If you are wondering where the name PONGO arrived from Its actually their scientific name, Pongo Pygmaeus.
When I started constructing the book in my mind, I didn’t have a name for his character, so when I began researching the species and found this was actually his scientific name, I knew that the book had to be written.
I mean, Walt Disney has given us a Bambi, a Nemo, a Mickey and a Donald, but never an Orangutan called PONGO! So here he comes (Disney, if your listening, call me :)
I’ve been asked many times ‘why apes?’ ‘What made you write about orangutans?’ and there are lots of reasons for this, firstly, I love all animals, of all kinds, and would gladly write a book that saw each and every type of creature being saved, but as Noah’s Ark has already been written, I needed to find MY animal.
The other reason, and a more personal one, I’m born year of the Monkey, my personal training business was spunky monkey, so I seem to have always gravitated toward the primate species all of my life.
So how will my book change things? Well I believe conversation leads to change, and a book embeds characters in the mind that can help that conversation evolve. Going back to Nemo, which was a story of a fish lost from his mother, but in reality the story had an underlying message about over fishing the seas. Likewise, Free Willy was about keeping orcas in captivity. So for me it was a story that can help people make better choices, raise awareness that they may not have thought about, and question the products they buy.
Imagine if each person that read this book bought one less product with palm oil in it, forever! The impact of that might feel small to an individual, but its like a stone in a pond, the ripples grow bigger and bigger.
And if Disney does decide to give me that call lol, our potential reach is humungous. Pongo will have a voice and a home forever!
Sue - www.hellopongo.com