Author Q&A: Tara V. Thompson, Morgan Otter Saves the Sea Turtles
Eight-year-old Morgan Otter moves from her home in the hot Arizona desert to damp, green Georgia when her father gets a new job. She attends a day camp at the Nature Center where she meets new friends and learns about the animals of the Lowcountry, including endangered sea turtles. As Morgan learns about the sea turtles, she vows to become a sea turtle superhero with her new friend, Claire. The dynamic duo help protect baby sea turtles at the beach and make sure they make it to the ocean unharmed.
In celebration of Tara V. Thompson's upcoming release of Morgan Otter Saves the Sea Turtles, we've asked her a few questions about her inspiration behind encouraging children to get involved in the conservation and preservation of wild animals in their community.
AJ: How long have you been writing?
TT: I have only been writing fiction for three years, but I have written non-fiction for about 15 years.
AJ: What was your inspiration for writing Morgan Otter?
TT: I was inspired to write Morgan Otter when I first moved to Savannah. The city's unique spirit and habitat made it the perfect location for a bright and active girl like Morgan.
AJ: Did you base Morgan Otter's character off of anyone you know in real life?
TT: My niece and my godkids were the inspiration for the character of Morgan Otter. They are all mixed race and sometimes struggle with what that means. Like Morgan, they are also very curious about the world around them.
AJ: What made you want to write about sea turtles?
TT: I decided to focus on sea turtles because they are such special creatures who face unimaginable odds throughout their life cycle. They are endangered precisely because of what makes them unique—they are air-breathing reptiles who only come on land at birth or to lay eggs (for the females). It is during this time that they are extremely vulnerable to predators and careless humans. Only one in 1,000-10,000 hatchlings will make it to adulthood (estimates depend upon the source). Thankfully, there are many conservation groups that are now working with local volunteer groups (like in Morgan Otter) to help protect nesting mothers and their hatchlings.
AJ: What do you hope Morgan Otter will teach early readers?
TT: I hope Morgan Otter teaches early readers to learn more about people from different backgrounds. I also hope they learn to love the environment of the Lowcountry as much as I do.
AJ: What kind of future books can we hope to see?
TT: I am currently working on a sequel for Morgan Otter as well as two picture books.
Morgan Otter Saves the Sea Turtle is available November 8th, 2016 at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Click here to read more about Tara V. Thompson.