A local ‘star’ is born

Author Capella Van Ryan spent her childhood and teenage years in Omagh.

IT GOES without saying that Capella Van Ryan has a unique name – and one which would be perfect if she were to become a famous movie star.



Capella, a successful author who spent her childhood and teenage years in the town of Omagh, is now living that dream.

Her highly-successful book, ‘The SnowBoat’, published three years ago, has now been accepted by Max Millionz Entertainment Enterprises to be transformed into a top-quality cinematic film.

What’s more, is that a multi-million dollar budget has been confirmed for the film by Hollywood investors, Dream Cinema – and Capella will also move to America to play the lead role.

Ironically, too, is that Capella was named after a ‘star’ by her late mother, Dorothy Woods who wanted a special name for her only daughter.

In fact, the Capella star is one of the brightest in the night sky – perhaps a precursor of even greater things to come for the 33-year-old.

Capella who is still in disbelief about something she describes as her ‘big break’, was inspired to write the SnowBoat – the first book in a series of ten – after falling in love with the culture, the sights and the sounds of Switzerland while on a holiday with her husband of 14 years, Colin Gibson.

And while the looming mountains, misty and snow-clad, the quaint wooden chalets, fire pits and the horse and carriages ignited Capella’s imagination, it was a little boat-turned-bar in Zermatt perched on the edge of the waters that kindled the idea for her book.


“For me, Switzerland was a trip back in time,” Capella said. “It was an old-fashioned country, with old Hollywood photos of stars from long ago pinned up in all the buildings I visited. It was understated, charming, perfect.”

Capella found herself caught in a trance as she gazed at the snow fluttering and dancing around the ‘Snowboat’ in Zermatt.

She watched the snowflakes land preciously on the waters and settled around the ornate structure and imagined the boat gliding in the snow.

It was then she decreed it was the perfect setting and name for her maiden book, which took her five years to write.

“The book is set in Zermatt, and features an innocent young woman called Nicolette,” Capella described. “She is, at first, a lost soul stumbling through the world. She moves from country-to-country to try and figure out her path in life. It was then she falls in love and marries a charming, rich man called Nicholas Beaumont – but it was a whirlwind romance where all was not as it seemed.

“Her personality undergoes, very quickly, a dark transition because of the abuse that she faces.

“Soon she realises that she has to fight to survive – and it is either kill or be killed.”

Capella, the youngest of six siblings, attended Omagh schools St Conor’s PS and Drumragh Integrated College.

And while the SnowBoat book has become an exceptional success, available online and in all major book stores – a dream in itself for Capella, who was adamant for it to become her ‘masterpiece’ – her new career in acting is unfamiliar territory.

However, with filming due to start next year, Capella is practising her script every day to perfect her role as the movie’s protagonist.

Her career as an author is impressive and she can even fashion top-quality abstract art, but she is steadfast and determined to add yet another string to her creative bow.

“While I’d never acted a day in my life, I know Nicolette inside and out,” Capella described. “I know how she moves, how she expresses herself and how she speaks. “It is now my task to re-enact that as an actress. Even though acting is unknown terrain for me, I am determined to get it right – and with time, I know that I can.”

• To purchase The SnowBoat for a glimpse into the pictureque thrills and horror of Capella Van Ryan’s upcoming film, visit;; or any major bookstore.


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