SURROUNDED BY SHARKS
When Davey wakes, just as the sun is rising, he can't wait to slip out of the crammed hotel room he's sharing with his family. Leave it to his parents and kid brother to waste an entire day of vacation sleeping in! Davey heads straight for the beach, book and glasses in hand, not bothering to leave a note. As the sparkling ocean entices him, he decides to test the water, never mind that "No Swimming" sign. But as the waves pull him farther from shore, Davey finds himself surrounded by water -- and something else, too. Something circling below the surface, watching, waiting. It's just a matter of time.
From Start to Fin: How I Wrote Surrounded By Sharks
By Michael Northrop
I’ve always been fascinated by sharks—fascinated and, OK, more than a little scared. But I faced a few big obstacles when I set out to write a gripping survival story about sharks. The first obstacle: Shark attacks are seriously rare. In fact, you are more likely to get killed by a vending machine falling on you than by a shark attack. But vending machines are nowhere near as cool or scary as sharks. There’s a reason my book isn’t called Squashed By Snickers!
The second obstacle: I was determined to write about realistic sharks, not malicious movie monsters. In real life, sharks are cautious hunters. They rarely encounter people, so when they do, they are usually more curious than aggressive. They aren’t sure what we are, much less if we’re on the menu.
But in order for the book to work, the danger from the sharks had to seem both very likely and very serious. I accomplished that by putting the main character, Davey Tsering, right in the middle of the sharks' world. A powerful riptide pulls him far out into the ocean—and pulled me past both obstacles.
Out there in the open ocean, so far from land (and vending machines), a shark attack isn’t unrealistic at all. In fact, it’s just a matter of time…
About the Author
Since moving to New York to attend NYU, I have worked at The World Almanac and Sports Illustrated Kids, where I was a senior editor from 2000 to 2008. I have moonlighted as a standup comedian, earned a black belt, and taken up running. I’ve been to the Olympics, the Super Bowl, and spring training. And my writing has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Sports Illustrated Kids, People Online, The New York Times Upfront, Notre Dame Review, McSweeney’s, Weird Tales, and many other places.
Three random facts about me:
1) I am dyslexic and had to repeat second grade.
2) I once stepped on a yellowjacket nest and was stung approx. 75 times.
3) According to family lore, I am distantly related to Jonathan Swift, who wrote Gulliver’s Travels.
Three of my favorite things:
1) Watership Down (book)
2) Jaws (movie)
3) Spicy tuna hand rolls (food)
If you would like more information about Michael Northrop check out his website