Book Talk: Deep sea diver takes plunge into fiction

Tue Sep 1, 2009 11:05pm EDT
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SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - Deep-sea commercial diver Michael Ganas spent four years writing a novel that combined his love of engineering and the sea, but ended up publishing it himself because he found it hard to get anyone else interested.

Ganas' debut novel, "The Girl Who Rode Dolphins" and which has won four awards, is set in Haiti where a former Navy Seal teams up with a marine biologist to find a ship that sank 21 years ago but ends up discovering a girl living with dolphins.

American Ganas, a professional engineer who served as a helicopter crew chief in the Vietnam War, said he began writing nearly 20 years ago with technical articles in trade magazines but had always dabbled with fiction.

His wife's battle with chronic myeloid leukemia inspired him to write a novel and dedicate it to her, while the leading female in his science-fiction adventure is based on his daughter.

Ganas spoke to Reuters about getting started in a tough industry:

Q: What got you writing?

A: "I have written a lot of articles over the years and been published in magazines but they mostly were technical. Writing was just a sideline. I wrote a little fiction that was printed in a magazine but I have always been an engineer and a diver."

Q: Why now for a novel?

A: "Writing the novel was done over a period of four years concurrent with my job. One of the primary reasons I wrote it was to honor my wife who has been battling leukemia for the past nine years. As I wrote the novel I would write a little bit and show it to her and she could not wait to read the next segment."   Continued...