Now as divers, we all know that sharks are not the mindless killing machines that the tabloid media would have us believe, and that they have been the victim of bad press for many years – and now author Christine Edwards is doing her bit to raise awareness of the threats facing sharks and their habitats.
Sharks Are Scary Aren’t They? depicts the emotional journey of Charlie Parker, a fearful 12-year-old boy, and Jane Jones, a retired dentist and scuba diver, who meet by chance on a beach. Despite the years that separate them, they discover they are more alike than they could have imagined.
Sharing the world through the eyes of sharks, hearing about the struggles and dangers they face and how they are on the brink of extinction, brings our two friends closer together. In this book there are stories of shark encounters, the majesty of the underwater world and how the impact of human activity and plastic pollution is affecting their habitat. Most of all, the two characters learn about the power of the human spirit to change in the face of adversity.
Christine Edwards was born in Chester in 1962. She read psychology at Warwick University, then worked as a teacher for 20 years. In 2004, she trained at Birmingham Theatre School to become an actor. As a teenager, Christine feared the sea and the sharks that swam there. After trying a scuba dive in 2006 and making 1,200 dives around the globe, everything changed. She now adores sharks, hence writing this book.
Christine says: “Conquering a deep-rooted fear of the sea and terrified of the sharks that roamed there, I made the astonishing decision to try a scuba dive in 2006. The moment I sank beneath the waves and glimpsed at the world below the surface, I was well and truly hooked. Since that first plunge underwater, I have accomplished over 1,200 dives in seas and oceans around the globe. My fear of sharks has turned into a passion for them. Whenever I would describe my shark encounters to friends or family they invariably expressed concern and questioned why anyone would dive with such a dangerous species.”
She continued: “My book came out of the need to redress the balance for this wonderful fish. Sharks have existed for 450 million years, well before the dinosaurs, and still exist today. They are being hunted and cruelly killed for their fins and are probably one of the most misunderstood creatures on our planet. The knock-on effect of their demise will be catastrophic. Oceans without sharks will cause negative changes to other species – without this apex predator keeping other fish in check, our coastlines and reefs will ultimately suffer. The oceans need sharks!”
Sharks Are Scary Aren't They? is released on 28 January (ISBN 9781915352613) and is priced £8.99.
Photo credit: Jane Davies Photography