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YA Eco Mysteries, Memoirs, Novels & Travel

Endagered species

The Winds of Change are Calling

In a world where the gale force winds of change are driving hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, floods and forests fires, I ask myself: what can I do to make a difference no matter how small? As a writer, I have chosen to dedicate myself to weaving stories that will, hopefully, inspire the children of tomorrow to shape a brighter future.
After decades of misinformation, denial, and inadequate attempts to reduce the dire impact of environmental destruction, young people around the world are troubled, angry, and frustrated. They are searching for ways to understand and to take action.
The epiphany that inspired me to begin writing Eco-mysteries struck me one morning driving to work down the road winding through a wooded hillside. As I approached the bottom of the hill, I yelled out loud, “How dare they!” Overnight, a swath of naked red dirt had replaced a verdant forest. A forest of oak, hickory, poplar, and pine, which had sheltered and sustained a rich diversity of life, had been bulldozed to a barren patch of clay, leaving one ancient white oak, standing like a beacon of hope.
After that aha moment, whenever I drove by the oak it kept calling to me to share its sad tale. I imagined the oak, which I named Alba Maizie, telling its story to the neighborhood’s children. Nine months later, The Adventures of The Sizzling Six: The Lone Tree became the first Eco-mystery, which blossom into a series of nine books published over the past decade.
Woven into this story about six feisty girls determined to save their white oak, is a serious theme. Over half of the tropical forests worldwide have been destroyed since the 1960s, and every second more than one hectare of tropical forests is lost, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The loss of forests threatens the survival of many species, including humans, and reduces the ability of forests to sustain clean air and water.
Yet, all is not yet lost. Science-based solutions, such as forest restoration, can reduce the worst effects of deforestation and recover the ecological, social, climatic and economic benefits of our forests. That is why I apply scientific knowledge to create plausible and hopeful but realistic endings for my stories rather than gloomy or magical fairytale ones. A caveat: as environmental writers we have a responsibility to thoroughly research the scientific underpinnings of our stories. Pseudoscientific claims that appeal to ingrained fears and long-standing beliefs can become widely accepted, hampering action to reduce the harmful effects of climate change.
The Lone Tree, I created stories for The Sizzling Six series woven around North America’s disappearing species. My focus widened to the international sphere with The Case of the Missing Piping Plovers, which chronicled the exciting discovery of the winter nesting grounds of Piping Plovers on a remote coral reef in the Bahamas. Vanishing Birds, slated for publication in the fall of 2023, I expanded my stories to include the entire length of the Atlantic migratory flyway from Baffin Bay in the Arctic to Tierra Del Fuego, the southernmost point of South America.
Recently I completed the first book of a trilogy,
Red Flag Warning, on climate change, broadening the stories to global issues impacting us worldwide. Currently, I am working on The Gray Whale’s Lament, the second book in the trilogy.
Now, more than ever, we citizens need who understand that what happens in distant places on our planet may impact what’s our country. Although we should never sugarcoat the truth, we can all do our part, no matter how small, to make the world a better place for future generations.


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