Written by Neus Figueras
Click here for the Spanish Version
Coral reefs are declining at accelerated rates and other ecosystems are following them. While governments and corporations are failing to address this environmental crisis as what it is, people are the only hope. Marine scientist and author Neus Figueras uses the power of storytelling to inspire people to take climate action and protect nature.
How to get people to change?
People rarely act by reason alone. They usually adapt and change their behavior out of necessity―obligation―or when something taps into their emotions.
If we wait to act out of necessity, it will be too late for corals and eventually, for other ecosystems and even humanity.
Looking at past complex societal challenges, people’s determination was the trigger to start solving them―banning slavery, achieving black people’s rights, paving the path towards women’s equality, etc.
While hard science and technology are necessary to make the transition towards sustainability possible, we also need humanities and social science that resonate with people’s emotions to motivate them to take climate action, embrace change, and believe in it.
The novel Lorac is one way to achieve this through literature. Many readers have stated that they are doing actions towards the environment they would never have thought of before reading Lorac.
Nomads of the sea
Lorac starts off with the traditional life of the Moken, a community that lives off and on the sea, learning to swim before they can even walk.
These people possess extraordinary wisdom about nature, living in harmony, and the virtue of sharing. They were the less affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, so devastating in their region. All the Moken survived because they knew how to “read nature” and predicted events with enough time to take shelter.
As peaceful as the Moken are, the general public love stories because they can live the adventures of others, and empathize more easily with characters whose lives are messy and filled with challenges to overcome. Thus, Lorac―the main character―has his fair share of it.
Immersion in a coral reef
A plot twist takes the protagonist underwater, where readers see how it is there below the surface, what are corals, and their important value. This is a part of discovery for people who are not familiar with coral reefs, and of amazement for coral reef scientists, who can appreciate how the author has woven ecological and biological facts within an engaging plot.
Some characters are such unique living beings that this is the first time they appear in a novel. To facilitate the visualization of Lorac’s world, the artist Evan Piccririllo has included fifteen illustrations within the book that unleashes the reader’s imagination through a masterful display of lights and subtle details.
Everything turns complicated when the natural threads we are currently experiencing come into the plot. Topics such as climate change, pollution, overfishing, and disinformation are tackled from a new and refreshing perspective that makes the readers learn without noticing and brings more plot twists into the novel.
The power of self-reflection in the characters
The readers change as the characters do in their hero’s journey because we are hardwired to learn from observing a change in others.
More so when the readers are emotionally attached to the characters by accompanying them in their personal growth, and within a context that takes into account what the readers want as an experience: the story is not pessimistic or judgmental, but empathizes with readers in an inspiring way.
This book is worth reading because it’s not just a fantasy adventure in the tropics, but also a tool that wraps one of the most important scientific messages of our time in an exciting story with an unpredictable end. A fusion of science and art to serve the well-being of our planet.
A not-for-profit book aimed to raise as much awareness as possible, Lorac is a story for the good cause of preserving life on Earth. All proceeds will go towards spreading awareness of the book and the ebook version can be downloaded at the price the reader sets so that everyone, no matter their pocket size, can live a story that inspires climate action.
Lorac is available in English and Spanish to reach a broader audience, and the author encourages readers to leave reviews and spread the word because it is the most effective way to let people know about this project.
About the author
Neus Figueras is an oceanographer and holds a master’s degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation. Since she was a child, she loved to write and was good at it. She won six local and regional literary contests and took part in several writing workshops.
Lorac originated in 2017 when Neus was the project leader of a coral restoration project in Myanmar. As now is the time to take all the possible actions to save corals, Neus began a sabbatical year in late 2018 to devote her time and energy to finish Lorac.
Target audience and where to get the book
Lorac is suitable for readers over 12 years old, including adults who like fantasy or are passionate about nature. It’s available as a print book on Amazon, and as an ebook at all major retailers, such as Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, or Amazon. It can also be downloaded at the price the reader sets at Smashwords or at Lorac’s page.
Birkeland, C. (2015). Coral reefs in the Anthropocene. Springer, Dordrecht.