Bubble Talk: Karen Amanda Hooper and Tangled Tides

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, I’m honoured to host debut author Karen Hooper! Her mermaid/selkie tale Tangled Tides is celebrating a book birthday today, and while I haven’t quite finished reading it yet, I can assure you that it’s fantastic (I wish I had a finished copy to cuddle!).

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

Karen: Not much. That’s the beauty of writing fantasy fiction. I made up a lot of the details, rules, and characteristics of my creatures. I have a little bit of Greek mythology weaved into the story, but even those bits I’ve known since childhood and I added my own personal twist to them.

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

Karen: Well, about 70 percent of Earth’s surface is covered with water. Who knows what’s going on beneath the surface that we land dwellers don’t know about.

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

Karen: I grew up loving Madison from Splash. Because of her I’d lay in the tub or swim around the pool in our backyard and pretend I was a mermaid. Then Ariel came along and stole my heart, but, oddly enough, my take on mermaids isn’t similar to either of those stories. My take on merfolk seems to be a blend of my childhood love affair with Sea Wees (mermaid dolls that had sea creature pets) and Rainbow Brite—with a dash of X-Men.

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

Karen: Honestly, I don’t know. I haven’t read others yet because I didn’t want my story to be influenced by anyone else’s take on merfolk. Now that I’m writing book 2 of The Sea Monster Memoirs I’m still waiting to read other novels. I do have like ten mermaid books on my TBR list though. Some sound really fabulous and I’m excited to see the worlds that fellow mer authors have created.

One thing I think is unique about my story is that I included merfolk and selkies, but they’re rivals. It’s like an underwater Westside Story. And then there are the siren sisters—which, by the way, mermaids and sirens are not the same creatures in my story.

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

Karen: Home base would probably be down in the Caribbean, but I’d spend a lot of time swimming around and exploring. I’d definitely spend a few months over in the Pacific, off of the coasts of the Hawaiian Islands. Oh, and Australia. And Indonesia. See how hard it is for me to choose just one? I’d be a mermaid on the go.

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?

Karen: I wouldn’t tell her anything, but I would ask what her secret is to having such fabulous hair.

Yara Jones doesn’t believe in sea monsters—until she becomes one.

When a hurricane hits her island home and she wakes up with fins, Yara finds herself tangled up in an underwater world of mysterious merfolk and secretive selkies. Both sides believe Yara can save them by fulfilling a broken promise and opening the sealed gateway to their realm, but they are battling over how it should be done. The selkies want to take her life. The merfolk want something far more precious.

Treygan, the stormy-eyed merman who turned Yara mer, will stop at nothing and sacrifice everything to protect his people—until he falls for Yara. The tides turn as Yara fights to save herself, hundreds of sea creatures, and the merman who has her heart. She could lose her soul in the process—or she might open the gateway to a love that’s deeper than the oceans.

Young Adult fans of Mermaids, Selkies, Sirens and Gorgons will love this tale of the sacrifice one makes for genuine love. Love that could be lost at any moment to the ever-changing tides. 

Don’t forget to say hi to Karen Hooper at her website and follow her on Twitter @karen_hooper.

You can check out Tangled Tides on Goodreads and order it over at Amazon and Book Depository.


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