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!




As part of the research for The Oyster Thief, I swam with sharks in Belize. I found sharks to be elegant, beautiful, and much misunderstood. Most people are terrified of sharks, but sharks kill less than ten people a year (generally mistaking them for other prey like seals), while people kill tens of millions of them a year. Sharks are often a by-catch of fishing and are also hunted for their fins, which are eaten in the form of shark fin soup.

Overfishing is a huge danger to marine health and ocean ecosystems, but Belize is becoming a world leader in protecting the ocean, thanks to the country’s recent implementation of “no-take” zones. These zones have bans on fishing, allowing fish populations to rebuild, and marine habitats to stay safe. The health of the Mesoamerican barrier reef is improving after the implementation of these fishing bans! Read more here.



There is good news also relating to land conservation. Ethiopia is taking a stand against climate change through a ‘green legacy’ initiative that aims to tackle deforestation by planting trees. 350 million trees have already been planted in Ethiopia! The country hopes to plant more than four billion trees this summer by encouraging citizens to plant at least forty trees each. See the full article here.


Thursday, September 19 will be a busy day for me, consisting of two events for The Oyster Thief in Toronto! You can find details below or on my Events page here.

  • At 11 am, I will be speaking to the Probus Scarborough Centre at McGregor Park Community Centre (2231 Lawrence Ave East, Toronto).
  • At 6 pm, I will be at the University of Toronto for Science Literary Week. I will be in the Gerstein Science Information Centre in the Alice Moulton Room. The event is free and open to anyone, student or not. The first 5 attendees will receive a free copy of The Oyster Thief, available for signing at the event! Complimentary refreshments will also be served. See the university’s poster below for more information. You can register for the event here.



  • Pacific Ocean: The largest ocean on Earth is the Pacific Ocean, which covers around 30% of the Earth’s surface. The Pacific Ocean’s name has an original meaning of “peaceful sea.” Despite this original name, the Pacific Ocean is surrounded by the Pacific Ring of Fire, which is a ring of active volcanoes.
  • Izar: One of the two protagonists in The Oyster Thief is called Izar. I named this character and all the others in the book after stars and the sea. The name Izar refers to a binary star located about two hundred light-years away from us and five hundred times brighter than the sun. To the naked eye, Izar appears to be a single point of light, but it is actually two different stars close to one another; a bright orange star and a fainter, smaller star.


I’m so excited to announce that this October The Oyster Thief will be released in paperback! As we get ready for the release, I will be sharing some special excerpts of the book with you on my website and here in my newsletters. To dive into the first chapter of The Oyster Thief, Fire and Water, click here.