I am so happy to be here today. Thanks for inviting me.
My favorite novels have always been stories where kids outsmart adults. Think Harry Potter, Ender’s Game, and Hunger Games. It wasn’t a far stretch for me to write about teens surviving a world disaster on a sailboat. I’ve sailed the Pacific Northwest for years. And I live in Seattle, U.S.A., in the shadow of two giant volcanoes. I used to imagine how I'd save my family if an earthquake or an invasion stuck our area. Now I write about it.
The number of survival sites I’ve found while doing research for my novels is incredible. Yes, there are people out there even more obsessed than me. Bet you didn’t know that seaweed is packed full of vitamins. You can make penicillin out of citrus rinds and those tiny little pills you put in fish tanks when your fish get sick? Well, they’re penicillin too. (Not that I recommend you take them. See a doctor if you need meds.) And don’t get me started on Duct tape. It even comes in patterns.
But a good novel is really about the characters. The pre-dystopian world I created is only the back drop for the drama of the characters in the books. How they react during a crisis is so telling. One of my favorite characters is a girl named Zoe. She is very ditzy. She falls apart if a finger-nail breaks. But during a crisis, she becomes the medic. And my main character, Toni, who has grown strong and has become a leader, is extremely jealous and insecure when her boyfriend befriends a beautiful girl they meet on the island.
In my novels, romances blossom, friendships are tested, and yes, lives are lost. But still the characters endure and carry on their search for their families and a safe harbor.
I’ve loved creating this world where teens out maneuver and survive in a world that is changing so fast, adults can’t cope. I hope you love it too.
I’ve had a great time. Thanks again for having me.
Toni and the young crew of the sailboat, Whistler, have just found a safe harbor. Or so they thought...
They may have survived a tsunami, but they’re racing ahead of an ice age as they continue the frantic search for their families.
The island they’ve anchored near is anything but safe. Dangerous men lurk nearby—along with snakes, stingrays, and sharks. An island girl threatens to destroy Toni and her boyfriend’s relationship, the youngest member of the crew gets lost in a narrow dark cave, and Zoë is more annoying than ever.
Will Toni and her crew survive the island and its treacherous waters?
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