For two weeks, come celebrate mermaids, whether it’s winter or summer where you live. Splash into Summer runs from June 28th to July 21st. There will be author interviews, guest posts, giveaways, reviews, and more! Now is the time to celebrate mermaids, especially with so many new novels about them coming out.
Today, Derrolyn Anderson, the author of the MARINA’S TALES series, has written an awesome guest post on her mermaid world to share with all of you. You can visit Derrolyn’s web site here.In addition, she’s giving away THREE sets of the first two books in the series, BETWEEN THE LAND AND SEA and THE MOON AND THE TIDE. Be sure to also check out my review of this delightful series.
Mermaids. Half woman, half fish. I think every little girl who ever gets into a pool has fantasies of becoming one, breathing underwater and darting around in the sea with fish and dolphins. But what are they really like and how do they live? What do they look like and what can they do? I’d never really given the details much thought until I found myself writing MARINA’S TALES, a YA series with mermaid characters.
First, I looked at some old stories and legends. The classic fairy tale THE LITTLE MERMAID and the Disney cartoon are probably what come to mind most often, but there are darker and more freakish mermaids in many of the older myths. Murderous and cunning, they were said to lure sailors to their doom. The latest PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN movie was clearly inspired by some of those legends!
Apart from shared anatomy, I didn’t want my mermaids to have very much in common with people at all. I imagined them to be more animal than human; closer in their nature to other sea mammals like whales, dolphins, seals and sea lions. Wild and free, playful and innocent, they exist in an abundant world without want. Like most sea creatures, they have no need to work, build, or even think very much! My mermaids are curious about people, but wary and shy. They exist in a loosely organized society with only one main rule: Avoid the dangerous humans!
There are no mer-men in my world. Nothing against them, but I think of mermaids as a feminine force of nature, symbolic of creation, transformation and freedom. In my mind they’re a kind of sisterhood of the sea, sharing a nearly communal mind. This begs the question of mermaid reproduction, and without giving too much away, I can say that there is some hybridization taking place in my mer-world!
Looks-wise, my mermaids are all stunningly beautiful, with a wide range of coloration. I gave them webbing between their fingers, and slightly iridescent skin, similar to fish scales. Like many other sea creatures they fluoresce in the absence of light, and of course, they have spectacularly finned tails.
Coming up with the details has been interesting. I write by the seat of my pants, and began each book with only a loose outline, groping my way through the story with occasional flashes of inspiration. My biggest fear is writing myself into a corner, for once I set the “rules” in my mermaid kingdom, they must be obeyed! After all, I’ve taken the opportunity to create my own paradigm, and it’s continually evolving as I add to the series.
My first book, BETWEEN THE LAND AND THE SEA, introduces the mermaids and the connection that my heroine, Marina, has with them. Book Two, THE MOON AND THE TIDE, describes them a little more, explaining why contact with humans can be so very dangerous. I’m in the middle of writing book three, THE FATE OF THE MUSE, and can say for sure that there will be a fourth installment. I’m simply nowhere near done with these characters!
I know that not everyone will agree with my version of mermaid mythology, but that’s what makes for so many diverse and interesting stories. Seductive sirens, underwater magicians, boy crazed teens, or wild sea creatures—they can be anything we make them out to be. Whether they’re virtuous or wicked, building elaborate undersea kingdoms or living in a feral state of pre-rational innocence, they have clearly captured the imagination of us terrestrial bipeds.
I think the recent spate of mermaid-themed books and movies is fantastic! The mermaid’s time has clearly arrived, so catch the wave and take the plunge. The water’s fine… Last one in is a rotten egg!