Dropping In to Power: Sheila Gallien interviews Melissa A. Volker

Listen to the podcast here:

‘Melissa Volker found a way to obsess about surfing in any conditions – by obsessing about writing about surfing! A mid-life blooming writer and water woman from South Africa, Melissa’s delicious fiction blends “surf noir” with “environmental romance suspense.” (Check out the addictive Shadow Flicker!) In our pod, we chat about the coastal topography and bathymetry of South Africa’s breaks (get out your pencils) and she indulges my obsession with South African sharks. (Did you know you can get a gig as a Shark Spotter in Cape Town?) The South African waters are wild and intimidating, and though she grew up learning to paddle on flat water in an estuary, the ocean felt menacing to her well into her 40s. She still considers herself one of the most frightened surfers in her lineup, but she has braved sharks, orcas (!!!) and kilometers of open water on paddleboards, SUP’s and longboards. She credits a community group focused on supporting women for getting her off the beach and into the lineup. She also finds inspiration, and courage, in books and courses on surfing, the ocean, and, yes, sharks. Recognizing how her own life has transformed from surfing, feeling “older, but stronger, happier, braver, and stoked” she created Saltwater Sisters with her BFF to share their love and stoke and to empower other women to experience the joy they have found themselves. Melissa wraps up with one of my fave pieces of advice so far: “Get to know the ocean, because not every day is your day.”’

Dropping In to Power