Laline Paull

Author, playwright, screenwriter

Storytelling, science, nature.

My new novel, POD, is coming out with Corsair in 2022. Set underwater, it follows the fortunes of two very different dolphin tribes, the Tursiops (bottlenose) and the Longi (spinner). There are other cetaceans, fish, and bivalves. It’s a dark tale – because that’s the state of the oceans right now – but ultimately it’s a story of love, family, survival – and hope.

THE BEES was my debut novel and I happened upon the amazing fact of the laying worker in the honeybee hive – a world where only the Queen may breed. A sensational true story, just waiting to be told. Currently in adaptation at The National Theatre for a 2022 production.

THE ICE – I went to Svalbard, I don’t know what made me so compelled to go – but the polar worlds have that effect. And there, watching the glaciers booming and crashing too fast, too often, into the sea. Connecting that with the snippets I heard from the very rich tourists on the little ship, I got my next novel. How conservation and cover-up so often go together.

And this our life, exempt from public haunt, Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, Sermons in stones, and good in everything. I would not change it. Shakespeare, AS YOU LIKE IT

But if there is to be a nature left to enjoy, we must change. I’m about to attend an international conference on the ocean, to hear more about how hope and money and business are working together to turn the tide of anthropogenic vandalism. More on that later.

I love Margaret Mead’s famous quote , ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has.’ If a book can entertain, if it’s based in psychological as well as scientific truth, if it feeds our empathy and imagination and renews our energy for change, then maybe it too is a kind of citizen. I hope so.

Portrait by: adrianpeacock.co.uk