Darlene Hartford lives in Peachland, British Columbia. She enjoys an Okanagan lifestyle residing on Lake Okanagan, surrounded by nature. The series, Bats in the Schoolhouse Attic, includes her first published manuscripts, fulfilling a lifelong dream of writing children’s books.
The lakefront community of Peachland has 5,000 residents, as well as a colony of 2,000 bats, that live in a historic schoolhouse. The school was closed and boarded shut for ten years. When the decision was made to preserve the building, the bat colony was also saved. A community educational program was established to promote public awareness of the value of bats, and to discredit myths surrounding the protected species. Darlene Hartford is President of the
Bat Education & Ecological Protection Society, also known as BEEPS, and speaks at schools, libraries and community groups.
The colony of winged mammals inspired Darlene Hartford to write a series of whimsical stories with endearing bat characters. The Peachland Historic Primary School is home to a maternity colony, consisting of mainly female bats, roosting together, producing offspring. The stories are adventures of mother bats with their pups or juveniles, and provide a harmonious balance between the imaginative and the educational. Each book provides Bat Facts in reference to the storyline.
Darlene Hartford dedicated the series, Bats in the Schoolhouse Attic to seven of her grandchildren. The eighth grandchild arrived after the publishing of this series, resulting in the creation of the book, Where Do Bats Go for Christmas?