Guest Post: Author Nancy Carlisle

Behind the scenes with the author of Saving the Seas for the Purple and Greens

Photo by Roman Pohorecki on

What inspired you to write this book?
In 2009, my family (myself, husband and two sons aged 10 and 12) took a multi-day kayaking\camping vacation to Desolation Sound—an area between British Columbia and Vancouver Island, Canada. We had a guide. It was an amazing 5-day trip. As we kayaked around small islands, we saw the most brilliant purpleand orange sea stars and bright green sea anemones. The water was clean and beautiful, and the trip was very memorable. Even though I live in Colorado now, I grew up closer to the coast and love the ocean (and rivers, lakes, and mountains) and visit it at least once a year.

I couldn’t stop thinking about what I saw and much of story just came to me.

In 2014, I was a mentor to a first-generation engineering student at the University of Colorado. I had heard that there was an exhibit at the Denver Zoo that was showcasing art made from ocean plastic and asked him if he’d like to see it. I was unsure if a freshman boy wanted to go to the zoo with me, but he said yes. The exhibit was breathtaking. The art was creative and imaginative and the facts about ocean plastic that accompanied the pieces were shocking. Facts such as “this sculpture was made from 500 bottles found on the shore”. Both of us were totally enthralled. He started taking pictures and posting them on his social media and his friends were all commenting on his posts. I couldn’t stop thinking
about what I saw and much of story just came to me. A few days later I read about the “cigarette surfboard” in the paper and know that I had to work that piece in somehow as well.

The original version of this book only had a few text boxes. After I wrote the original version, I kept discovering companies and young people that were innovating to solve the problem of plastic in the ocean and wanted to add their stories to the book and highlight the fact that these innovative people had studied in a variety of fields from art to science and using their education to make contributions to improve the environment. They are my inspiration.

For more information about the author and her latest book, visit Book Review + Giveaway: Saving the Seas for the Purple and Green.

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