I’m very excited to share my interview with talented author Elizabeth Shreeve on the book birthday of her new release, OUT OF THE BLUE: How Animals Evolved from Prehistoric Seas illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon. Book birthdays are one of my favorite reasons, okay excuses, to eat cake for breakfast. I hope Elizabeth is enjoying cake this morning too. She is generously offering one lucky winner a signed copy of OUT OF THE BLUE: How Animals Evolved from Prehistoric Seas or one of her previously published books. Comment on the blogpost to enter the giveaway.
What were you like at the age of your target audience?
This photo says it all—I was a bookworm who loved to be outdoors. I spent a lot of time with our dogs and the various cats, birds, mice, and other critters that inhabited the house. Here I’m probably reading one of the Oz books that my dad brought from his own childhood. Dorothy was my role model—brave, adventurous, friendly, and lucky—but I was a dreamy, shy girl. My three older brothers were my heroes, too. They still are.
What inspires you?
I grew up with sand between my toes. Herring gulls, horseshoe crabs, the smell of a mudflat at low tide—those were the backdrops to my childhood on Long Island’s south shore. I live along the Pacific Ocean now, but I’m still inspired by beaches, shorelines, and islands. Give me some crashing waves…I’m happy! The love of oceans helped me dig deep into research when writing the book that’s coming out today: OUT OF THE BLUE: How Animals Evolved from Prehistoric Seas (Candlewick Press, May 2021).
What’s the one thing you hope readers take away from your book?
I truly hope that young readers will begin to appreciate the long history of life on Earth and the importance of healthy oceans. OUT OF THE BLUE describes how animals evolved in the oceans and moved onto land. It’s a huge topic, and I often felt overwhelmed during the research and writing process. But now that I see the book, illustrated so beautifully by Frann Preston-Gannon, I’m thrilled!
What’s next for you?
I’ve got other nonfiction books under contract including one about the evolution of sloths, The Upside-Down Book of Sloths (Norton Young Readers), set to be illustrated by the amazing Steve Jenkins. Several projects are on submission through my agent, Ammi-Joan Paquette. Most are nonfiction for elementary to middle school aged readers, plus some poetry. And I’m gearing up for author visits by creating a series of teaching videos for Out of the Blue. These are available for educators and others on my YouTube Channel, Elizabeth Shreeve Books. I hope you’ll check them out!
To learn more about Elizabeth’s books and connect with her: