Featured Book of the Week
The Neptune Project
Nere feels more at home swimming with the dolphins her mother studies than she does hanging out with her classmates. Nere has never understood why she feels so much more comfortable and confident in water than on land, but everything falls into place when Nere learns that she is one of a group of kids who-unbeknownst to them-have been genetically altered to survive in the ocean. These products of "The Neptune Project" will be able to build a better future under the sea, safe from the barren country's famine, wars, and harsh laws.
But there are some very big problems: no one asked Nere if she wanted to be a science experiment, the other Neptune kids aren't exactly the friendliest bunch, and in order to reach the safe haven of the Neptune colony, Nere and her fellow mutates must swim through hundreds of miles of dangerous waters, relying only on their wits, dolphins, and each other to evade terrifying undersea creatures and a government that will stop at nothing to capture the Neptune kids...dead or alive.
Fierce battles and daring escapes abound as Nere and her friends race to safety in this action-packed aquatic adventure.
I was excited to learn that The Neptune Project was going to a part of the Pattonville Area-wide Book Battle. I’m thrilled that students in Missouri will be trying to remember the details in my story because I spent months doing research to get those details right.
I have always been fascinated by the sea. Growing up in Denver, Colorado, I loved the rare family vacations where I actually had a chance to see the ocean and the beach. I’d gaze at the waves and wonder what it was really like beneath them. When I got home again, I’d talk my friends into playing dolphin and mermaids with me by the hour. In my twenties, my husband and I took up scuba diving, and it was so cool! I finally had a chance to see for myself the amazing world under the waves.
When I first dreamed up the premise of my Neptune books, that a group of genetically altered kids would have to go live in the sea, I faced two challenges. I didn’t know any oceanography and I really didn’t know genetics. But I grew up in a family where if I didn’t know something, my parents encouraged me to look it up. When I was little, that meant digging into the Encyclopedia Britannica. We were the proud owners of both a kid set and a grown up set. I remember gazing at fascinating pictures and reading articles about everything from dinosaurs to dolphins. Later, when I went on to college, I went to a small school that encouraged its students to do detailed research using all sorts of original sources and documents.
That’s why I was confident I could do the research for a book set almost entirely in the sea, and I was right. I dove right in, so to speak, and had a blast learning all about the rich marine life of the Channel Islands and the Northwest. I found out that dolphins sleep with one half of their brains awake, and that orcas live in family groups their entire lives. Sea wasps, or box jellyfish, actually kill more people every year than sharks do. Every day I learn more fascinating facts about the sea.
I recently heard a local library director just assumed I was a marine biologist. I also had a young fan tell me, “I had no idea all those cool animals were down there.” Those are some of the nicest compliments my research and my books have ever received!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
My husband introduced me to scuba diving, and I've been fortunate enough to dive all over the world. Like my heroine, Nere, I am claustrophobic, though, so I don't dive in wrecks or lava tubes anymore.
If you would like to know more about this author or her books check out her website.