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.
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The Oyster Thief has been getting a ton of attention on social media! The most beautiful half-dozen shots from just the last week are below.
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.
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.”
The story behind the story is that the idea of an underwater world fell into my mind on January 1st, 2015. It was a freezing-cold morning in Canada, and I wished I could escape into tropical waters. But it was too expensive to book a last-minute flight, so I decided to escape in my mind. With a cup of tea in hand, I started inventing an underwater world.
In the years since, I became so fascinated by the deep blue that I learned all I could about its swirling depths. I snorkeled, scuba-dived, swam with sharks, and pored over books and countless articles about the ocean. I also gave my imagination free rein.
Fast-forwarding to today, I am excited to announce that my project of passion and imagination, The Oyster Thief, will be released in October!
When people ask me about writing, I tell them it’s a labor of love. But it’s not just the author’s love—the people who love you most often end up laboring a lot along the way as well.
My husband Aamer Hasham encouraged me to write and accompanied me to book events. My twin sister Sofia Faruqi listened to me talk about The Oyster Thief for hours on end. Her patient questions helped me untangle plot intricacies and her thoughts helped me devise new angles. My brother Salman Faruqi contributed tremendous big-picture thinking. An avid reader of fiction, he provided ideas to create more characters and enhance conflict.
Beta readers played a crucial role in the development of The Oyster Thief. In addition to my husband, brother, and sister, the team included: Stacey Gordon Sterling, who paid thorough attention to detail, Kristyn Nanlal Khetia, who delved into pace and emotion, and Lauren Friedwald, who focused on clarity and feeling. Without the commitment of the team of beta readers, The Oyster Thief would not be the same.
I am excited to say that my Book Promotion Kick-Off Party went amazingly well! I am incredibly grateful to those who attended.
Here is some exciting ocean-related news:
- Australia’s government pledged $500 million dollars toward protecting the Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system, visible from outer space, stretching more than 2,300 kilometers (1,400 miles) off the coast of Australia.
- This summer, an organization called The Ocean Cleanup will attempt to launch its first cleanup inside the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, located in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii.
- World Oceans Day is on June 8th! In addition to heading to the shore, you can learn about actions you can take for the oceans here.
I am excited to announce that I will be hosting a Book Promotion Kick-Off Party at my home in Toronto on Tuesday, May 22nd, from 7 to 9pm, with snacks and refreshments. You are invited to join for an enjoyable evening of brainstorming ways for my upcoming debut novel The Oyster Thief to reach an audience!
If you’re interested in attending, please let me know by Tuesday, May 15 at email@example.com. If you know someone else who might be interested, please feel free to share the invitation below with them.
I am excited to share here the details and flyers for three upcoming spring events for Project Animal Farm in Toronto!
A critically acclaimed work of global investigative journalism, Project Animal Farm traces my journey investigating animal farms around the world and their impact on animals, people, and the planet. In the events, I will be speaking about food sustainability, and how we can all play a role in creating a better world. Please click on the links below to learn further details or visit the Events page here. All events are free and open to the public.
- Wednesday, April 18 at 7pm at Beaches Library, Toronto (2161 Queen St E). EVENT FLYER!
- Monday, April 23 at 7.30pm at Diane Frankling Co-op,Toronto (85 Bleecker St). If planning to attend, please RSVP to Ryan Hayward at firstname.lastname@example.org. EVENT FLYER!
- Sunday, May 6 at 10.30am at West Hill United Church, Toronto (62 Orchard Park Drive). EVENT FLYER!
I am excited to announce two opportunities for innovators and readers, as they relate to my upcoming debut novel, The Oyster Thief. The story features a vast underwater world harboring a mysterious secret.
Innovator Opportunity: As the writing for The Oyster Thief starts to wind down this spring, I will be shifting gears toward promotion before the book launch in the fall. I would be grateful for your help in figuring out ways for the book to reach a wide audience before then. If you like the idea of entrepreneurship or marketing, I would love to hear from you!
What’s in it for you? A fun creative opportunity, being part of a live product launch, and meeting interesting people. For all interested in helping out, I will be holding a Book Promotion Kick-Off Party at my home in Toronto this spring, with snacks and refreshments.
True feedback is a gift, and I feel fortunate to receive it from an amazing team of beta readers for The Oyster Thief. (An underwater odyssey, the novel features the quest of a mermaid and a human man who confront numerous inner and outer obstacles to find a life-saving elixir.)
Here is a definition of a beta reader from the Oxford Dictionary: “A person who reads a work of fiction before it is published in order to mark errors and suggest improvements.”
As they read The Oyster Thief in installments, beta readers have been telling me what’s resonating with them and are suggesting creative ways to improve the story. Their comments are ultimately helping me make the novel more interesting and enjoyable for you, the final reader.
I am so excited about the team of beta readers that I would like to introduce them to you here (listed below in alphabetical order)!