Shark Assault: A Q&A with Peter Jennings

Shark Assault: A Q&A with Peter Jennings

Posted on May 11 by Kyle in Interview
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Tell us about your new book.

Shark Assault: An Amazing Story of Survival is the true story of a courageous young woman, Nicole Moore from Orangeville ON, who was walking waist-deep in the ocean at a Mexican resort when she was brutally, savagely attacked twice by a bull shark. She came very close to dying, lost her arm to amputation and has since endured numerous surgeries to save her leg. And yet, this resilient lady stuns audiences in her public speaking presentations by sharing her positive, optimistic attitude, inspiring people to energize and enrich their lives with positive zest.


​What made you choose the less familiar word "assault" instead of Shark Attack?

So often we hear about a “shark attack”, but I felt that described one moment in time (albeit, an impactful one). Nicole’s life has been truly assaulted in so many ways by the terrible event that happened. As well, this story is as much about her ability to survive as it is about the actual attack. So “Shark Assault” An Amazing Story of Survival” seemed to nail it.


What made Nicole's story worth telling to you?

People often claim that their worst nightmare is being attacked by a shark. But they obviously have not experienced it nor do most people know anyone who has. So it seemed like an opportunity to explore this phenomenon. In addition, Nicole’s amazingly positive, optimistic approach to life – even in the face of catastrophic challenges – cried out to be covered.


What was the creative process like for you?

I’m a writer and am always happy when writing. The challenge here was to take, essentially, 4 chapters (a girl in Mexico is brutally attacked twice by a shark; Mexican doctors attempt to save her life, albeit using questionable practices; back in Toronto, surgical teams seek to keep her alive; she triumphs and carries on with new dimensions in her life) and turn that into a book that eventually encompassed 18 chapters. I’m told by others that the book reads extremely well, keeping the reader engaged, so I’m hopeful my creative process for delivering an impactful story worked.


What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Working with Nicole to ensure her feelings were captured as best as possible. I was very much aware that, to a certain extent, I was invading her privacy. I revere this lady, and it was extremely important for me to get it right and to have her be satisfied with the result. That goal was never far away from my approach to completing the book.


Some parts of the book can be very shocking, have you recieved any memorable responses from a reader? 

“Omigod! Didn't want to stop reading it. Outstanding! I couldn't devour the part where she talks about the attack fast enough. Thoroughly riveted by the perspective of those who were part of the experience too. I’m impressed by the obvious amount of research you have put into this. The horror of hearing first- hand what it feels like to be almost eaten alive is gripping. The almost "bullet point" technique you used during the actual attack and the dialogue between the characters was powerful and effective.”