Interviews

Bubble Talk: Hélène Boudreau and Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings

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, Hélène Boudreau stops by to tell us about her seriously adorable MG novel Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings.

Angel: What kind of research did you have to do before writing your book?

Hélène: The setting for my story is based on a small town near where I grew up. There is a boat canal which connects the Atlantic Ocean to an inland fresh water lake, separated by a boat lock. I spent a lot of time researching the mechanism of the boat lock, water height, tides and salinity to really try to grasp how these varying conditions might affect the mers in my story.

I also researched a lot of theories on primordial development and the concepts of human evolution. My main focus was to make the magic as ‘believable’ as possible by basing it on scientific explanations (which I extrapolated on, of course).

Angel: Why do you think humans are fascinated by mermaids/sirens/selkies and tales of the sea?

HélèneI think humans are drawn to things they cannot physically do. There’s a certain romanticism to being able to fly like a bird or swim like a fish. Human ingenuity has produced ways of doing these things with inventions such as planes, hang gliders, parachutes and scuba gear and submarines.

Through books, though, we can escape the physical limitations of being human and can BE that bird or that fish or in this case…that mermaid.

AngelWhat are your favourite sea-themed stories or legends? Did any of them influence your own book?

Hélène: I grew up with the Ariel story, of course, but other than the fact that Jade and Ariel both have a tail I don’t think they’re anything alike. Ariel sees what she wants and goes for it, winning a prince in the process. Jade is a bit less confident but I think she has a big heart, which makes up for her deficiencies. I wanted Jade to be as ‘real’ as possible with likes, dislikes, insecurities, doubts and fears.

Angel: How does your novel stand out from other mermaid/siren/selkie-themed books?

Hélène: Honestly, I think each book is unique because each author brings their own perspective to a story so I guess the thing that sets mine apart from other mermaid-themed books is simply that it is written by me.

My goal was to write a fun, breezy, (hopefully humorous) story about a girl growing up, which I hope readers can identify with. Jade’s main struggles are those every 13-14 year old girl goes through; first periods, first zits and first major crushes.

The fact that she’s a mermaid is almost secondary to the central themes of the story, I think.


Angel: 
If you were a mermaid, which ocean would you want to live in?

Hélène: I’m from a small island off the Atlantic coast of Canada so of course I have an affinity for the Atlantic. That said, I am extremely sensitive to the cold so the further south the better!

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?

HélèneGirl! That prince might look cute and adorable but please, please, PLEASE get to know a guy before risking everything for him. 😉

Freak of nature takes on a whole new meaning…

If she hadn’t been so clueless, she might have seen it coming. But really, who expects to get into a relaxing bathtub after a stressful day of shopping for tankinis and come out with scales and a tail?

Most. Embarrassing. Moment. Ever.

Jade soon discovers she inherited her mermaid tendencies from her mom. But if Mom was a mermaid, how did she drown?

Jade is determined to find out. So how does a plus-size, aqua-phobic mer-girl go about doing that exactly? And how will Jade ever be able to explain her secret to her best friend, Cori, and to her crush, Luke?

This summer is about to get a lot more interesting…

Go visit Hélène Boudreau at her website and follow her on Twitter @heleneboudreau.

You can check out Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings on Goodreads and order it over at Amazon and Book Depository.

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