, who retired to Florida and took her mother with her.
“She was such a big help,” Navazio said. “She cleaned house and cooked and did laundry. She wanted to stay active.”
However, she didn’t share the story of “Taming Thunder Bolt” with her daughter.
“She never told me what the story was about, but she talked about writing it,” she said. “She never offered to let me read it, but when she passed, she left the manuscripts with me and I was never so amazed.”
She said Bishop was friends with the late eastern Kentucky author Jesse Stuart and they corresponded for years.
Religion was very important to Bishop, Navazio said, noting she raised five children on her own and kept them all in church.
“She was amazing. You couldn’t meet her and not love her,” Navazio said.
Bishop, who died at 81, had a heart attack and was hospitalized when she learned physicians wanted to do surgery.
“She said she’d prefer to go to Hospice,” Navazio said. “She was so ready to go to her heavenly home, and it was a peaceful passing.”
She said there is another Thunder Bolt book, and she hopes the sales of the first book will bring in enough money to fund the publication of the second.
Bishop also had a book of poetry published titled “On Wings of Faith” in 1998.
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