“I must do whatever I can to help my kohala (humpback whale) brethren, for they are my family no less so than my two sons.” – King Haga, The Kingdom of Oceana
When I set out to write my young-adult fantasy novel, The Kingdom of Oceana, my goal was two-fold. First, I wanted to create a world that was fun and exhilarating, set in the exotic locale of Hawaii and Polynesia 500 years ago; a story filled with exciting elements that appeal to teenage readers – shapeshifting kahunas (sorcerers), shark taming, fire walking, and an ancient tiki that unleashes a zombie curse.
But more importantly, I wanted a vehicle to educate teenagers about ocean conservation and specifically the threat cetaceans face for their survival. Like many indigenous cultures, the Hawaiians show great reverence for whales, and their islands are blessed with an annual migration of over 10,000 kohalas (humpback whales) who travel over 3,000 miles (4,800 kilometers) to birth their calves in the warm protected waters of the Hawaiian Islands. Thus, when our heroes discover that a rival tribe from the south is killing whales for their oil, they must stop the butchery, no matter the consequences!
Unfortunately, whaling is still common practice in many parts of the world such as Japan, Iceland, Norway, Russia, and Alaska. By educating teenagers, my hope is to raise consciousness to help end this barbaric practice.
In honor of their great conservation work, a portion of all proceeds from the sale of the print, eBook, and audiobook versions of The Kingdom of Oceana are donated to the Oceanic Society.
For more informaiton, visit www.kingdomofoceana.com.
Mitchell Charles’ love of the ocean and its miraculous creatures began at the age of 12 when his father taught him to SCUBA dive. From his first adventure 50 feet (15 meters) beneath the Caribbean Sea he was hooked. Mitchell’s inspiration for The Kingdom of Oceana was born of exploring the spectacular coastline, lush valleys, and vibrant coral reefs of the Hawaiian Islands. On these excursions, he imagined what Hawaii was like hundreds of years ago. Before Captain Cook arrived from England. Before the golf courses and hotels. Before the ukulele and the Mai Tai became icons of Hawaiian culture. He dreamed of a time when the islands were an undiscovered magical paradise.