It’s hard to believe after years of revising, but the e-book version of Ocean Echoes has finally been published. I’m hoping the paperback will be out soon.
This is my first published novel even though I’ve been a writer all my life. Before this novel took over, I wrote feature articles for local newspapers and magazines. I’m looking forward to going back to those for a while.
I had a hard time deciding on a specific genre for this novel. It could be called contemporary fiction, but it’s rapidly turning into historical fiction because it takes place in 2010. It could also be called science fiction, but most of the science in it is real. I guess that’s how it is with some science fiction – the label just doesn’t sound very real. Mostly, I think of it as an ocean adventure. I’m not so sure that’s a real category though.
Here’s a brief description – this also happens to be the bulk of my query letter:
Marine biologist Ellen Upton gives up on love to study jellyfish at a Cape Cod research facility. Her ultimate goal is to make a difference through her research, but the ocean would rather mystify than reveal its secrets. When her funding is threatened, her future will depend on the success or failure of an upcoming research cruise.
During the cruise, she discovers what could be a new species. Every discovery only leads to more questions. She is driven to learn the truth behind its existence, even as the truth continues to change. Either her dreams of recognition are within her grasp or her research is slipping into obsession.
Reverberating with mysteries of life and love, Ocean Echoes is a journey into the unknown.
By now, most of you know how much I love the ocean and I know we all share that love. A percentage from the sale of this book will go toward nonprofit organizations working to protect the world’s oceans for future generations.
Thank you to Mario Lampic for designing a book cover that shows the beauty and mystery of jellyfish. I highly recommend working with Mario for any design project.
I’d like to send a huge thank you out to Carrie Rubin for recommending 99 Designs for book covers. Thank you Carrie!
Thank you to the goat club on Twitter: @readinterrupt, @BrittSkrabanek, @carrie_rubin, @TWDittmer, @mary_jo_malo. You’ll be happy to know goats do make a few brief appearances in this book, which was hard to do in an ocean novel.
Thank you to everyone for your advice, encouragement, and the needed laughs through the years! I’ve loved sharing the writing adventure with all of you. And the adventure continues…
It sounds interesting, I wish you success with it.
Thank you! I’m just glad it’s finally out there!
Congratulations again on the book, Sheila! I love reading about the ocean and marine biology. And now you’ve peaked my interest even more as I will be looking for mentions of goats (swimming goats????). Haha! Well done to you on writing the book and getting it out there 🙂
Hi Letizia! Sorry your msg ended up as spam for some crazy reason and I just saw it. You’d think this system would have noticed that we’re friends by now! Hahah – yes there really aren’t enough goats but a few do make some cameo appearances. I hope you’ll have fun reading it!
Spam, how shocking! I will write to WordPress immediately and complain, haha!
Hahah – yes please do because you’re the opposite of spam! 🙂
Am loving it so far! Great protag. I feel her pain. 🙂
Thanks Carrie! I’m so glad you’re enjoying it. Yes, she’s one of those silly introverts. 🙂
By the way, thank you so much for the mention. I’m glad you liked 99 Designs as much as I did. Your cover is terrific. I’m so impressed with the book so far. You are a beautifully descriptive writer. “…the light faded into dark swirls of bold romance.”–Loved that line!
Thank you so much for everything – I’m glad you’re enjoying it so far!
Well done – this story sounds fantastic (and highly intriguing) 🙂
Thanks Dianne! Now that it’s finally done I’m looking forward to reading more of your books!
Congratulations! Sounds like an exciting story!
Thanks so much! I hope it is – it’s hard for me to tell after reading it hundreds of times! Thank you for the Twitter share too!
Woo Hoo! I’m thrilled for you, Sheila! I can’t wait to read your book. Like you, I love the ocean. What a great cover! If you ever want to do a guest post to promote your book, I’d love to have you on my blog. Congratulations!!!!!!
Thanks Jill! Yes, ocean lovers need to stick together! I’d love to come on over for a visit any time!
Shoot me an email and we’ll set something up! 🙂
Congratulations, Sheila. A great achievement, and so good that you will be donating some sale proceeds to ocean work.
Hi Gallivanta! Thank you – those ocean conservation groups do great work – I love hearing about the victories that have been made and I’m hoping for more victories in the future.
Yay! Congratulations! 🙂
Thank you Coleen! I know you know how crazy this whole thing is – I hope everything’s going well with your writing!
Awesome, Sheila. I love the cover. Can’t wait to read this one.
Thanks Char! I’m looking forward to reading your new book too – it sounds like a great one!
It was fun to write. I just read Carrie’s review on your book and am more excited. I have your book on my kindle and will get to it after a couple others I have to review first. Congrats again! It’s a huge undertaking to get that first book under your belt.
Thank you! Carrie is amazing – I can’t believe she read it so quickly! I hope you’re feeling better every day.
She did read it quick. Thanks for the well wishes. If I can just figure out which pain meds I can keep down, I’ll start improving. It’s been a fight so far.
I hope the chocolate helps!
Congratulations, Sheila! Obviously I’ve been away from the blogosphere as I find my way back to my writing, but I’m so glad I saw this post. 🙂 Time to add this to the TBR list!
Thanks so much JM! I’ve been away for a while too – sometimes we just have to do that or we’d go insane. 🙂 I’ve missed you though. I hope you’ve been enjoying your break and I’ll look forward to reading your book!
Congratulations! I read the first chapter and decided to go for it… so I just downloaded a copy to my Kindle. My reading list is long but I’ll try to get to it before too much time passes!
Thanks so much Audrey! I know what you mean about those long reading lists. I’m hoping for lots of snowstorms this winter just for the chance to read as many books as possible!
Best of luck with the novel. It’s a landmark putting it out there.
Thank you! The whole thing is pretty scary for now but hopefully I’ll get used to that part of it. I hope everything’s going well with your writing!
The writing is one thing, the marketing is something else and I struggle with it, but…
I’m struggling with it too but then if only a couple people read the book and enjoy it, it’s still a success in some way (that’s what I’ve been trying to tell myself anyway)! 🙂
Yes, I tell myself it’s the achievement and what I’ve learnt along the way that matters, not the sales or financial rewards. And with that belief comes additional confidence. I don’t aim to be a best-selling page-tuner novelist, I aim to be a better writer, writing what I want to write. Anyway, hopes your sales go well.
That’s a great way to look at it. Really, it’s best to just write for the love of it all and forget all the rest.
How exciting, Sheila! I’m thrilled you took the plunge (pun intended)! I will definitely be reading it soon–you know how much I love all things ocean, so I’m sure I’ll enjoy it tremendously!!
Thanks Kate! I’m glad we share such a love for the ocean. You might recognize a few places since some of it takes place on Cape Cod and MV. Love and hugs and Happy Halloween!
Well done for finishing, it is very inspiring as well! SO many book blurbs these days sound so similar, yours sounds refreshing and intriguing.
Thanks Ste J! I hope it’s a little different. It was fun to do because I work at a coincidentally similar place. Now that it’s finally out there, I’m looking forward to reading as much as possible for a while.
The most noble of pursuits!
Way to go, Sheila! … best of luck with your book!… Happy weekend. Aquileana 🙂
Thank you Aquileana! I hope everything’s going well with you. Sorry I haven’t been around on the blog much – I was forcing myself to concentrate on the book and now I’m looking forward to catching up with everyone. Happy weekend!
I just finished reading your book and it’s wonderful! Congratulations on writing such an inventive story. I’m still thinking about it.
Thanks so much – I’m glad you enjoyed reading it! I tried to throw a few fun things in there anyway, like goats and gorillas. 🙂
Looks fabulous Sheila all the best in your writing journey. I have so many books to read at the moment but will definitely pick up a copy when I catch up.
Thanks Kath! I love looking forward to all the possibilities in the to-read pile!
Late to the party here, baby doll, but HUGE congrats! I can’t wait to read this when I go to LA next week. Figured “oceans” was fitting for staying in Venice. 😉
Thanks for the goat club shout-out too. Baaaaahhhh!
You can never be late to the party when you are the party! Thanks so much for wanting to read it! Hope you have a great time in LA and make sure to breathe in that ocean air as much as possible!!
Congratulations on the new book, Sheila! I just found your blog via Twitter 🙂
Thank you! I’m sure you can relate to the craziness of all this. Thanks so much for the Twitter share!
Congrats, Sheila! I’ll pop over and pick up the ebook now!
Thanks Kourtney! I hope you’ll have fun reading it. I’m looking forward to reading as much as possible for a while and can’t wait to check in on Kai and Oliver!
Great description of the novel, totally makes me want to read it, and thank you for the head’s up on 99Designs!
Thank you! The design contest was a lot of fun – it was interesting to see so many different concepts for the cover.
Sounds a very different and original story line! good luck!
Thank you – I happen to work at a place that’s like it, so that helps. Thanks for visiting and for the Twitter shares!
This is so darn exciting, Sheila!! How in the world did I miss this news?! Congratulations!! I plan to order an e-copy. When do you plan to publish the paperback version. Very cool update.
Here’s to making more positive publicity waves!!
Thanks Theodora! I haven’t been around here in a while because I had to concentrate on the book, so it’s still new news! 🙂 The paperback should hopefully be out in a couple of weeks. I hope you’ll enjoy reading about the ocean (and weird jellyfish)!
How exciting! Congratulations to you, Sheila…just bought it!
Thanks so much Susan! I hope you’ll have fun reading it.