From the desk of 'Louise' of Louise Jean Wray:
When I created the idea for the word searches, I didn't hesitate to make Mermaids Volume 1. It was easy because all three members of Louise Jean Wray live close to the beach. And yet none of us grew up on the beach. My mother grew up in the Welsh countryside, and my sister and me (along with our brothers) grew up in the western suburbs of Sydney.
I didn't always like the water. It was hours away from where we lived. It wasn't until I met my now husband that I fell in love with the water. He lived on Narrabeen Lake and loved being on the water. The ironic thing is that I don't like being on the water. I get seasick and I'm deathly afraid of sharks. But I adore the atmosphere of beaches, lakes, and rivers. Sometimes I enjoy a swim, but mostly I love hearing the waves and seagulls.
My husband and I lived on the northern beaches for a while, and when it came time for us to buy a house, we decided to relocate out of Sydney, and we settled on the south coast of NSW. My mother moved down this way, and then my sister moved her family down here too. Each of our houses is less than a kilometre away from the beach.
I take my dog for a walk each morning, and we always walk past our local beach. Sometimes we walk along the sandy shores and around the rocks, sometimes we feel the breeze as we take the route along the road. But every day I take a moment to stare out across the water toward the horizon. There's something humbling about staring across the ocean, much like staring up at the stars.
Even though I never grew up near the water, from the moment I lived near it, I haven't wanted to move away. Even if it isn't the ocean, I would still want to live near a lake or a river.
Here are a few photos from my local area. As you can see, it was easy to make Mermaids the natural first choice to kick off our fantasy word search puzzle books.