I think I fell into science fiction before I even knew what it was. I enjoyed watching TV shows like Astro Boy, The Thunderbirds, Dr Who and Star Trek when I was a kid, and I still do!
I’m also a self-proclaimed “whale and dolphin geek”. I started collecting dolphin and whale figurines while I was in high-school, and I started reading non-fiction books about them around then too. I was horrified to learn that many cultures around the world still hunt whales and dolphins, especially when so many sub-species are considered endangered because of declining numbers.
There have been a lot of experiments done that show dolphins appear to be very intelligent creatures . In the past many scientists, including John Lilly, have experimented with dolphins and killer whales to see if they could communicate with humans, and those experiments were successful to a certain degree.
That idea stuck in my mind. I believe dolphins and whales are sentient creatures. There have been numerous cases of them interacting with humans from dolphins saving drowning swimmers, to humpback whales carefully moving their pectoral fins out of the way so they didn’t hit a diver. So then I started asking myself “What if…?”
What if these creatures had a voice and they could tell us what they thought about being hunted?
What if they‘re as intelligent as us, or even more intelligent than us?
Lots of people around the world listen to whalesong. What if aliens also liked hearing whales sing?
And what if a Japanese teenage girl and a humpback whale – two past adversaries- were thrown together? In this case on the whale’s spaceship while he toured the galaxy performing whalesong. Would the whale’s memories of the past stop him accepting the girl because of her heritage?
That’s pretty much how The Whale’s Tale came about. I don’t think it’s as dorky as it sounds whenever I try to describe my book to people.
My book’s fantastic cover was produced by brilliant young artist, Elleanor Clarke. I’ve worked with her before when she designed a cover for Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. I’m a member of the Andromeda Spaceways co-operative. We all take turns at doing different jobs, and editing issues of the magazine which is available in print and PDF form through andromedaspaceways.com
Reading submitted stories, and editing four issues of Andromeda Spaceways has taught me a lot about how to improve my own writing. I don’t only write science fiction either. I’ve had a couple of stories published in collections for children, and I’ve written interviews and articles, including an article on how to turn your dog into transport published in Grass Roots magazine recently.
I’d be happy to chat to anyone and answer questions.