High River can lay claim to a Governor General Literary Award winner.

Martine Levitate's latest book is called Calvin, about a boy who was born the day the last Calvin and Hobbes comic strip was published.

He has a schizophrenic episode in school and goes  across frozen Lake Erie looking for the comic strip's creator, the reclusive Bill Watterson.

"Because he was born that day he gets it into his mind that Bill Watterson could cure him if he could draw one more comic strip of Calvin healthy and well, without Hobbes," she says. "So he sets out to do this pilgrimage to prove to Bill Watterson that he is worthy of this comic strip."

Leavitt says because he's such a recluse she doesn't expect to hear from Watterson, although if he did read it and contacted her, she says, it would be almost as big as the Governor General's award.

She says he did a lot of research about schizophrenia and says there remains a stigma around mental illness.

"We're learning so much about it but even more commonly known forms of mental illness like depression, there's still a great deal of misunderstanding about that and so it was a real journey for me and a privilege for me to read many books about it and become more informed about it myself."

Leavitt will be wined and dined at an Awards Gala in Ottawa in late November for three days of events including a dinner at Rideau Hall where the Governor General will present the awards and the $25,000 prize.

Questions, comments, or story ideas? Email us at news@okotoksonline.com