I am passionate about the environment.
Writer, naturalist and environmentalist Terry Tempest Williams said, “If you know wilderness in the way that you know love, you would be unwilling to let it go…”
Unfortunately, I know it that way, so what choice do I have?
Over the past few years, I began to realize that I was most frequently preaching to the converted. The readers of my community newspaper knew where I stood and accordingly endorsed my rants or dismissed them. What was the point? Many people were saying it better and more eloquently.
But still it’s a fight that must continue to be fought. Protecting our natural environment is, in my opinion, the only real issue of our time—everything else pales in comparison.
I wanted to reach a new audience, one that had the potential to initiate real change, so I wrote a romance novel—actually three—with an environmental subplot.
Romance fiction generated $1.37 billion in sales in 2008 and remained the largest share of the consumer market at 13.5 percent—bigger than mysteries, sci-fi, inspirational, literary, etc. 74.8 million people read at least one romance novel in 2008. The core of the romance fiction market is 29 million regular readers.
Women, which comprise 90 percent of romance readers, have incredible potential to positively impact the environment.
Women purchase or influence the purchase of 80 percent of all consumer goods, including home furnishing and products, houses, vehicles, computers and stocks. A woman that’s sensitive to environmental issues could influence the purchase of an energy efficient vehicle, products from recycled materials, stocks in a sustainable industry, even environmentally friendly cleaning products.
Spirit Bear is my e-published novel about a corporate climber that goes to battle with an eco-warrior over a ski development that threatens the habitat of the rare, mystical Spirit Bear.
Eagleridge Bluffs, my second novel examines the morality and motivation of the young leader of a group of eco-terrorists and his unwitting accomplice, a naïve, affluent, middle-age woman involved in a protest to stop a highway expansion. It asks the question, “What would you be prepared to sacrifice to save a wild place you love?”
All the royalties from the sale of these books are being donated to the Wilderness Committee www.wildernesscommittee.org to help them continue their work to protect the Spirit Bear and preserve the Great Bear Rainforest; and The Friends of Cypress Provincial Park Society www.cypresspark.bc.ca to support the ongoing work in the preservation of the park’s natural environment, its special historical and cultural features; and through education, an understanding and appreciation of the park’s natural features.
So far my membership to these organizations has generated more revenue for them than the royalties have, but sentiment is sincere.
Writer, naturalist and environmentalist John Muir said, “Bears are not companions of men, but children of God, and His charity is broad enough for both... We seek to establish a narrow line between ourselves and the feathery zeros we dare to call angels, but ask a partition barrier of infinite width to show the rest of creation its proper place. Yet bears are made of the same dust as we, and breathe the same winds and drink of the same waters. A bears days are warmed by the same sun, his dwellings are overdomed by the same blue sky, and his life turns and ebbs with heart-pulsings like ours and was poured from the same fountain…”
(This is a remarkable site for info on all bears and their plight www.bearmatters.com )
It’s a simple truth, but a profound one that human beings have no more right to life and the resources of this planet than any other living thing.
Once you realize that, everything changes.