Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 5, 2012.


Imagine if Atlantis had survived, but underwater. Acclaimed novelist's new fantasy sci-fi book. Can a mermaid and a human find love?

 Two different people from two very different worlds are about to meet. 

here's my new cover by my Animal Heart book designer, Betty Watson
here's my new cover by my Animal Heart book designer, Betty Watson

                        DIVE INTO THE DROWNING WORLD

My fifth novel, The DROWNING WORLD, is a haunting and mesmerizing saga set in a vivid future of rising seas, floating cities, and Flood Lands. 

A regal and highly trained young mermaid, Marina, is on her first spy mission to SkyeWorld in 2020. She comes ashore on Siesta Key, Florida where she meets feisty Lukas, a proud Cuban refugee. Marina will have to choose between the advanced civilization of Aquantis, where she has been chosen as a High Priestess, and her love for Lukas and his dangerously polluted SkyeWorld.

Marina’s magic and skill save Lukas’ life. But can she save her own against a lifelong nemesis from her world?

For almost a decade, I've been at work building the rich underwater cosmos of THE DROWNING WORLD. As a novelist and National Geographic author, many of my 17 traditionally published books are set in the mysterious world of our oceans. So it's natural that after spending so much time underwater with whales and dolphins, I would invent an advanced civilization like Atlantis dwelling at the bottom of our seas. This fantasy/sci-fi novel is based on experience, imagination, and some real science, especially the future technologies of both the undersea and our world.

I turned down a publisher's offer to bring out THE DROWNING WORLD in late 2013 because I believe the time is now for this novel. Our seas are rising, our climate is changing, and islands are sinking. How will we adapt? Will we have help from other worlds? Do mermaids really exist?


“This underwater world is so believable and vivid and fascinating. It’s a page-turner. Irresistible!”

~ Sy Montgomery, bestselling author, The Good, Good Pig

“The merpeople and their resplendent undersea setting are so full and rich . . . truly a water world. Amazing and haunting, The Drowning World exceeds the grasp of The Golden Compass in its themes and imaginative reach. A wonderful novel.”

  ~ Marion Copeland, book critic Nature in legend and Story

This book is finished and in final edit. I've hired the best professional editors, designers, and proofreaders, many of whom I've worked with on other books. I'd also like to record and produce the audiobook of THE DROWNING WORLD if I have enough support. My Kickstarter funding will go to pay these book people, many of whom are now free-lance due to the economic downturn in traditional publishing. I think of this DROWNING WORLD team as my publishing Podmates. So perhaps you'll join our Pod as publishing partners, as well?

THE DROWNING WORLD  will be published in September as an e-book on iBooks, Kindle, and Nook, as well as a print-on-demand paperback through Amazon Create Space. I'll offer many of my Kickstarter publishing partners a preview of the e-book, a copy, and acknowledge all of you. I'll visit your Book Clubs via Skype or FaceTime. And some of you will be consulting with me on the next book in this Aquantis Series, already underway. I'll also keep touch with my Pod partners via emails and updates. And I invite your ideas about how to keep building this underwater universe.

I'll be blogging about this publishing project every step of the way on my personal blog and other media. Since 2010, I've been contributing commentaries to The Huffington Post. My work has appeared in The New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, San Francisco Chronicle, The Chicago Tribune, The Seattle Times, Utne Reader, Orion magazine, and Oprah. Since 1993, I've contributed commentary to my local Seattle NPR stations. Here are links to audio and video interviews about my work:

NPR interview "Finding Common Ground" "KUOW Presents:" July 1st, 2012

"Book Lust" interview with Nancy Pearl:

ABC News interview for Leopard and Silkie, my new picture book just out.


DUCK AND COVER — A New York Times "Notable Book of the Year"

"A wicked black comedy . . . Peterson would seem to hold out just about as much hope for the family as she does the planet." — New York Times

"A hauntingly funny writer . . . the balance she strikes is almost hypnotic."

               The Los Angeles Times

I WANT TO BE LEFT BEHIND: Finding Rapture Here on Earth

Named among "Top Ten Best Non-Fiction Books of 2010" by The Christian Science Monitor

"An unusually affecting and radiant spiritual memoir . . . a witty, enrapturing account of a spiritual journey of great relevance to us all."

                — Booklist, starred review

"Outstanding memoir . . . her vivid imagination combined with a lilting writing style makes this book a pleasure to read."

                 — Miami Herald

                                 ANIMAL HEART

"One can hardly imagine a more heartfelt work or a more unusual love story than this one. Highly recommended. Library Journal

"Brenda Peterson weaves a haunting love story into a fast-moving plot. Please read it." — Jane Goodall, author Reason for Hope

To see all my books and preview THE DROWNING WORLD, please visit my page at:

For all my books:

And my website:

note: cover design: Betty Watson

cover photo: James A. Sugar/National Geographic Stock with permission

Mermaid art: original photo by Mehgan Heaney-Grier, "Mermaid, 2010" under a Wickimedia Commons License

Aquantan merman icon in my Kickstarter video by Christine Lamb Studio


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    BEACHCOMBER LEVEL: A copy of THE DROWNING WORLD in e-book or paperback.

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    SNORKELER LEVEL: Beachcomber perks PLUS e-book of the published THE DROWNING WORLD and any one of these other e-books: DUCK AND COVER, a New York Times "Notable Book of the Year" OR, ANIMAL HEART (Sierra Club Books) on Amazon, iBooks, or Nook OR, THE SECRET JOURNAL OF KATE MORAG: A Celtic Romance on Amazon Kindle Select. You will join my Publishing Pod and receive emails and updates and other swag from my inner circle. Also you will be gratefully acknowledged in my new book.

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    DIVER LEVEL: An inscribed print version of any of my 17 books. Visit to make your choice. Grateful acknowledgement in the book as a partner in my Pod Publishing.

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    MASTER DIVER LEVEL: An e-book of one of my books: DUCK AND COVER — ANIMAL HEART — THE SECRET JOURNAL OF KATE MORAG — plus the e-book of THE DROWNING WORLD or the e-book of I WANT TO BE LEFT BEHIND. Plus I will name a character after you in the Aquantis Series trilogy. And I'll acknowledge you in my book as a Pod publishing partner.

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    AQUANTAN LEVEL: An inscribed paperback of any of my books plus THE DROWNING WORLD and any one of my other books in e-book or paperback. Of couse, acknowledgement in the book!

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    MASTER AQUANTAN LEVEL: Undying gratitude and a personal phone conversation, plus an inscribed copy of any of my books, plus THE DROWNING WORLD in e-book or paperback. Involvement in the next book in this Aquantis series to brainstorm ideas. And of course, you'll be in my acknowledgements!

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    AQUANTAN AMBASSADOR A personal phone call, plus THE DROWNING WORLD in e-book or paperback. And I will be delighted to speak via Skype or FaceTime or speaker phone to your own Book Club or any gathering.

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    AQUANTAN AUTHOR: For aspiring authors, I will read 50 pages of your manuscript and give you a writing consultation. Also, you'll receive a copy of any of my books, inscribed and THE DROWNING WORLD in e-bbook or paperback. Of course, you'll be gratefully acknowledged.

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