Kimberli Bindschatel is the author of the Poppy McVie series. Poppy, a spunky red head, travels to exotic parts of the world facing drug lords, poachers and killers to protect the animals she loves. She isn’t afraid to use her wit or bend the rules when she knows it can free an endangered animal from a cage or put a poacher in one. Kimberli may say that Poppy is an alter ego, but after speaking with her in our recent podcast, I may have to disagree. With only a backpack and her will, Kimberli traveled alone to Costa Rica to explore the rich habitat. Later, armed with a camera and an intense interest in furry friends, she spent time with bears in Alaska. Her novels throw the reader into these places with rich descriptions that come from experiencing the places that she writes about. Trained to use a camera, Kimberli has a brilliant eye for detail. So after I’ve finished reading a novel in the Poppy McVie series, I feel like I have been to that part of the world.
While her books are predominantly fun and entertaining, they are also educational. They highlight the misperceptions that animal body parts can cure illness or that exotic animals make good pets, both of which drive an illegal market. Poaching animals and selling them on the black market profits terrorist groups worldwide. A National Geographic reporter Bryan Christie followed the path of black market ivory that put money into the hands of terrorist organizations responsible for mass murder. Not only are precious animals disappearing, but the tragedy is compounded by the terrorist activities.
Kimberli wants to make a difference by bringing awareness to plight of the animals. You can learn about these issues without having to confront drug lords and poachers, simply by reading the Poppy McVie series.