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Local author’s novel inspires young ocean eco-warriors

Helen Stubbs | February 25, 2022

Local author and business-owner Candice Lemon-Scott aims to inspire children to protect the oceans and their inhabitants with her new novel Ocean Warriors: The Rise of Robo-Shark. The first in a series, the book will be published during SeaWeek from 5 -13 March.

Lemon-Scott’s Jake In Space series currently holds all top three places for the most-streamed audiobooks for ages 5-10 in the U.K. She also owns thriving bookstore Big B Books in Burleigh. She attributes her success to following her passion for literature.

“Stories are inspiring, that’s one of the things I love about books,” says Lemon-Scott. “I want to kids to know they can help save our sea life.”

Ocean Warriors: The Rise of Robo-Shark is set in a future world of empty oceans, a stark contrast to the Gold Coast’s sparkling blue waters. Taking the lead in the novel, Kai and Emily help restore the seas, one species at a time. Ultimately it is teamwork and appreciation of all creatures—even the ugly and slimy ones—that save the day.

Kids Book Review describes the novel as a “thrills-and-spills-adventure with serious ecological concerns … with humour, quirky characters and moments of sabotage and betrayal.

The Rise of Robo-Shark is compelling reading for middle primary schoolers. Snappy chapter titles and rapid scene changes ensure non-stop page turning,” says Dimity Powell.

The story restores our faith in humanity’s ability to make real change to avert the impending crisis. It’s an uplifting tale of hope, with lots of laugh-out-loud scenes and a very creative use of technology and characters, including a bum-breathing turtle.

Lemon-Scott’s inspiration comes from living near the sea on the Gold Coast.

“All creatures from the tiniest plankton to our apex predators are important for ocean health. My idea was to highlight animals as sentient beings, that the reader can get to know and love.”

Big B Books is located in Burleigh (photo credit: @bigbbooks)

Candice Lemon-Scott with her novel Ocean Warriors: The Rise of Robo-Shark.

There’s plenty of fun books to keep the kids entertained (photo credit: @bigbbooks).

As a long time book lover, working in writing and bookselling came naturally to Lemon-Scott. We Are Gold Coast asked her to share some business tips.

“Be willing to work hard enough to make your business grow,” she says. “To sustain it, you need to love what you’re doing. It’s a joy to help customers find their next great read because I get great satisfaction sharing my book recommendations. Customers know you’re being genuine.

“Have great staff who are passionate about your business, and treat them as you’d like to be treated. My staff make the store what it is. It wouldn’t be the same without them.

“I still have the same people working with me, nine years later. They go above and beyond, and care about our customers. When I went through cancer surgery about a year ago, the least of my worries was the store because I knew it was in good hands. We’re like family.

“Be willing to take a risk if you see potential in something, but make sure you can afford for it to fail. Don’t invest more than you’re willing to lose. When I first took Big B Books over I worked for no income and put any sales into building it up.

“Know that a little luck is involved. When I bought the store the arcade was virtually empty. Now it’s popular and we get a lot of passing trade.

“Finally, keep thinking! There are always new things that can be done to improve a business. Move with changing times. Extending our hours to seven day trading, developing a website with online sales, and adjusting the types of books we sell to fit demand are just a few things that have made a difference.”

Ocean Warriors: The Rise of Robo-Shark is one of four children’s books this year from new publisher Storytorch Press and will be available at Big B Books and Booktopia.

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