ONE of the country’s most distinguished scientists has been inspired by the natural environment of Port Stephens for her foray into children’s literature. Emeritus Professor Eugenie Lumbers AM, will give half of the proceeds from her first book, Mystery in Mer, to Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), where she collaborates with Dr Kirsty Pringle on research exploring the placenta and its role in foetal development.
“It was the most glorious fun to do and to be able to hold the book feels a bit unreal,” Professor Lumbers recently told the Newcastle Herald. “I get a real thrill out of the fact that people want to read it. With scientific writing you have a strictly defined experimental study to report, whereas with this book I just let my imagination run wild.” she added.
The fantasy manuscript was penned in 2003, during a long-awaited trip along the Australian east coast in 34-foot yacht with husband Bill Forbes’. Reflecting on their journey up the coast, Professor Lumbers said that you can just imagine people living under the sea. “We’d see dolphins all the time swimming under our bow.”
The Mystery in Mer is the story of Marilla and Jerry are two merfolk who live in the waters of Port Stephens, where they have many friends in the sea and on the shore. Years ago, when she was very small, Marilla’s parents disappeared. Now she only has her grandmother to care for her. On a trip with her dolphin friends up the east coast of Australia, Marilla learns the mystery of Esmeralda Cove. Convinced it involves the fate of her lost family, she is determined to solve it. Marilla and Jerry embark on a dangerous adventure.
Copies of Mystery in Mer can be purchased through HMRI by clicking here.