I share the challenges (and fun) of writing, using PowerPoint slides with amazing images by my underwater photographer collaborators, props, samples of my books in progress, and lots of anecdotes.
How I began:
I wandered into writing on my way to becoming a scientist.
When I was 13, my parents’ friends would ask, “What are you going to be when you grow up?” I thought, “Nurse? Meteorologist? Oceanologist?” It took me a year before I realized that it was an oceanographer that I wanted to become, but by then I was hooked. I went all through high school and college with the intent of studying oceanography.
After graduating college, I needed a break from studying. I got my first “grown-up” job at the New England Aquarium in Boston. It was there that I realized I wasn’t going to be a scientist. Instead, I found I liked learning a little about this and a little about that. So I turned to teaching and writing. Now I am a “science translator.” This career allows my curiosity to take me in many different directions as I continue to learn about and share my passion for the ocean.
I most enjoy getting to meet the scientists, divers, and underwater explorers I interview for my books. In doing my research, I’ve had a few undersea adventures of my own: swimming with 10 Caribbean reef sharks, lounging with stingrays in Stingray City, diving on a sunken ship, and spending a week in total immersion with bottlenose dolphins.
For the past two decades, my day job as associate director of Friends of Casco Bay, in South Portland, Maine, allowed me to work to help protect the environmental health of my hometown ocean.
An update of Life Under Ice in 2019 includes new research about how climate change is impacting the life in the ocean surrounding Antarctica. Talking about climate change–and acting to do something about it–are topics I increasingly focus on in conversations with kids (who GET it!) and adults (who want to).
That is what makes the ocean so endlessly fascinating–new discoveries every day. Who knows what we–or you–will learn next?
I am just completing a book on volcanoes and the ocean, focusing on Kilauea in Hawaii. I must admit, that was a fun one to research! I am always working on new book projects, with two new books to be released in 2021. I welcome your suggestions for other book ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mary.cerullo