When I invited Polly Holyoke to come on board and submit to an interview, she had a better idea...little did I know she has a gift for puns and a subject - her debut novel THE NEPTUNE PROJECT - that lends itself to that kind of riff.
Not that the story itself is funny; it sounds like an underseas thrill ride, and as someone with a degree in oceanography, I'm totally hooked. Here's the synopsis:
"Nere is one of a group of kids who have been genetically altered to survive in the ocean. These products of the "Neptune Project" are supposed to build a better future under the waves, safe from the terrible famines and wars that rock the surface world.
But there are some big challenges ahead of her: no one ever asked Nere if she wanted to be part of a science experiment; the other Neptune kids aren't exactly the friendliest bunch, and in order to reach the safe haven of the Neptune colony, Nere and her fellow mutates must swim across hundreds of miles of dangerous ocean, relying on their wits, their loyal dolphins and one another to evade terrifying undersea creatures and a government that will stop at nothing to capture the Neptune kids...dead or alive."
And here's Polly:
So, Polly, I'm going to dive right in with my questions. Do you really think The Neptune Project is going to make a splash?
Well, I hope the book will reel in young readers and that they will read it in schools. It’s always great if a book can make waves. I think the tide of public opinion is finally shifting, and people are starting to realize that climate change is truly a problem.
Not to carp on the topic, but what if your sales plunge because you’ve tackled a difficult environmental issue?"
I doubt that happens, but I have no regrets. I had a whale of a time writing The Neptune Project.
Why do you think The Neptune Project sold in the first place?
I did go against the current by writing a book that is set almost entirely in the sea, if you catch my drift.
Did you have any problems finding a reputable agent? There are lots of sharks out there.
No, I was lucky to land the fabulous and very reputable Douglas Stewart at Sterling Lord Literistic on my first cast. He’s truly a pearl of an agent.
You must have been so pleased when KIRKUS gave Neptune a nice review. It’s like getting their SEAL of approval. How is your current book progressing?
I have to say it’s going swimmingly.
Do you have any fin-al words? Please don’t clam up on me now.
I’d like to dedicate this blog interview to my esteemed British Agent Shirley Stewart, who won our last sea pun engagement fins down. But we Yanks are a stubborn bunch, and I haven’t given up yet. I also want to thank you for letting me indulge my fondness for this punishing kind of humor.
I don’t think either of us or our readers can take much more of this. We really shouldn’t go overboard. We are fin-ally fin-ished here.
All right! I'm ready to dive in, so here's the link: http://www.pollyholyoke.com/