Question: Who is the intended audience?
Answer: Since the span of the main character’s life takes you from 11-26, Whale Song appeals to virtually anyone who enjoys reading. The audience is general–young adults (even as young as 10) and adults. Book clubs and schools (particularly schools in Vancouver, Canada and Seattle, USA) will appreciate Whale Song because of the beautiful Pacific Ocean setting and the interesting yet somewhat controversial elements that can be discussed in a group setting.
Q: What is the book about?
A: Whale Song is the story of Sarah, a young American woman who moves to Vancouver Island, Canada, when she’s eleven, and is thrown into a strange new world of native customs, fascinating legends and simmering racial discrimination. When a terrible tragedy takes away someone she deeply loves, Sarah is left with partial amnesia, and only a wise Indian woman’s stories can help her heal. Whale Song is ultimately a story of love, family, tragedy, sacrifice and forgiveness, a story that will change the way you view life…and death.
Q: Why are you the best person to write this book?
A: Sarah and I are very similar. I grew up on two different islands in BC, Canada, and I’ve always felt the ocean’s magnetic pull. As a child, I would go to the Vancouver Aquarium every summer and see Skana the killer whale. I was fascinated by her and loved to watch her grace and beauty as she swam. Like Sarah, I know what it’s like to move around, to be thrown into a different culture, and I know what it’s like to live in a world of racism and bullying. Yet, I too was mesmerized by native legends about Whale, Wolf and Eagle. Sarah “came to me” two years before I ever started writing Whale Song. And she’s stayed with me ever since.
Q: How is this book different from other books on this topic?
A: Whale Song is different from other books on this topic because I have managed to take the scenes, smells and flavors of Vancouver Island and weave them into the pages. People who read my novel tell me they can visualize everything so clearly, that it feels like they’re right there on the beach or driving through the trees.
And it is not simply an entertaining novel. Whale Song has a powerful healing message of forgiveness and letting go, and I’ve been amazed and moved by emails from people who have told me Whale Song has changed their lives. Just recently, a young woman emailed me with her story, which you can read on my blog. Aynsley Nisbet was so changed by Whale Song that she created a brilliant painting–titled “Whale Song”. Please read: How Whale Song inspired artist Aynsley Nisbet and changed her life.
Q: Is there anything else we should know about this book?
A: Whale Song is dedicated to my brother Jason who was brutally murdered in January 2006. A portion of my royalties for EVERY SALE of Whale Song goes to 3 nonprofit organizations–Hope Mission, Bissell Centre and Mustard Seed Church, to help combat poverty, homelessness and addictions. Whale Song makes such a wonderful gift–for mothers and daughter, in particular–so please order extra copies, and help me help these nonprofits.
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The suspense is lkilling me!