My passion for children and animals led me to writing a series of children’s books involving sea creatures. I believe that animals have feelings, like we do, and they have the same desire to live free and in peace.
I was born in St. Malo, France. In my twenties I immigrated to the United States to attend the University of South Florida where I obtained a degree in Psychology. For many years I dedicated myself to teaching parents and daycare centers the art of teaching babies and preschoolers to read. I stress that the most important part of teaching children to read is to develop a love of reading at an early age.
I was inspired to write a story about a dolphin, a sea turtle, a seahorse, a mermaid, pirates, a wizard, and real heroes. The story is about ocean and wildlife conservation. Fantasy adventures are mixed with historical events, and fictional characters interact with real conservationists, such as Richard O’Barry, represented by name with permission, and Jacques Castel, so renamed for the legendary Jacques Cousteau, and Steve Dearwin, so renamed for the amazing Steve Irwin.
In my younger years, Jacques Cousteau, the sea explorer and poet, made me appreciate the infinite complexity and beauty of marine life. He believed in inspiring the young generation to protect the seas. I think he would approve of this story.
The 10 questions
IN JUST ONE SENTENCE, WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE IN LIFE?
Inspire children with stories about protecting animals and the ocean.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START DOING THIS WORK?
Three things – my love of children, a desire to end animal cruelty, and carrying the torch of Jacques Cousteau about educating the young about the ocean.
WHO WOULD PLAY YOU IN A MOVIE ABOUT YOUR LIFE? WHY?
A movie about me would be out of the question because I do not like the limelight, but I strongly believe that my stories will be turned into a film trilogy one day. Sean Connery would make a good Wizard Rubidjad because of the twinkle in his eyes and his good sense of humor.
HOW HAS THIS WORK CHANGED YOU?
Giving a voice to animals has helped me feel their plight and their longing for freedom and peace. In the process, I have become a vegetarian.
WHAT DO YOU GET FROM GIVING?
Seven fold! I don’t know any other investment with such a great emotional return. The story of The Chronicles of Rubidjad Island is a means to promote literacy and soften the hearts of children toward animals. The success of my book project will help further the causes of children and animal groups.
WHAT EVERYDAY RESOURCES COULD HELP YOU ACHIEVE YOUR PHILANTHROPIC GOALS?
Word-of-mouth publicity from associations dedicated to childhood literacy, animal rescue, dolphins and whales associations, ocean conservation and wildlife groups, as well as vegetarian groups.
WHO IS A LIVING HERO AND WHAT WOULD YOU ASK THEM IF GIVEN THE CHANCE?
I could name many heroes, but at the top of my list is Richard O’Barry to whom I dedicated my book series. My burning question is: “How do you keep your sanity in the face of all the cruelty to dolphins you’ve seen?”
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHERS WHO ASPIRE TO BE CITIZEN PHILANTHROPISTS?
All children grow up with wonderful ideas to better the world. We may loose sight of our dream temporarily, but sooner or later this burning desire will resurface. Keep this focus in mind and follow your dream.
TELL US SOMETHING YOU RARELY SHARE IN PUBLIC?
I am petrified about talking in public.
WHAT QUESTION DO YOU WISH I HAD ASKED, AND WHAT IS THE ANSWER?
Besides having written a 4-book series and producing the first audiobook, I want to complete three additional audiobooks in English, translate the series and audiobooks into Spanish and French, produce four videos for the hearing impaired, have the series converted into Braille, and produce a movie trilogy. As an opera buff, I can also visualize the story as an opera! Then, if my project becomes wildly successful, I'll create a non-profit organization to fight animal abuse, and perhaps create a sanctuary for animals released from laboratories and circuses.