I was lucky enough to get an ARC of Sea and absolutely loved it (my review will be up closer to its release). Here is a bit about the book:
Haunted by recurring nightmares since her mother’s disappearance over the Indian ocean three years before, fifteen-year old California girl Sienna Jones reluctantly travels with her psychiatrist father’s volunteer team to six-months post-tsunami Indonesia where she meets the scarred and soulful orphaned boy, Deni, who is more like Sea than anyone she has ever met.
She knows they can’t be together, so why can’t she stay away from him? And what about her old best friend-turned-suddenly-hot Spider who may or may not be waiting for her back home? And why won’t her dad tell her the truth about her mother’s plane crash? The farther she gets from home, the closer she comes to finding answers.
And Sea’s real adventure begins.
What inspired you to write Sea?
My husband's real life volunteer trip to Indonesia after the tragic 2004 Tsunami in Indonesia. Full story is on my website: http://heidirkling.com
In Sea both the setting and the tales of the orphans are expertly written. What kind of research did you do prior to writing?
Thank you! I interviewed several of the orphans and was in touch with a long-term volunteer at the real life pesantren. Also, living with the person who actually did this work was very helpful! My husband kept excellent journals, and answered all my many questions.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from your novel?
Hope. The concept of hopelessness is the ultimate tragedy, and there is so much hope in the world, even with all the disasters and the pain that comes along with the human experience. Also, a great appreciation for the world we live in. The U.S. is a land of so much abundance: Super Stores, Super Cars, etc., and there is so much more to this planet than just us. Just our experience. I wanted to introduce a world where things are different: food, religion, culture -- It's nice to have some awareness and appreciation about that.
What was your favorite scene to write in Sea?
I'm sort of in love with the prologue. I love all the scenes with Sienna and Deni. Sienna and Spider too. It's weird because every scene in SEA I've gone over SO MANY TIMES in revision, but I never got sick of any of them. I feel like the characters are my good friends, so reading them, re-reading them over and over is just like being there with them. Along with Sienna on her epic journey.
What’s next for you?
I'm wrapping up final revisions on a sexy fantasy pitched as a modern Romeo and Juliet with magic. It’s a planned trilogy. Exciting!
Thank you Heidi!