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Nature Is Imploring Us

Karina McRoberts Author Interview

Ursamer: A Treasury of Feel-Good Stories Book 2 follows a young Inuit girl who tries to find someone that will understand her message about global warming. What was the inspiration for your stories?

Ursamer – the name came into my head. Sound is very important to me as a musician, but also as a writer. Translated, Ursa and Mer mean Bear and Sea. So, I thought I would write about polar bears and what is happening to them. I also wanted to write about climate change from a different slant. Everyone talks about the physical changes to the ice caps, but not so much how this is affecting those who live there.

Ursamer encounters very different people each time she arrives in a different place, how did you decide on where she would appear?

I tried to imagine what it would be like from her perspective and the difficulties she would have in conversing with the people she met. They would be so culturally removed from her. I wanted to show how different people are affected in different ways, but that we’re all in the world together and things are not looking rosy. Someone old and homeless in New York City (Ursamer can’t see why an elder is not treated with respect), famine-stricken refugees in Africa (they are desperate to the point of lost humanity), and me-dominated rich shoppers in a giant mall – the on-demand types. (It’s all about them, and they are totally clueless about what’s going on in the real world, which is, in essence, their world too.)

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

That nature is imploring us to turn ourselves around. The main thing for me is that humanity STILL doesn’t get it. The global pandemic is something that has never happened before. (Yes, others have, but they go away, at least for a while. I have a PhD in disease ecology, so I know what I’m talking about here). This virus is different – it’s not going away.

But, we have not learned from it. This is nature shouting a HUGE wake-up call. We’re a small step ahead with vaccines, but then we just keep going with our self-centred agenda – over-populating, over-consuming, polluting, degrading, destroying…

The ”On Demand” species. Uggh.

Listening is also a central theme of this story. The vast majority of people do not listen. Poor communication is a huge problem.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Well, a few. A comedy/social justice novel – it should be out by the end of the year.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Who is this intriguing little girl and her amazing puppy?
Where has she come from? What is her story? She has something very important to say, but no one is listening!
A sweet, poignant tale about climate change, Ursamer is ideal for children ages 8 and older.

I Care Deeply About the Environment

B B Denson Author Interview

Gary The Go-Cart tells two stories that inspire conversation on the environment in children and adults. What was the inspiration for the idea behind Gary the Go-cart?

I care deeply about the environment. So much so that I began working in environmental science. I started out believing in “clean energy” and thinking that the oil and gas industry needed cleaning up. Then as I worked in the industry and went to a lot of conferences and heard a lot of presentations, I finally had to admit I was wrong. I started getting really frustrated with how things were portrayed in the media. I felt like the problem was that the information is so complex, it would be hard to explain. I kept finding myself saying, “someone needs to make this simple enough for a child to understand”. Usually, when I have a brilliant idea, someone else does too. I kept waiting for someone to write a kids book about it. When no one ever did, I finally took it upon myself. I knew people were going to not just disagree with the concept, but vilify me for saying these things. That is why I titled the second book the way I did, because I knew I was “coming out of the closet” to admit that I didn’t believe in man-made catastrophic climate change.

I enjoyed the adorable art in the book. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Sidnei Marques?

Sidnei had a limited understanding of English. I would send him sketches of characters and say things like, I want the character to dress something like this character, and I want him to have an expression like this character, and I want them standing like this character. So our exchanges had few words, but lots of art. He was a brilliant artist. Unfortunately, he had cancer the whole time he was working on the books. He used the money I paid him to pay for his cancer treatments. I felt like we were destined to work together. He lived until a couple of days after we finished Carbon Comes out of the Closet. I think he purposely made himself hang on until we finished it.

What scene in the book did you have the most fun creating?

The final scene in each of the books were probably my favorites in each one. It was fun to have animated cupcakes in Wind Blows, and I was tickled when Sidnei came up with the idea of top hats on the cucumbers for the final scene in Carbon Comes out of the Closet.

Do you have plans to write more books starring Gary the Go-cart?

Unfortunately, I don’t think I could ever do any more Gary the Go-Cart books, not without Sidnei.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

This book is a compilation of two children’s books that teach kids on one level and teenagers and adults on another.
The Gary the Go-Cart books give a different perspective on energy and the environment from the one that is normally heard. Wind Energy is actually horrible for the environment, and climate change is really all about power and money and has nothing to do with the environment. This perspective is shared by large numbers of experts who are not having their voices heard. It is written as a fun story, with poetry, rhyme, and cadence.
Gary the Go-Cart tackles Wind Energy, Climate Change, and Fake News in a manner that is simple enough that even a child can enjoy it. The intention is to educate the adult reading it.
There is a page at the end of each story entitled, “For the Adults in the Room.” These pages give information and quotes showing the problems with wind energy and carbon capture.
Get it for your high schooler to read! They need to hear this before they get to college and are totally indoctrinated!
It is 68 pages of full-color illustrations. It is illustrated by the late, award-winning Sidnei Marques.

The Erebus Tales Series

Norman Westhoff Author Interview

Gifts of a Dark God follow a group of friends trying to stop the colonization of Antarctica while running into some dangerous hurdles. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

See the first two books in the Erebus Tales series, Stone Fever and The Color of Greed, for more background on how a climate-changed Antarctica becomes the focal point of this story.

Which character in the novel do you feel you relate to more and why?

Every major character has a bit of me in it: Keltyn the loner nerd geologist, Joaquin the gimpy but plucky gaucho-wannabee, Luz the impetuous organizer, Fay the defender of the downtrodden, even Helmut Ganz the corporate toady, hiding a fatal character flaw.

What was your favorite scene in this story?

The horse-breeding scene in Chapter 13, though I owe a word of thanks in the conception of that scene to a similar one in Tom Wolfe’s A Man in Full.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

No further fiction planned at this time. Readers are referred to the first two books in this series, previously published by Iguana Books.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

Rogue geologist Keltyn Sparrowhawk continues her search for the strategic metal iridium in 24th-century Antarctica. In a Canadian jail, charged with murdering her former mentor, she bargains her way out at a dear cost, starting an epic journey via China, then back to the Erebus volcano and her friends Joaquin Beltran and Luz Hogarth. These teens have since forged their own careers, fused from the melting pot of the annual Rendezvous.
Meanwhile, activist Fay Del Campo, sprung from detention, vows to fight Sir Oscar Bailey’s domination of world commerce, even if it means joining forces with a shadowy group of saboteurs. Bailey’s storm trooper Helmut Ganz plots to stop her. Only one of them will survive, and Erebus, the dark mountain god, will have the final say.

This Love Will Make Us Better

Tuula Pere
Tuula Pere Author Interview

The Polar Bears’ Journey tells the story of a polar bear mom and her cub being forced to leave their home and find a better place to live. What was the inspiration for your story?

My stories always have many layers. They can be a mixture of experiences of many generations, or they can connect to more general phenomena in society or the environment globally.

“The Polar Bears’ Journey” combines elements of the era of climate change to the destinies of people having to leave their homes as refugees for various reasons. In real life, these elements are sometimes connected, too.

The story about the mother polar bear and her cub makes us feel the worries and pain of many other mothers and fathers, too. So many families are devastated about the uncertain future and the safety of their children globally.

To achieve security, they must first risk the lives of their loved ones. Thinking about this contradiction touches every parent as we understand what families are willing to try for their children. We also understand how little the chance of succeeding is.

I admit that there is one moment in the book where I cried while writing. It’s the point where the mother and child are floating in the sea at night. They have no clear destination in the darkness and hardly any strength left. Still, the mother protects her child and encourages him till the end. The warmth between those two is something that I have always felt for my children.

A parent’s love for the child is something people understand and share wherever they live. I hope that understanding this love will make us better relate to the situation of the families in difficulties as well.

Can you tell readers if it is Dad bear they see at the end of the story reuniting their family?

I have intentionally left the final scene of the story somewhat open. The readers have often asked me what really happened. Did Dad join the family? The destiny of the Granny, who stayed at home, troubles some readers, too.

The open end of the story leaves room for interpretation. I have heard that, e.g., teachers have had lively discussions with their pupils about this very end. I recommend that the adults should discuss the complicated topics in the book with children.

It’s good to listen to the child’s thoughts about the story. A different interpretation may be appropriate for children of various ages. It’s not my intention that anyone would become depressed or too worried about the story or should be left alone to think about the fate of the characters.

I want to believe in happy ends – at least in fairy tales. In my mind, Dad arrives and eventually fetches Granny, too, to the new family home.

Are there any emotions or memories from your own life that you put into your character’s life?

In Finland, we have been living in a time of peace for a long time. Also, the conditions and possibilities for the families have constantly improved in our welfare state. But the events of the rest of the world affect our lives, too.

We Finns also have in mind the experiences of previous generations from the wartime when many families had to make the journey to an uncertain future far from home. Some could return, but it was a change for a lifetime for many.

As a child, I lived in a district inhabited by many migrants from Karelia because of the war. I listened to the challenging experiences of these people. Even then, I was feeling deep in my heart the despair of them who had had to leave their homes and settle in new conditions with strangers. The reception was not always the best either.

These are heavy memories that are passed down from generation to generation. I have written several books, e.g., “Lullaby of the Valley” and “Raspberry Red,” that talk about the consequences of war and its impact on people’s lives. For some of us, they are history – for others, life today. I hope that my books will encourage and bring comfort to these situations as well.

What inspired you to become a children’s book writer?

After working as a lawyer and senior business executive in the heavy industry for some twenty years, I became a mother of a third child. That was a moment of significant change in my life. I decided to focus on two completely different types of writing; I continued my studies to become a Ph. D. in Law, and I started as a children’s author. Some may think this is a strange combination, but it’s a very natural one for me. Now, I can put all my experience and knowledge about life and society together and work for the good of children.

I think I have the soul of a storyteller. I like to make observations and try to understand the life around me. The next step has been to tie all that together into stories that will delight, encourage, and help others as well. I have been telling stories all my life. I have also listened to my grandparents’ stories and read through most of the books of my childhood libraries, shelf by shelf.

At first, I told fairy tales to my little sisters with whom I shared the bedroom. For years, I told them a new fairy tale every night after turning off the lamp. I also wrote small stories, poems, and plays for my school and sometimes sent my texts to a local newspaper.

Later, my children were a keen audience for my stories, but as they grew up, I started telling stories to the world’s children. Now, I can combine all my experience and knowledge about people and society for the good of children and work in my own publishing house to make a difference. I try to influence the world around me and cooperate with a broad international network of professionals in children’s literature.

I love the possibility to work independently and globally – and try to build understanding, acceptance, and respect on every level. That’s my mission as a writer and publisher.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

Nanu the polar bear cub is worried. His ice slide is shrinking day by day. Mom and Grandma are worried about their home glacier–it’s melting too. And Father Bear has been gone for days on a hunting trip.
Driven by the melting ice floes, Mom and Nanu set out on a journey to find a new home. A friendly tern accompanies them as their pathfinder. But the journey is long and tiring, and ice is melting all around them. Will the polar bear family ever be reunited?

The Change Agents

Legal reporter Eliza is stunned when she finds a bug and two spiders talking to her and asking for her help with a cause. The puzzled and yet intrigued Eliza at the Mausoleum door follows the creatures through the crypt to NoHoSap, a safe place for living animals, away from humans and their exploration. As the surprises and shocks unfold for Eliza in NoHoSap, she learns of her role in a great cause – climate change. Will the Change Agents of NoHoSap be able to influence the world with the help of their human friends? Or penetrate the skeptical human conscience indifferent to the world’s real issues prowling the Earth?

In this unique urban fantasy novel, author Sarah E. Lewis honors her canine Bebop and inspires people to save the Earth from climate change. Bebop plays a significant role in the story as he is not only Eliza’s faithful companion but also a guide for NoHoSap, a change agent dedicated to making the Earth a flourishing home for all creatures. This intriguing story also satirizes the whole human race using several discourses and interactions among animal species. The story features a scene where animals protect and help rescue humans in a flood. It comes off as a silent mockery upon humans encroaching on animals’ natural habitat.

The Change Agents presents a critical topic wrapped in fantasy fiction, in which animals have taken over the role of humans. Readers will appreciate the comical representation of technology-driven animals in the story, such as BG (Billy Goat) rapping and mixing crazy tracks amid the dancing animals. Having the animal participate in such a serious social issue as climate change adds fun and makes the book ideal for older elementary children. The chapters were reasonable lengths and easy to break out for discussion topics.

The author wisely enlists the state of every habitat due to weather fluctuations by including the species that live there in The Alliance members of NoHoSap, who help explain to readers the ravaging change in the ecosystem. With subtle satire, the book invites readers to become Change Agents by adopting lifestyles that improve nature.

The Change Agents is a valuable book for parents and educators to teach children a valuable lesson on climate change while entertaining them with amusing creatures.

Pages: 380 | ASIN : B09LJX3MT7

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An Endangered Species

Wayne Gerard Trotman
Wayne Gerard Trotman Author Interview

Song of the Blue Whale is an educational picture book that teaches readers about whaling and ocean pollution. Why is this an important topic for you?

The blue whale is the largest animal on Earth. This magnificent, gentle giant is an endangered species due to the ill effects of avoidable human behaviour. There may come a time when these beautiful creatures will only exist in photographs, video footage or on the pages of books. If properly educated, informed future generations can avert such a tragedy.

I loved the art in this book, especially the pictures of whales under the ocean. What is your favorite picture from the book?

In this volume, I included cameos of two characters from other books in the series. We see Mattie Boombalatty picking up rubbish from a beach with her mother. However, my favourite illustration features Shelly, the leatherback sea turtle with a purple heart painted on her shell. The double-page spread shows the beauty of a tropical coral reef spoiled by discarded tin cans, surgical masks, nets, plastic straws and bags. Shelly is coming to the aid of a companion trapped in a plastic bag. As well as colourful seahorses and tropical fish, we see two curious dolphins. It’s a powerful image that forces older children to think about how we deal with rubbish and how it may affect other animals.

What is a simple step someone could take to help reduce ocean pollution?

Using less expendable plastic and recycling as much of the plastics we do use can dramatically reduce pollution in rivers, lakes, oceans and seas.

Do you plan to write more books on these same topics?

There is a total of seven books in my series of illustrated children’s books. These appear in an anthology titled Wayne Gerard Trotman’s Rhyming Stories, introduced by the poet and novelist Dr. Benjamin Zephaniah. I also co-wrote Believe in Fairies with my wife, Sherrie. Several species of wildflowers have disappeared from the English countryside. This rhyming fairy tale introduces children and their parents to the various types that still exist and encourages them to plant wildflower gardens.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

In the Southern Ocean, there lives a blue whale
Magnificent and free with a barnacle on her tail
She swims the ocean’s depths; few follow her trail
In the coldest waters, where only the brave prevail

Despite a global whaling ban, the blue whale, the largest animal the world has ever seen, remains endangered.
Learn about the threats she faces, and what we can do to help protect her, in this beautifully illustrated rhyming story for ages 4+.

To Serve Our Planet

Irene Edwards
Irene Edwards Author Interview

Chaos in the Cosmos is a children’s fantasy book that illustrates climate’s impact on Earth how we should respect nature. What were some sources that informed this book’s development?

Our greatest power, gifted to us all, is that of respect, not only to each other but also respect to the very precious globe we call Earth … the very ground we tread on daily throughout our lives.

So many adults around our world have not, seemingly, learned this concept of respect, preferring to remain on the side of inattention and inaction, and possibly of ignorance, wishing to demonstrate their power in a different way.

If, we as adults, fail to develop an awareness, how are the young minds of our children to be given the opportunity to fully understand worldly problems?

How are they going to take a grip on some of the more complex problematic world events, and even fully concern themselves with what certain threats will bring in the future years ahead?

How can young children be shown the best path forward to serve our planet and each other with the much-desired respect required?

If we take literature as a tool of learning, how best do children enjoy their learning?

I believe that for generations, children’s literature has formed memorable concepts in children’s minds, and has not always succeeded in the form of serious literature, but sometimes concepts can emerge from reading Fantasy stories of a light-hearted nature with a ring of desired fun to them.

In fact, that is precisely the effect I aimed for within the pages of ‘Chaos in the Cosmos.’ A light fast-paced story form, a story to giggle over and have fun with. A tale to hopefully bring together how the abuse of power, when used with inconsideration, can even rapidly destroy our world as we know it.

So, behind the lighter read is a thought process.

How do we answer our problems on Planet Earth?

Can the planet really suffer from something called Global Warming?

What is it? Why? How? When? So, what must each of us learn to do to play our part?

Here we are in 2021, in the middle of a Global Pandemic, which has scared kids and adults, kept children isolated indoors, not allowed them peer play. They have endured loss…possibly of close family members, grandparents, siblings, and even parents maybe. The cultural riches we all took for granted have been denied us… no parties, services, and so on. And so in the middle of this world’s ill health, there emerges chaos. Thus these are the days we are living through.

Plus we have a further world event crisis of Global Warming evolving on a daily basis.

Another real feature to our present-day is our discovery and probing of the Red Planet, Mars.

The section of the Mars visit is part of the adventure to learning, and it can be a matter of trend and future development within the classroom, as in the same way Global Warming can become a topic in its own right. I advise anyone who is searching for more suggestions for group discussions to enter Magic Islands via my web address at
https://cgofwales.co.uk for worksheet and pointers.

I have listed many ideas class teachers and parents can discuss with children. The discussions will bring out serious and fun issues in relation to the second book, Chaos in the Cosmos, from rights, wrongs and values, facts and fiction, questions and answers, tolerance and intolerance, the use of power, the funny, ridiculous, dangerous, imaginary. The need to separate fantasy from truths. The story can be used as a foothold …a matchlight to ignite the burning issues surrounding environmental and personal awareness. So if required it can become a tool from which laughter and mainstream learning can evolve.

This seemed like it was a very fun book to write. What was your favorite scene to write for?

One could say ‘Chaos in the Cosmos’ chose its time to be born, but, yes, it emerged during a time of grief and sadness, and therefore needed to sparkle in a comic way to lift the mood of the day.

In contrast to ‘Magic Islands, Book One’ where the magical powers of the Purple Wizards demonstrated an evil in them, a fearsome greed, whereby they wanted to achieve everything for themselves without respect for anyone or anything thing else. In Book Two, ‘Chaos in the Cosmos,’ I have tried to illustrate the other side of the Purple Wizards characters. I needed the story to show they were stupid, foolish, ignorant, lacking understanding or knowledge, and no better than a bunch of fools. If one gives power to foolishness, even if it is based on magical power, are fools ever really going to use their given powers with any respect?

The fun is found in words and deeds. These characters are now seen as the ‘Goons’ or ‘Mindless’ who follow and mimic their crazy leader, Izzy Odorous.

Perhaps, the Wizards’ depiction is both overwhelming and annoying. Characters with such silly behavioral patterns would be, I agree. It may be said that only a fool would deliberately be proactive towards leading the planet towards the extinction of its species.

So, now we understand a little more about the spectrum of the personalities of the Purple Wizards
Moving from the Purple Wizards, I enjoyed writing about the Baby Hook-Eyed Monster, Scratchit, who, as you say, becomes Stefan’s secret and whose lack of magical knowledge leads both Stefan and Megan on a terrifying journey to the Magic Islands. It is, in fact, Scratchit who raises the alarm of the heating seas, when he reports to the children that Global Warming is destroying the sea creatures and all marine life. I reckon children will love baby Scratchit.
I enjoyed writing this fun book for children, mainly because I knew there was a gap in the market, and a lack of light reading material on the subject for 7/8-11 years.

This book explores climate and nature in an interesting and engaging way. Why do you think this is important for children to learn?

Our world is changing rapidly. Young children are moving forward into a new era. It is important that they become aware of what their future will bring. If children are to grow and live in a future clean environment during their lifetime, the work towards that awareness must start now…Today.

Will you continue your Magic Islands stories in a third book?

The third book ‘The Kingdom of Now and Then’ continues with an invitation into a world of extinction where we will meet the once extinct and imaginary beasts as they jump off the pages of storybooks, legends, and the time of ‘Then.’ The Purple Wizards and the children are still involved in the magic of it all. In this book, there are more sides to the personality spectrum of the wizards as they try to adapt to a different vision. #amwriting.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Website

‘Chaos in the Cosmos,’ is a fantasy narrative for children aged between 8 to 12 years.
In ‘Chaos in the Cosmos’ the fun and games of the wicked Purple Wizards’ tricks and their wrong doings are taken too far, resulting in an urgency to save Planet Earth from disaster before time runs out for the planet.
The story illustrates the way nature can hit out when not heeded or respected, and it shows the impact climate change can have on our planet in extreme temperatures.
It sets the scene for young readers to learn and understand the effects of a warmer chaotic world, and aims at promoting such concepts through storytelling and adventure, thus exposing some of the global issues surrounding planetary warming, as narrated and visualized through the eyes of magic and fantasy.
Written with much lyrical fun in mind for children, there is, of course, some serious underlying elements… those of fostering climatic awareness, and the realisation our planet is very precious to us all.
There are obvious links to the first book in the series ‘Magic Islands’, and in this second book we meet again many of our familiar characters.

The story begins when the “Magic” happens, and the Purple Wizards are sent spinning from the Magic Islands to the Red Planet, Mars, where they experience a Space adventure on the mystic planet and its hidden Underworld.
In order to escape from the Underworld and from Planet Mars, Izzy Odorous and his gang of Purple Wizards are faced with having to regain their own powerful magical strengths. With newly regained powers, they mischievously venture out on a magical mystery tour and later threaten danger to the well-being of the entire Planet Earth.
Scratchit is the much feared, adorable, baby Hook-Eyed Cyclops Monster, who creates havoc by way of his very own busy magical mischief, as he whisks the children, Stefan and Megan, on a terrifying journey to the Magic Islands.
But when the children are confronted with the impending perils of global warming, they are also faced with having to help the magical inhabitants of the Magic Islands in their fight for survival during a rapidly changing climatic crisis.

Impossible to Resist

Bill  McGuire
Bill McGuire Author Interview

Skyseed follows a group of people who set out to save the planet from a man-made climate disaster. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The idea of using tech as a quick fix for the climate crisis is attracting growing support and credence, despite the fact that it is hugely expensive, environmentally damaging, and potentially dangerous. I wanted to write a story that was primarily a good yarn, but which also provided a timely and salutary warning about the dangers of so-called geoengineering.

Jane is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

There are plenty of great female researchers in the geological sciences, including in my own field of volcanology, and I wanted to reflect this in the book. Geology is not all machismo, and female scientists make hugely important contributions, often while juggling family and work, so Jane is based upon an amalgam of a number of friends and colleagues I have known over the years.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

There are quite a few themes hidden away – some perhaps not so hidden. As I mentioned earlier, geoengineering and its associated dangers, is the big one. But I have to admit that there is also an anti-capitalist strand running through the story, together with digs at neocolonialism and the way in which those in power find it impossible to resist acting in an underhand way, then fail to be open about how bad things are when everything goes pear-shaped. In the UK, we have seen this recently in relation to how the government mishandled both Brexit and the pandemic.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

A sequel to Skyseed is always possible. I have left a small chink of light at the end of the story to allow this, but we shall see. Currently, I am working on a young adult project about an Earth upon which not all dinosaurs were wiped out 65 million years ago. Some survived so that today, their intelligent, bipedal, descendents have built a dominant civilisation that reigns over us humans. But change is on the way…

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Sometimes, when you’re in a hole, it’s best to stop digging. This applies as much to messing with the climate as anything else, except even more so.

Jane Haliwell put her head in her hands. To tell the truth, she was still in shock. All the samples she had taken from inside and around the lab contained the enigmatic spheres in huge numbers. She had only had a brief time to think about the implications, but she was pretty sure already what was going on.

For the first time in the history of the world, it was literally raining carbon. Long before it stopped, the guilty would pay, but so would the innocent…
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