Interview with Tui Allen

RippleTui Allen

What is your name, your books name, genre, age level, and what is it about?

 I’m Tui Allen and I’ve written a novel called Ripple –  A Dolphin Love Story. It’s an adult story though very suitable for teens. Ripple fits into the visionary fiction genre and has an environmental theme. It is also classed as an animal story and is often compared to Jonathan Livingston Seagull and Watership Down.

Ripple is the twenty million year old story of how one dolphin was inspired by love to an intellectual achievement that changed the universe.

The story is about music.

 Where can your book be purchased?

 My web site with further information is here:

Ripple can be purchased here as an e-book:

Or the identical story is here as a paperback print book:

 Why did you write your book? Did anything specific inspire it?

I was inspired by the plight of the oceans and my fascination with cetaceans (whales and dolphins) I have voyaged in the South Pacific under sail and met these animals in their own world on their own terms. I had a strange mathematical experience when I was sailing that is reflected in Ripple. It was the seventies – long before satellite navigation. Our navigator left the boat and I had to take over his very mathematical role. I was only 21 at the time and I never liked maths but suddenly I had to calculate my way across a vast ocean to get us home  to NZ. In the story, Ripple also must study and use mathematics in the end, to find her own directions.

Tell us a little about your books characters.

Ripple is young female dolphin containing an ancient soul. She lived twenty million years ago. She is creative, intellectually brilliant and extremely athletic, but she is also nervous and irascible. Ripple falls in love with Cosmo, a warrior dolphin, scarred by tragedy. The story is narrated by a deity of the Hereafter who provides humor in places. There are many other dolphin characters, representing the rich family and intellectual life of dolphin society as I view it, an evil tentacled creature who is the incarnation of fear to Ripple, and one octopus called Squelch who is like a family pet. He has a subplot of his own. The only humans in the story are in the final chapter, which is set  in the future.

 Now tell us a little about yourself.

I live in New Zealand and have been a teacher, a web designer, a mother and a children’s author. I have done a lot of sailing and sport all my life including long-distance running, triathlons and cycling. I now focus mainly on cycling both on and off road around the beautiful countryside where I live. My two children are grown up.


 If you haven’t answered this already, do you have a job besides writing?

I still do a little web design but try to focus on writing now. I also help to run a mountain bike club but that is voluntary work.

Do you do a lot of reading? And what are a few of your favorite books and authors?

I’ve been a reader all my life. One of my favorite books is “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel but I also love “The Time Traveler’s Wife”  and many well-known long dead novelists, too numerous to list. I love Richard Bach’s books and philosophies. My favorite poet is Samuel Taylor Coleridge, whose work has been a big influence. Ripple has several parallels with the Ancient Mariner. I’ve always loved stories about animals and was impressed to hear how the story “Black Beauty” made the world a better place for horses.

 Have you written any other books, and are you writing any new ones? If so, tell us about them.

I wrote for children when my own children were young. Those books, stories and poetry were published by three different NZ publishers and some were sold internationally. I am now working on a second adult novel. It’s called Dolphin Melody and has a contemporary setting and more human characters than you will find in Ripple. There is a haunted painting in the story which is being portrayed as though it is one of the characters.

Do you have a website, a blog, or both? If so, what are they?

My website is and there is blog attached to it.

What about social networking? Do you have any book or author fan sites?

I’m active on Goodreads, Amazon and Facebook. I am an activist for dolphin and whale conservation. Much of the activism is online but I also attend marches and meetings for this cause.  I have author pages on Amazon and Goodreads. My Facebook page is here:

Have you met any real dolphins? If so, tell us about it.

I have certainly met real dolphins and also whales. I’ve come face-to-face with them in the middle of the ocean. It is an unforgettable experience and convinced me of their sentience, their spirituality and their intelligence.


Are there any little known or interesting dolphin facts that you could share with us?

Here are two very important ones that inspired the story of Ripple –

  • ·         Dolphins evolved twenty million years ago before humans came down from the trees.
  • ·         The dolphin brain has ten times the capacity of the human brain to process sound.

Before I wrap up, do you have any pets? If so tell us about them.

I have a gigantic cat called Phoebe. She’s a sumptuous tabby farm cat who exists to give love to her humans. I’ve always had cats and rode horses a lot in my teens and still do occasionally even now.

 And is there anything else you would like to talk about or share with us?

  • ·         I’ve donated most of the earnings so far from Ripple to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society. I hope the story will give everyone a greater respect and understanding for our planet’s wondrous ocean environment and the animals who inhabit it.
  • ·         Ripple was chosen by the New Zealand Society of Authors to represent it’s literature at the 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair, in this country’s year as Country of Honour at the Fair.
  • ·         Ripple has been listed as the number one book on the Goodreads Visionary Fiction list for months now and is also top book on several other Goodreads lists.
  • ·         I am represented by the Richards Literary Agency, (this country’s top literary agency.)


About animalsandmagic

I am an author and publisher of children’s fiction, as well as an artist, and photographer. I also enjoy reading, playing video games, watching TV & movies, and more. I love animals and currently have a toy poodle named Merveille, and a Mini Rex rabbit named Kojikaki. Many of my pets over the years have been rescues from shelters. I also have selective mutism, and social phobia and am a big supporter of mental health awareness as well as animal rescue.
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