In the late 1990s, Matthew Amati is close to completing his studies at a prestigious marine science center on the shores of the Pacific Northwest. While on a fishing boat to earn money for his tuition, he has an inexplicable encounter with a whale. This leads to a meeting with Doctor Martin Bell, a legendary explorer of the seas, who has just received evidence that may corroborate the weird incident. Soon Matthew, along with Bell's intriguing daughter, is on a float plane flying along the coast of British Columbia to meet up with the Valentina, the flagship of the marine science center. Once on board, however, he finds few who are willing to take his fantastic tale seriously. Yet, even those who finally do are still left totally unprepared for an astonishing rendezvous at sea that will change their lives and lead them FAR FROM THE SEA WE KNOW.
I grew up in New England, lived in the UK for about a year, then back to New England a while, then back to the UK for four years, then lived in West Virginia and Virginia for more years (with some of them as part of an intentional community) followed by a move to Berlin with my wife, where we also lived on and off in an old farmhouse in the former DDR, there to help run courses in Guitar Craft. Four years later, we moved to Seattle where we reside still. In between and all around, much happened, and this book comes out of that. As well as writing, I work with my wife, Ingrid Pape-Sheldon, on her photo business in Seattle and occasionally still with Guitar Circles, which evolved from Guitar Craft, a placeless space that became for many years as much a home as I might ever have. I have a cool daughter on the East Coast who comes to visit now and then. Boots, our cat, remains here to keep an eye on us. Her book, THE EMPTY BOWL & OTHER TRAGEDIES, is all but written in her own mind.