Title: Cry Of The Sea
Author: D.G. Driver
Publisher: Fire and Ice YA Books
Published Date: February 23, 2014
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Page Count: 210
Juniper Sawfeather is choosing which college to attend after graduation from West Olympia High School next year. She wants to go to San Diego to be far away from her environmental activist parents. They expect her to think the way they do, but having to be constantly fighting causes makes it difficult to be an average seventeen-year-old high school student. Why do her parents have to be so "out there?"
Her feelings on the subject are changed when she and her father rush to the beach after a reported oil spill. As they document the damage, June discovers three humans washed up on the beach, struggling to breathe through the oil coating their skin. At first she thinks they must be surfers, but as she gets closer, she finds out that these aren't humans at all. They're mermaids!
Now begins a complex story of intrigue, conspiracy and manipulation as June, her parents, a marine biologist and his handsome young intern, her best friend, the popular clique at school and the oil company fight over the fate of the mermaids.
Can you tell the readers 3 things not listed in your bio?
(After quickly re-reading the bio in the back of Cry of the Sea) 1. I was a Theater major in college and was a professional actress/singer in Los Angeles through my twenties. I still do community theater as a hobby here in Nashville.
2. I used to write under the name Donna Getzinger. I have several biographies on classical composers and another nonfiction book called The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in print under that name.
3. Since Cry of the Sea came out, my YA novella Passing Notes was released by Fire and Ice YA Books, and Ive completed a sequel to Cry called Whisper of the Woods which is scheduled to come out in November.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I decided to become a writer long after Id finished writing my first two novels and tons of short stories and songs. I only did it as a hobby while in school, not taking it too seriously or planning to make a career out of it. When a play of mine was produced in Los Angeles in 2004, I started submitting my stories for publication. I sold a couple in 1995, and then I was hooked. Ive been pursuing the dream ever since.
What is the best piece of advice you received in your journey to become an author?
Advice given to me personally: In 2009 I had the first 10 pages of an earlier draft of Cry of the Sea critiqued at a Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators event here in Nashville. She told me the premise of the book was good but the book was too short and it needed a lot of revision. It stung, but I rewrote the entire thing as suggested. I have become a huge fan of revision.
Advice Ive read: in Ray Bradburys Zen and the Art of Writing, he suggested writing without stopping to correct mistakes. Get through the first draft as fast as possible. I have always followed that advice.
When you are not saving the world by writing books, how do you spend your free time?
I dont have much free time. I work full time as an infant teacher in a school that has both special needs and typically developing students. I am a wife with a 21-year-old step-daughter and 14-year-old daughter at home. My oldest step-daughter is on her own now. I love watching TV, especially science fiction and speculative fiction shows. I read whenever I can. I also love doing musical theater shows when I make time for them.
Your book is Cry of The Sea, can you tell the readers a little about it?
Cry of the Sea is the story of Juniper Sawfeather, teen daughter of environmental activists, who discovers real mermaids washed up on the beach during an oil spill. She soon finds herself in the middle of a struggle between her parents, a marine biologist and his handsome young intern, the kids at school, and the corrupt oil company over the fate of the mermaids. It is more of a scifi than a fantasy. I like to tell people that Cry of the Sea is less Little Mermaid and more X-Files.
What kind of research did you have to do for the book?
I had to research details about oil spills: how they occur, how they are cleaned up, how animals are rescued and rehabilitated, and laws concerning them. I did research about American Indian culture (Junipers heritage) and mythology to find legends that would fit with the story. There were dozens of other smaller things I researched as well.
What is your current WIP?
I just finished a middle grade fantasy novel involving a young surfer and a reluctant dragon. I shopping that around to publishers and agents. Now Im going to write a couple more ghost stories in the style of my novella Passing Notes to possibly bundle into an anthology. As soon as thats done Ill be diving into book three of the Juniper Sawfeather stories.
If you could live as one of your characters for 24 hours, which one would it be and why?
Hmmm. Thats a hard one. Is it cheating if I say Id like to be the mermaid? But not the parts where shes nearly dying or kidnapped. The part where shes swimming in the ocean with her other mermaid friends.
Where do you get the inspiration for your characters?
Ive been a teacher as my day job for a long time. I get a lot of character names from my students. I sometimes grab characteristics from people I remember from my past that I went to school with or worked with. I also take things my kids say or do and spin them into my work.
What three books are must haves in any reader's library?
Well, I love YA and fantasy/adventure books to boot. So, Id say you should have Libba Brays Rebel Angel series, Sharon Camerons Dark Unwinding series, and The Hunger Games. I realized that actually means 8 books, not 3, but YA usually is written in series.
Any additional information you would like to add?
Follow me. I post pictures of mermaids and book related stuff every day: www.dgdriver.com www.facebook.com/donnagdriver www.twitter.com/DGDriverAuthor and www.instagram.com/d_g_driver#
Cry Of The Sea is a unique take on the story of mermaids. Instead of a fairytale setting, you have the brutal honest truth of what a mermaids would look like. They are not singing and dancing. Instead they are fighting for their survival. Driver merges environmental issues with fantasy to create a story that is entertaining and informative. The story puts an almost human face to the victims of pollution. It makes the reader think about the true effects.
It's not just about mermaids and environmental issues though. It's a story about a girl trying to find herself. She's trying to get out of the shadow of her parents and become her own person.Juniper or June, finds that she can be like her parents without losing herself.
The author does a fantastic job at creating this world that June lives in. The child of environmental activists, June is accustomed to the life of saving the planet. Her parents envision her following in their footsteps. June has other plans and this upsets them. When she and her father are called to the beach about an oil spill, her life changes forever. The life she thought she would have is changed upon the discovery of mermaids. With an chance encounter with Carter, an intern at the aquarium, she realizes that she can save the environment and have her own career. This story is gripping and wonderfully told. I adored every part of it an want more books about June. It is a clean read that is perfect for a YA reader. A definite recommend.
5 out of 5 Stars!!
D. G. Driver has been publishing stories and books for twenty years now. She started her career as Donna Getzinger and still has several nonfiction books with Morgan Reynolds Publishers in print under that name. In 2014 Fire and Ice YA Books published her first YA novel, Cry of the Sea, as D. G. Driver, and they have also published her YA romance novella Passing Notes. This November, Whisper of the Woods, the sequel to Cry will be released. She grew up in Southern California but has been in Nashville for twelve years now and is a member of SCBWI Midsouth. Learn more about her and her writing at www.dgdriver.com