May 2019 Update: Merpeople, Science, and A Pudding

May is one of those in-between months; the cold weather still lingers, and because it’s not quite as warm or dry as we would like, it can become difficult to get up and out of the house. I don’t know about you, but spring always makes me want to declutter and try new things! That’s why, this month I’ll be sharing some of the research that went into The Oyster Thief – so we can learn something new together!

(Photo credits to Stacey @prose_and_palate; Anna @thecityofdarkclockwork; Nur @cg_nurbayah)


Earlier this month I chatted with Josh Cane of “Working Title” Podcast. We talked about my writing process on The Oyster Thief, beta reader feedback, and the importance of real-world research to create an imaginative universe. Learning how to scuba dive while writing the book helped me to get to know the ocean as a living entity, and form a connection between myself, merpeople, and the environment. This hands-on research helped me to create the living community of merpeople and animals you can find in The Oyster Thief! Listen to the full podcast here.

I did a lot of interesting research about the ocean in order to create the setting for The Oyster Thief. The book is divided into three sections based on the three zones of light penetration: The Sunlight Zone, Twilight Zone, and Midnight Zone. The ocean is vastly deep—its average depth is about two miles, or three-and-a-half kilometers—but much of its life, and all of its photosynthesis, is concentrated in what is called the Sunlight Zone, a range of six-hundred-and-sixty feet, or two hundred meters, down from the waves. Half of the surface of the earth consists of the deep sea, which extends more than a mile down under the waves. Of the millions of species thought to live in the ocean, the majority are unknown to us because they live further down than humans can travel.

(Photo credits to Alexis @hooked_to_books; Asma @oasisgirlmd; Kayla @bookstackedblonde)


  • Sound does exist in the water, as do the other four senses, but it exists differently—it travels farther and four times faster in water than air, making its location difficult to pinpoint.
  • There are three kinds of algae—green, brown, and red. Red are the most common, because of their ability to photosynthesize at great depths.
  • Coral reefs cover only about 1 percent of the ocean floor but support about 25 percent of the life in the ocean.
  • Some fish have anti-freeze proteins that permit their survival in sub-zero environments.
  • Whales originated not from fish, but from mammals who left land for water millions of years ago. That’s why they move differently than fish: their tail slaps up and down over the waves instead of swishing right and left like a fish’s.


Did you know that the oceans are home to about ten thousand kinds of algae, and almost all are edible and nutritious? That’s why I’m sharing a recipe with you this month, one that includes spirulina, a green algae superfood that is high in protein, vitamin B12 and iron, and is beneficial to maintaining a healthy brain and keeping our digestive system, heart, lungs and liver healthy.

Spirulina Chia Pudding

2 cups almond milk (or your milk of choice)

1/2 cup chia seeds

2 teaspoons organic spirulina powder (find it here)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 – 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or to taste)

Fruit, granola, nut butter or coconut flakes for toppings

Blend all ingredients together and allow chia pudding to thicken in the refrigerator for up to an hour (for best results chill overnight).

(Recipe credit to

(Photo credit to