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Novel way to promote green issues
SHE wants the character to become a female Indiana Jones. But Oxford author Sigrid Shreeve is hoping her debut novel will have a more hard-hitting message about the importance of protecting our environment.
She has published her novel Jabujicaba under the pen name Rosa Da Silva and said: “I’m an environmental campaigner and over the years the messages have become so negative. Don’t do this, don’t use your car, don’t eat that. People are bombarded with negativity.
“As an experiment I wanted to see if I could have some fun while engaging people.”
Ms Shreeve worked for a green politician when she lived in Brazil and her novel is set in the country, where journalist and investigator Carmen Macedo discovers the reality of deforestation.
Ms Shreeve, who is married and now lives in west Oxford, said: “It’s a political thriller. It’s exciting, it’s fun. I wanted her to be like a female Indiana Jones.”
The 52-year-old said her first book did not come quickly.
She said: “The idea came a long time ago when I was working in Brazil. It has taken me three years to write it.
“It has a lot of emotion behind it. I missed being in Brazil, and wanted to capture all the great feelings I had for it and make other people feel them too.”
The book is available online, and can be downloaded free until April, when it will go on sale on Amazon.
But Ms Shreeve said Jabujicaba has already seen success: “It has been bouncing around the world and we’ve had 800 new visitors to the website, with half of them downloading the book.”
When the book goes on sale, all of the proceeds will be donated to World Land Trust projects in the Amazon rainforest.
Christina Ballinger, writer and editor at World Land Trust, said: “Over the years we have had many writers contribute to our work but this is the first time a book has been downloadable.
“It’s positive, it’s going to reach a different and wider audience because it’s fictional and online.”
As well as donating money, Ms Shreeve hopes that she can change people’s attitudes to environmental causes.
She said: “I want to engage their hearts with these characters, and then they will feel differently, hopefully, when they hear messages about saving the forest.”
Since writing Jabujicaba, Ms Shreeve has moved onto her second eco-novel.
She said: “It’s going to be about the forests under the sea.”
To download a copy of the book, which is currently free, visit jabujicaba.net
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