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Creating Cultural Awareness

L. J.Nilsson Author Interview

Mangrove Sands, The Enchanted Seaworld and Beyond follows 4 children that go on a magical adventure and make new friends while learning about the Muandik aboriginal tribe. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

My inspiration for book two came from the island I live on on South East Queensland is surrounded by aboriginal people, history and artifacts. I was privileged to work with my good friend Leonie Watson, Elder of the Muandik Tribe, with Closing The Gap, at our local island Primary school.

There is certainly a need, in Australia, to educate both indigenous and non indigenous children about their land, language and heritage.

What research did you do for this novel to get it right?

There was quite a lot of research into writer protocols and approvals addressing Australian Aboriginal tribes and cultures. My good friend, Leonie Watson, Elder of the Muandik Tribe provided books specifically relating to the Muandik tribe.

I also did further research into some Aboriginal Dreamtime stories.

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

One of the most important themes is creating cultural awareness, inclusion and education, particularly the Australian Aboriginal culture. This begins in early childhood education and it is my hope that teachers world wide include this book in their classroom for 8-12yr olds.

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

A third book of the Mangrove Sands series ‘The Epic Journey’ is currently in production with my publisher. There is a fourth book in process and will go far beyond the earth we know and take us to the origins of The Enchanted Seaworld.

Currently i am writing and illustrating for my 1yr old grandson, inspired by becoming a first time grandmother. Many little life lessons and humour in these books. I’m not sure when I will publish these I’m just enjoying writing them at present.

Author Links: Austin MacCauley | GoodReads

This book sets out to inspire and educate children, who, for one reason or another, have difficult starts in life either by fate or disability. Each chapter provides a human lesson and human qualities through adventure, including: empathy, bravery, honour, friendship and resilience in the face of adversity.

Based on an island in South East Queensland, Australia, four children, who attend the same island state school, are all miserable at home and school until Parlow, the pelican, comes knocking on Tommy’s window one night to offer him a better life. Tommy thinks he is dreaming as do his friends—Maria, Dino and Jake—who all have an out of body experience and are taken to an enchanted underwater sea world beneath Mangrove Sands, where they meet talking animals who have their own language and become the children’s tutors, mentors and friends.

Through an enchanting underwater sea world of magic, adventure and humour, Mangrove Sands aims to provide hope and inspiration to children around the globe facing adversity.
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