On a day when various media report the findings of Matt Waller that sharks really like ACDC , it seems timely to announce my own good news, that my YA manuscript The Shark Caller has been accepted for publication with Random House in 2016!
The idea for this story began many years ago (Dec 2001), during a family holiday on a dive resort island near Kavieng in Papua New Guinea. My sister, Karen and her partner, Owen worked in PNG and were friends with the owners. I’d been to other PNG islands and The Marovo Lagoon (Solomon Islands) with them. Karen and Owen introduced me to the joy of diving on stunning reefs and WW2 shipwrecks. I loved watching ocean creatures and I also became interested in Pacific Island culture…
The actual Shark Caller story began a few years after that trip, but the draft went into the ‘revise one day’ drawer. That day didn’t arrive until 2012 when I began my PhD at UWA.
I was fortunate to receive a scholarship for a PhD based on creative writing. I needed to write a linked Creative Work of 70,000 words and a research exegesis on a linked topic (in my case its Anthropomorphism in Australian Children’s Literature). Because I wanted to write for YA readers (around 11-14), I negotiated writing 2 titles for the Creative Works.
Initially these two Creative Works were to be linked dog stories set in WA; one during WW2, the other in the 60s. As my research continued I thought that to show anthropomorphic range it would be really interesting to write from a different species POV and perhaps also in a different genre.
I remembered The Shark Caller, went to the ‘revise one day’ file and have been working on it ever since. Weeks, hours, month and years. The story is semi-fantasy and this genre is totally new to me – and very challenging.
The Shark Caller is due for publication in August 2016. There are many people to thank and they will be acknowledged in the book, including: my UWA supervisors Van Ikin and Tess Williams; my family for reading endless drafts over the past three years and SCBWI WA for inviting Zoe Walton to our Rottnest Retreat and thus enabling me to connect with the wonderful team at Random House.
I will post another Shark Caller update early in the New Year…