It was early spring 2019 when the idea for a new book flashed before my eyes. It wasn’t so much as a flash…and it wasn’t so much of an idea. It was of course a duck. And it floated gently on the currents in my mind. In July 2019,a book proposal was submitted and by that fall, a publishing deal was struck. Over the last two years, hundreds, thousands, maybe even millions of words have been read and written; some ideas fleshed out and turned aside, others building like waves and crashing over me with intensity. There were many iterations and drafts (of both words and illustrations) for The Global Ocean, but the pieces started coming together.
And as I sit by the shores of Lake Erie, on a summer retreat, a major milestone was reached. While listening to the waves of this great lake crash to the shore, my ears filled with the songs of gulls and purple martins and surrounded by notebooks and research following the pathways of new ideas, an email arrived. The first, full colour interiors of The Global Ocean. Not merely a pdf of a couple of pages, but a pdf of the book in its entirety! All the illustrations rendered in full glorious colour. No more black and white placeholders. No more blank pages where the acknowledgements, table of contents or indexes would be. The whole book.
And as I look at the book for the first time from cover to cover, my heart swells, and tears fill my eyes. After nearly two and a half years, seeing my idea for a book about the ocean reach this milestone takes my breath away.
The ocean is where I feel most at home. It fills my heart and fuels my soul. I’ve been trying to write a book about it for a long time. The other day, I even found a proposal that I’d drafted nearly ten years ago buried in my files. To say this is a passion project would be an understatement. Seeing The Global Ocean’s first colour interiors is proof it’s real. And it’s the realization of a dream, decades old.
Once upon a time, I set out to “change the world one book at a time.” I truly hope this book generates inspiration in children (and adults) and helps them to understand how important the ocean is to all life on Earth. I hope that The Global Ocean helps readers to discover their wave – the actions they will take to protect the global ocean – Earth’s beating heart.