Featured Interview With Dr Sarah Pye
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I was born in a tiny British outpost called Gibraltar and spent my formative years being boat-schooled while my family sailed part way around the world. That experience gave me a unique view on life which I appreciate. It also gave me an undying wanderlust which can’t be quenched. I currently live on the Sunshine Coast in Australia with my Australian Shepherd, Gypsy.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
Through my teen years, I devoured books during long night watches at sea and kept logs of my experiences. I have written ever since. hen, in 2012, I travelled to Borneo. While there, I met Malaysian ecologist Siew Te Wong who was committed to saving sun bears from extinction. I asked what she could do to help. He replied, “do what you do best”. I wrote Wong’s biography, Saving Sun Bears, as part of my Doctor of Creative Arts degree. It was published in 2021.
Last year, I realised we need to engage young people in conservation if we have any chance of saving the rainforest and its inhabitants, so I am now writing the Wildlife Wong series of chapter books for children 8-12. Each one focuses on Wong’s adventures with a different species.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I am an eclectic reader. I oscillate between nonfiction adventure stories and literary classics; between climate fiction and chick lit. The most amazing thing about reading is being transported to another place and time while the people around you have no idea where you are! My writings are inspired by the many unrecognized people doing their best to save their corner of the planet. One of them, of course, is Dr Siew Te Wong trying to save sun bears from extinction.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
The Wildlife Wong series of chapter books for children will eventually include nine books. (Yes, I will be busy!). The first three have been written: Wildlife Wong and the Sun Bear tells the heartwarming story of Damai, a sun bear cub with an uncertain future; Wildlife Wong and the Orangutan includes a funny story about the orangutan that stole Wong’s keys; and in Wildlife Wong and the Pygmy Elephant Wong’s truck is overturned by an angry teenage elephant!. They all include an adventure story about Wong and the animal, cool facts, and experiments so kids can become scientists just like Wildlife Wong. They are all available through most online platforms.
The next book, Wildlife Wong and the Bearded Pig, will be released in February 2022. I bet you didn’t know bearded pigs are suffering their own pandemic right now?
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