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Alicia Priest, author of A Rock Fell on the Moon, passes away

Posted: Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 4:38pm

It is with sad hearts that we announce the passing of Alicia Priest, long time journalist and Victoria-based author of the recently released A Rock Fell on the Moon: Dad and the Great Yukon Silver Ore Heist. Alicia passed away on Tuesday, January 13.

Alicia was diagnosed with ALS in 2012. At the time, she had already begun her research for her first book, but her diagnosis was “the ultimate deadline” to finish it. She quit her job and dedicated herself to telling her family’s story while she was still healthy enough to write it.

ALS stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Alicia has described it as a relentless, muscle-destroying mutation that results in total body paralysis and death. It’s considered a rare disease, and even today, it has no cure. Alicia’s excitement about the process of writing her book overshadowed the progression of the disease, but she decided that all author royalties from its sale were to go to the ALS Canada, as well as the Canadian Wilderness Society.

A Rock Fell on the Moon is a memoir in which Alicia conducts her own investigation into the infamous theft committed by her father, Gerald Priest, in the small Yukon mining town of Elsa in the 1960s: Gerry stole $160,000 worth of silver ore out from under the nose of one of the largest mining companies in Canada. He didn’t get away with it, and his family could only watch aghast as the idyllic life they knew crumbled around them.

Not only did Alicia meet her deadline, she saw the book published, and witnessed its subsequent wild success. She was able to attend multiple book events and sign books while her husband, Ben Parfitt, and her daughter, Charlotte, read for packed bookstores. Alicia’s memoir is a fantastic story, and we are so honoured to have been able to publish it, as well as to work with Alicia and Ben in the process.

Alicia Priest was a journalist for over twenty-five years, with newspaper, radio, magazine and reporting writing experience. Her work has appeared in the Globe & Mail, Canadian Medical Association Journal, Georgia Strait, Vancouver Sun, Vancouver Magazine and Western Living.