Wow! It’s hard to believe that my last blog post was back in February. My apologies for the protracted silence. The last few months have been an absolute whirlwind as far as the book is concerned. To briefly summarize; there’s been lots of writing, research, editing, copyediting, photo acquisition, photo permission acquisitions….and much, much more. My page proofs will arrive this week, which will be the very last chance to make any minor edits. After we get some blurbs, the manuscript will be off to the printer’s – very exciting!
Part of the reason for the intense activity these past few months is that Simon & Schuster decided to push the pub date for The Great Penguin Rescue up by two months. Instead of the formerly planned December launch, it is currently scheduled to be released on Tuesday, October 26th. But it is available for pre-order already on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, and other online retailers.
With the horrific oil spill in the Gulf continuing unabated, hopefully this story will bring some hope to people, as far as the animal rescue aspect is concerned. The images coming out of Louisiana are truly heartbreaking – but the good news is that these animals are being cared for by a dedicated and very experienced group of wildlife rescuers. Jay Holcomb, Executive Director of the IBRRC is currently leading the rehabilitation efforts. I worked very closely with Jay during the historic penguin rescue that is the subject of my book, and he is a remarkable man. Due to the expertise in de-oiling wildlife that he and his staff brought to South Africa, we saved 90% of the oil-soaked penguins during that rescue. And those birds went on to live long and healthy lives afterwards – in fact, their survival rates rivaled that of their unoiled counterparts. With Jay overseeing the efforts in the Gulf, I know the animals there are in the very best of hands.
Fittingly, Jay was just voted as Oceana’s Ocean Hero for 2010 – the nomination period ended just prior to the Gulf spill, and Jay was eventually chosen as the recipient. I can think of no one more deserving of this honor. During the 40 years that he has been in this field, he has responded to over 200 oil spills. Jay’s heart is as wide as the ocean, and he has been instrumental in giving thousands upon thousands of seabirds and other animals a second chance at life. He truly is an ocean hero.
Well, that’s the update for now. I hope that, soon, I will be able to post much more regularly – my eventual goal is at least once a week. In my last post, I had promised to provide a list of penguin research and conservation groups. Be assured I have not forgotten – I will do so in a separate post soon.
Cheers, Dyan – The Penguin Lady