Waugh’s adventure with new book The Lost Stone of SkyCity

The Lost Stone of SkyCity author H.M. Waugh.
The Lost Stone of SkyCity author H.M. Waugh.

H. M. (Heather) Waugh has always loved adventure.

The environmental scientist’s childhood, first in New Zealand and then in Perth from age nine, was spent reading books about it, she has hiked in faraway places and Waugh dropped off her resume at Perth Zoo as soon as she got her teaching qualification.

“Working at Perth Zoo is literally a dream come true,” Waugh, of Victoria Park, said.

“As a kid, I was a Perth Zoo member and every year I’d adopt the tiger as a birthday present. I’d go there all the time and longed to work there.

“Now I still have to pinch myself when I put the uniform on.

“I get to work in the most amazing place, helping to save wildlife as well as educating the leaders of the future about our environment.”

Her adventurous nature has provided great inspiration for Waugh’s latest Fremantle Press book for nine to 13 year olds, The Lost Stone of SkyCity, launching at the Great Big Booktoberfest at Fremantle Arts Centre on October 24.

When Sunaya’s friend Danam is stolen by the powerful Ice-People, she goes to his rescue, but after crossing into the mythical SkyCity discovers she has powers of her own.

“My lead character, Sunaya, was super fun to write,” Waugh said.

“She’s got a quirky sense of humour and a real love for the mountains.

“Like a lot of kids, she’s initially trying to fit in. But as the book goes on she needs to reassess both who she is and how she sees other people in order to succeed.”

Waugh said she intentionally aimed to have her characters save the day using their heads, their emotional strength and empathy, rather than physical strength.

“Not all kids are physically strong, I know I wasn’t, and I wanted to create positive role models of resilience and empathy because I believe both of these attributes are integral for happiness,” she said.

“I think resiliency comes from knowing you’re loved and loving in return. From believing you can do things and do them well, from experiencing little failures and learning how to come back from them and try again.”

The Lost Stone of SkyCity author H.M. Waugh.

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