I get asked a lot of questions about the science in CLICKS, and where they blend from truth to fiction. Most often, I start with a factual concept, and then, once it’s a part of the story, I embellish it to create drama and tension.
This is the first in a series of blog posts called SCIENCEorFICTION to answer these questions, and to help readers learn where the science in CLICKS starts, ends, and turns into fiction.
In the book, Cami befriends a white dolphin that looks different from all the others. At first, she thinks it’s a trick of her eyes. Then she realizes that in fact the dolphin is an albino that is part of Pinhold legends and her own history. It was half of the first set of twins that were born onto the island in forty years, and it was a blessing for Cami and her twin Mica, who were born soon after.
I wanted Cami to connect with a dolphin that stood out. In the first draft of the book, I made her look purple, but that wasn’t enough to really identify in the dark. Then I researched “White Dolphins” and learned a lot. There is a Chinese White Dolphin which is almost extinct. There is the Amazon River Dolphin which looks whitish pink. But both of those locations are far from the California Coast where CLICKS takes place. So I wanted to find a dolphin that would be a more realistic fit.
Then I learned that albinism in nature was a real thing. Just like some people are born without pigment in their skin, dolphins can too.
Most recently, an albino made the news because it was captured in Tajii, Japan as part of the horrible annual dolphin hunts featured in the movie The Cove. They’ve named the dolphin Angel and I’ve named Cami’s dolphin Angel in the books to help raise awareness for the real angel and the terrible situation for dolphins that was famously exposed in the Academy Award winning documentary film The Cove. Want to know more? Check out Sea Shepherd for information and ways to help.
There is also a well known albino whale named Migaloo that many call “The real Moby Dick.” He spends his time swimming off the coast of Australia. He’s free and attracts whale watchers from all over. Let’s hope Angel can join him, at least in spirit, soon.
So, are albino dolphins Science or Fiction? SCIENCE! They’re incredibly rare but they do exist in nature. If you want to learn more about Cami and her Angel, CLICKS is available for free for iBooks, Kindle, and Nook.