Bubble Talk is where I interview some truly amazing authors and tell you all about their books! November is all about those elusive creatures of the sea, mermaids, and I’m so happy to be able to introduce you to ten talented authors and their stories.
Today, we’re talking to the author of one of my recent Waiting on Wednesday picks, Anne Greenwood Brown. This week seems to be all about murderous mermaids, but Anne is a sweetheart and had some lovely things to say about Lies Beneath!
Angel: What kind of research did you have to do before writing your book?
Anne:I didn’t do any mermaid research when I wrote LIES BENEATH. I wanted to start from scratch. Of course, I refer to things that are common knowledge (for example Ariel, sirens luring sailors onto the rocks, etc.), but my merman and mermaids are definitely their own breed. Calder and his sisters can morph back and forth between tail and legs, and they use human beings as anti-depressants, absorbing their positive energies into their bodies (unfortunately killing them in the process).
But this is not to say I didn’t do plenty of research. I grew up on Lake Superior so I knew a lot about the setting already, but to make the lake really come alive from Calder’s underwater perspective, I had to dive deeper into the shipwrecks, the ancient geographical history, and the local legends about water spirits.
Angel: Why do you think humans are fascinated by mermaids/sirens/selkies and tales of the sea?
Anne: First, mermaids are sexy. Because Calder and his sisters are constantly changing from merfolk to human (in appearance), I have to deal with nudity a lot in this novel. That was fun to write.
Second, I think we’re always fascinated by those things we cannot do as human beings. Flying comes to mind. So does breathing under water.
Angel: What are your favourite sea-themed stories or legends? Did any of them influence your own book?
Anne: Actually, I tried very hard not to be influenced by anything else, but as far as favorite stories… Ireland plays a big part in my personal life, so I’ve always been partial to The Isle of Innisfree (That’s technically a selkie story though).
Angel: How does your novel stand out from other mermaid/siren/selkie-themed books?
Anne: LIES BENEATH is a very intimate novel. The camera lens of the story–if you will–is tightly focused on the characters and their personal stories. It’s not about mermaid communities, kingdoms, quests, or battles (although there’s plenty of fighting). It’s about the loss of family members, seeking revenge for their loss, the power of forgiveness, first loves, and kissing. Lots of kissing. Oh, and thrift store fashions.
Anne: No ocean. I don’t like salt water. I’d want to live in Lake Superior because that’s where I’ll stand the best chance of meeting Calder, but maybe, when the lake freezes over, I’ll check out the Caribbean. ; )
Angel: Ariel (of Disney’s The Little Mermaid) is the most famous mermaid of my generation. What would you tell her if you had the chance?
Anne: Ha! Love it! Let’s see…how about: “Learn how to send a text message so you don’t have to stand by mute while Ursula tries to steal your man.”
Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother’s death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family’s homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock’s daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistible good looks and charm on unsuspecting girls.
Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there’s more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.