I'm more active lately on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram than I am here, but wanted to stop by to announce my new book news! Here's the announcement from Publishers Weekly:
The writing of this book was quicker for me than most; I just got the idea for it last year when I saw this image fly by on Twitter:
Thankfully I was online at the right moment, and that I scrolled back to read the description. After a little research I found that it's likely that the whale is a male since they're the singers, and that other whales can probably hear him, but don't understand what he's saying. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about the 52 Hertz whale, and finally gave up trying to get back to sleep and got up to start writing about the kind of kid who would run away to try to track him down.
I found that character in 6th grade Iris, who's the only deaf student at her school. When she learns in her science class about this whale who can't talk to anyone else, she decides she has to find him.
I decided to fictionalize the whale for a couple of reasons. For one, there's a documentary in the works about "52 Blue," so there's no telling what we'll find out from that or future research. For now we don't know much, but writing about a fictitious "55 Hertz whale" gave me the freedom to write the story without worrying about the novel having inaccurate information about the real 52. Also there's some deaf poetry in the book, and the repeated "5" handshape worked out well with that. (The feeling of "rhyme" in deaf poetry is conveyed by similar handshapes instead of similar sounds like in spoken or written English).
About a year later, I had a manuscript that was revised and ready to submit. And now it will be a real book!
If you're as fascinated with the 52 Hertz whale like I am, here's more information:
The Mystery of the Loneliest Whale in the World
52-Hertz Song of the World's Loneliest Whale - includes a song recording!
Article on The Dodo about the whale, the documentary, and ocean noise
The Lonely Whale Foundation