Monika Mira is an avid conservationist, outdoor enthusiast and former teacher. Her books have won numerous awards and many of them have become bestsellers. Mira has worked on numerous projects to help conserve Hawaii’s natural resources, from teaching marine science, to conducting biological stream surveys for the Department of Health. Her books reflect her love for nature and her commitment to the environment. Mira holds a BA in Marine science from the University of Hawaii at Hilo.
What inspires you to write?
I am concerned about the declining state of the environment and our marine resources. Coral Reefs in particular support millions of people by providing food, jobs and recreational opportunities. But, coral reefs are in danger, many species are being considered for the endangered species list, and coral cover has dramatically declined over just the last 25 years. It is estimated that many corals could become extinct during our children’s lifetime.
My goal with all my books is to help foster an appreciation for marine life and reverse this trend with knowledge. In many of my books, I offer up tips for the conservation and protection of coral reefs and I challenge children (and adults) to come up with their own conservation ideas. I also hope to educate children about these resources and animals so that they really understand what they are, how they work, how we are connected to them and how we can help them.
Tell us about your writing process.
I mostly write non-fiction, so I tend to outline all of the topics I wish to address and then I just fill in the blanks. I rely heavily on my background in marine science and I also research the topics heavily using a lot more than just internet resources.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
During my senior year in college, I came up with the idea for my first book, The Complete Hawaiian Reef Fish Coloring Book as a way to help myself and other students learn all the fish that they would need to do any monitoring efforts in Hawaii. The book was modeled after the Anatomy Coloring Book, which is a coloring textbook used by nurses and massage students. I received encouragement from my peers, and even some local publishers.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I believe that there will always be print books, but I know the trend is toward digital books and apps that include video and sound. Adding visual and auditory cues to a book can increase retention and so in many instances, I think this will have a positive effect on learning. Since I am a children’s author, I speaking specifically about children’s books here. Right now, however, the publishing industry is in transition. I have actually written several articles about this. We will see many more changes and unfortunately a lot of internet marketers that aren’t actually authors will profit. Ultimately, authors that write quality books will prevail and we our eyes will be opened to some things that we have never seen before.
What genres do you write?
Children’s Non-fiction, Animals, Children’s Picture Books
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print