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March 2019 Update: World Water Day

Spring is a season of youth. It is a time of budding leaves and blossoming flowers, and of young animals who experience the beauty of the planet for the first time. As such, perhaps it’s fitting that last week has been a time of young adults taking center stage among us.

Read on below for more on the student climate strike, Meatless Mondays, and sustainable living tips curated specifically for you.

Also, in celebration and support of World Water Day this Friday, The Oyster Thief e-book will be on sale for $1.99. If you haven’t had a chance to go on spring break or if you’ve just returned from spring break, I believe you’ll enjoy diving in to the deep blue waters of The Oyster Thief! You can get the book on Amazon US here and Amazon Canada here.

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February 2019 Update: A Sizzling New Excerpt from The Oyster Thief to Spruce Up Your Winter

These cold winter days, I am reminded of why I decided to write The Oyster Thief in the first place. It was the winter of 2015, and I wanted a winter escape. I dreamt of a vast beautiful underwater world. I didn’t quite know how to reach it, so I decided to create it myself.

The world I envisioned brimmed with not only brightly colored fish and algae, but also merpeople. In my imagination, merpeople lived deep below the waves. They lived in rounded homes made of stone, which looked like swellings rising off the seabed. Merpeople lived among coral reefs and gardens of algae. (Given that the majority of algae are red, their gardens were more red in color than green.)

In my imagination, merpeople used sea-shells as currency (as some human tribes have in the past, hence the expression “shelling out money”). Their lives were similar to human lives in some respects—for instance, they danced and they ate dessert—but their lives were also different—for instance, their dances had names like the Seahorse Sprance and the Undulating Jellyfish, and a popular dessert for them was devil’s apron, a kind of sugar kelp.

(Photo credits to: Alexis @hooked_to_books; Ali @the_bandar_blog; Chelsea @the_bookish_runner)

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January 2019 Update: An Ocean of Possibility

I am excited about the journey 2019 has to offer for The Oyster Thief and the oceans.

OCEAN UPDATE

Good news! More than three-quarters of marine mammal and sea turtle populations have significantly increased after their species were listed in the U.S. Endangered Species Act, according to a study released this month.

On the other hand, the oceans are getting louder, according to a New York Times article. Increasing ship traffic and seismic exploration for offshore drilling are disrupting the lives and chatter of sea creatures large and small, from whales to zooplankton. (Imagine that there was construction happening outside your window every day, so loud that you couldn’t hear the person sitting next to you.)

Though the din in the oceans is greater, steps are being taken to reduce plastic pollution. On January 1st, Washington D.C. began a ban on single-use plastic straws in restaurants and other service businesses, becoming the first major U.S. city to do so.

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December 2018 Update – Have you ever wondered how life would be as a merperson?

Have you ever wondered how mermaids live? What they eat, where they sleep, what they wear?

These questions, and more, are answered in a new four-minute video titled, “What if You Were a Merperson?” The video has amassed ~1 million views. I wrote the script and the production was done by the talented team at What If. You can plunge into the world of merpeople by watching the video here!

MEDIA

The Oyster Thief is viral not only in video form, but across all media. It is a Globe and Mail “Best Book of the Year.” And here are some more reviews:

“The world’s first ocean conservation novel. Faruqi possesses a unique ability to create a fantastical underwater world while tying in explicit scientific facts…. The Oyster Thief is an entertaining and informative mix of ocean science and literary fiction.”
Forbes

The Oyster Thief opens a portal to a world of merpeople for readers to have an exhilarating deep-sea experience, while underlining the significance of ocean conservation as a real-world issue. The book is becoming a favorite among readers.
Broadway World

(Credits, from left to right: Angel @live.laugh.love.library, Alissa @morrigans_books, and Irene @my_magicalbookish.corner)

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What if Mermaids and Mermen Existed – A Video!

I enjoyed collaborating with What If and INSH on the making of a video, “What if Mermaids and Mermen Existed?” I wrote the script and the What If team turned it into a beautiful four-minute production! Watch it here. (In less than an hour, it amassed 65,000+ views!)

The video is based on my debut novel, The Oyster Thief, in which two worlds collide when a mermaid and human man meet (available on Amazon here). The video follows a day in the life of a merperson.

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November 2018 Update – A Richly Realized Underwater Tale

It’s been an exciting and busy time for The Oyster Thief! And momentum is picking up even more. Following last month’s successful book launch, The Oyster Thief has been receiving tremendous engagement across media and social media. I’ve gathered the latest updates for you below.

Also, you’ll see information in this update about a publicity intern role I am recruiting for, and book events!

 

MEDIA AND SOCIAL MEDIA

I wrote an article about ocean science and conservation in The Ecologist, a world-leading environmental affairs platform based in the UK. Take a look here.

(Credits, from left to right: Lindsey @readingbetweethe_wines, Tiffany @bookishly_tiff, Jacky @betterwithabookinmyhand)

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Book Review: Farmageddon in Pictures

I loved Philip Lymbery’s earlier books Farmageddon and Dead Zone, and so was excited when a friend gifted me a copy of Mr. Lymbery’s Farmageddon in Pictures (2017).

My thoughts on Farmageddon and Farmageddon in Pictures resemble Peter Singer’s thoughts on my own book, Project Animal Farm: “I thought I already knew everything there is to know about modern animal production, but I learned many new things from this very readable book, and you will, too.”

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Book Review: A Spark of Light

Jodi Picoult’s latest book A Spark of Light is a terrific read. The novel’s structure is interesting in two ways, both of them challenging but superbly executed: The story builds backward from the climax, and there are several characters with points of view.

Jodi Picoult and A Spark of Light

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Winners of the Pre-Order Contest, and Invitation to the Book Launch Party!

I have lots of updates in the lead-up to the launch of The Oyster Thief: the book launch party, reviews, names of the winners of the pre-order contest, notes on next steps, and Chapter One of The Oyster Thief—now available for you to read!

BOOK LAUNCH PARTY

The book launch party will be held on Thursday, October 11 at 7pm at The Theatre Center in Toronto (1115 Queen Street West, next to the Drake Hotel). A big thank you to Penguin Random House Canada and Another Story Bookshop for organizing.

REVIEWS

I am honored that The Oyster Thief has received an endorsement from the world’s foremost ocean scientist and one of my personal heroes, Dr. Sylvia Earle! “The Oyster Thief deftly weaves a mermaid’s tale while bringing real and urgent ocean conservation issues to the reader’s attention. Dive in and enjoy!”

The newspaper The Globe and Mail describes The Oyster Thief as one of its most anticipated fall reads and says in its review: “A stand-out in the current crop of books about merfolk is The Oyster Thief, the fiction debut of Sonia Faruqi…. The charm of this beguiling novel is in all the details of the underwater world that Faruqi has dreamed up.”

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