Adele Deegan holds a copy of her book, Splat. She uses the pen name Adele Irving. Photo supplied.

Adele Deegan holds a copy of her book, Splat. She uses the pen name Adele Irving. Photo supplied.

Comox Valley author’s debut novel gaining international attention

Adele Deegan was living the perfect life, until everything went “Splat,” in 1995.

Twenty-five years later, she finished a book on her trials and tribulations, and Splat has been gaining international attention ever since.

“It took me 10 years to write it, and a pandemic to finish it,” said Deegan, who uses Adele Irving as her pen name.

Deegan said the catalyst for writing the novel was a writing course she took about a decade ago.

“The last class, we got to write whatever we wanted, and this was a story in me that I knew had to come out at some point,” she said. “I decided that I had had too many years and too much pain keeping secrets, so I told my secret in the chapter, and sort of sat on it (for a while). That was about 2015… so it took a long time to put it on paper.”

Deegan said the purpose of publishing her story was that she didn’t want anyone else to go through what she went through.

“I wanted to share what I went through, and how I recovered from it,” she said. “It’s called Splat, because my perfect life went splat in 1995, and then it kept going splat many, many times, because that’s what happens in life. So this is about how to pick yourself up and keep yourself going.”

When asked about the specific occurrence in 1995, Deegan was coy.

“That’s the first chapter. That’s the hook,” she said. “There are a lot of surprises in it, and every chapter leaves you hanging. Everyone has said it’s a fast read because you can’t put it down. You have to get to the next chapter.”

Deegan said the support she has received since publishing the book in December of 2020 has been overwhelming.

“The thing that has surprised me the most is when you publish a book, you open yourself up for criticism. I got a very small amount of that, but I got so many comments back, and emails back from people who have said ‘I see myself in your life. Thank you for telling me your story because now I am not ashamed of mine.’ It’s been so interesting.”

The positive feedback has not only come from readers. Splat has been awarded honourable mentions in the memoir category in the 2021 New York Book Festival, the 2021 Paris Book Festival, the New England Book Festival and the Southern California Book Festival.

“It just stunned me,” said Deegan. “There’s no money in that, but you get your name on lists that are sent to publishers, producers, and book clubs all over the world.”

Deegan said despite the success she has enjoyed with her debut novel, there are no plans for a ‘Splat II.’

“Nope – no sequel, that’s it,” she said. ‘If I started now I’d be 81 by the time I finished and I have too much to do between now and then.”

Splat is available online, at

authorComox Valley