WHALE AND DOLPHIN Conservation in my first two novels

NEW FRONT COVER AUGUST 2018 WITH SILVER MEDALWhen I started writing Wendall’s Lullaby (or The Built in Smile as it was originally known) in 2007 I had the grand idea of writing a book from the perspective of a dolphin. I had pages of notes and research on dolphin intelligence and communication but very little in the way of a plot or characters. Somehow the idea morphed into a thriller that combined a number of mass-stranding dolphin tragedies with national defense conspiracies, secret extra-governmental groups and terrorism.

Of course, there were some conservation issues underlying the obvious story–whether the military use of certain technologies was negatively impacting cetaceans and whether the militarization of marine mammals was ethical or even necessary. My hope was that readers (while also being entertained) would be made aware that those are real world issues and the need for them to be examined and addressed.

With my follow-up novel, Delphys Rising, I decided to take things a step further–to give the conservation issues aCOVER FINAL FRONT ONLY higher profile within the plot. I was still interested in the military’s continuing use of dolphins, but also in more troubling issues like the dolphin-drive hunts in Taiji, Japan, and the Faroe Islands and the continued whaling of nations like Japan, Iceland and Norway. When the dolphins in the novel are finally able to communicate with humans, they not only object to this horrendous practices, but to the myriad of negative impacts that humanity has had on the oceans they call home (and that also support our species). How does this objection play out for the dolphins and the human scientists working with them? How does it play out for the world? Well, you’ll just have to read Delphys Rising to find out.


~ by kipwkoelsch on March 16, 2021.

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