Sarah Bounty Ridyard Shares The Inspiration Behind Her New Book, Mermaid Island
When I first sat down to write the outline of Mermaid Island, I knew I wanted to focus on something that has always been important to me - protecting the natural environment. The aquatic setting of the book gave the perfect connection to my professional background as an engineer who focuses on water resources.
Water has always been important to me. In Mermaid Island I wanted to make sure to work in the message of protecting the health of water bodies. For younger readers, a message like this can really be meaningful. I still remember some of my earliest recognition of the importance of preventing pollution coming from the books I read as a child.
The importance of protecting water supplies cannot be overstated. Not only for the benefits to the plants and animals (and mermaids) that call the oceans and rivers and lakes home, but also for people. Life as we know it would not be possible without water.
Beyond the necessity of water for human life, it is also something I have always found a calming presence in. Relaxing by the ocean, listening to waves crashing on the shore, or hiking by a mountain stream provide some of my best memories. Sitting outside on a summer day just doesn’t feel complete without a lake or pond nearby.
Over the last couple of years my enjoyment of water has changed a bit. I still enjoy watching the sunset over the ocean, or dipping my toes into a spring fed pond, but these days I get the most joy out of seeing these things through my daughter’s eyes. Seeing a child experience things for the first time reminds you how wonderful the world can really be.
My daughter Ellie is just a toddler and I know we have many more years of memory making ahead of us, but even at her young age I am lucky to have been able to share some special times enjoying water and the outdoors. Her first trip to the beach, first time wading in a rocky bottomed river, first time hiking up to some local lake views are some of my favorites. Childhood is such a short and magical time and I hope that I can help make some of her best memories be of the outdoors with her family.
Mermaid Island might be a lot of imagination, but the message about protecting our natural environment is very real. I am hopeful that readers will take that message to heart and grow up to be good stewards of our planet and all of its resources.
--Sarah Bounty Ridyard