August 2019 Update: Reflections on the Year

It’s hard for me to believe that August is wrapping up already – another year has come and gone again, bringing with it so many exciting opportunities! Since last October, I’ve launched my ocean novel The Oyster Thief, joined in dozens of great conversations with reporters, podcast hosts, and bloggers, and adopted my darling dog, Rozetta.

This August also brought my birthday, which gave me lots to be thankful for. In addition to my family, friends, and sweet Rozetta, I’m grateful for my readers and supporters. I have lots of news to share with you this month, including some inspiring environmental news, upcoming events, and a special surprise!

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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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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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Acknowledgments for The Oyster Thief

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.

An advance reading copy of The Oyster Thief

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.

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May 2018 Update: Exciting Ocean News

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.

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April 2018 Update (Part II): Events and an Invitation for You

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 info@soniafaruqi.com. If you know someone else who might be interested, please feel free to share the invitation below with them.

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March 2018 Update: Exciting Opportunities for Innovators and Readers

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.

 

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February 2018 Update: Meet the Awesome Team of Beta Readers for The Oyster Thief!

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)!

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