Up here in Toronto, we’re celebrating a gorgeous sunshine-filled week, and I know I’m not the only one thinking about hitting the beach. Happily, I’ve got a copy of the second book in Anna Banks’ funny contemporary take on the mermaid mythology, Of Triton, to bring the ocean a little bit closer to home.
Today, Anna stops by on the blog to answer some questions about writing Of Triton, fan reactions and questions she would love to be asked. Enjoy!
Angel: Of Triton is the third book you’ve published–what do you think most characterizes your writing so far?
Anna Banks: My writing is—and always will be—characterized by snark. I can’t explain why. Even my adult book, Degrees of Wrong, is snarkalicious. I can’t halp it! But my psychiatrist says it’s okay, so…
Angel: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them? Did the story turn out the way you thought it would or were there unexpected changes?
Anna: I’d read reviews for Of Poseidon and one of the main phrases was “the action is mild but…”. While I did spend a little more time world-building in the first book, and introducing my characters, in the second one, I concentrated on cramming the plot with twists and turns and craziness in general.My goal for Of Triton was to make the action take your breath away. Did I accomplish it? I’d love to know!
Of Triton was written in my head before I ever finished writing Of Poseidon—except the ending. The original ending was going to be a little more tidy, with a pretty bow on it for you. The book form of comfort for the soul, like mashed potatoes and chocolate and newborn bunnies.
But then I realized that readers don’t pay me to comfort them. They pay me to unsettle them. So I went with that.
Angel: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Anna: I loved the fact that it practically wrote itself. As a writer, I know how eye-twitchingly irritating that sounds. 🙂 When any of my author friends ever say that, I reflexively want to high five their face. Maybe it was just my turn? I dunno. But it was all in my head, and putting it into words was relatively easy for me this time, and…I think I’ll stop there before someone relieves me of a tooth or two. 🙂
Angel: Many readers have commented on the humour in this series–do the funny lines/scenes come about naturally while writing or do you already have ideas for them before you start writing?
Anna: Most of the sarcasm and one-liners are all natural. It’s what I would say if I were in the same position as my character. Saying it from two different POVs is kind of like arguing with myself—which is fun, mind you. I enjoy setting up my characters for quips; that part’s easy. Writing an entire funny scene is much different. I’ve got to be in a snarky mood. Sometimes I’ll get an idea for a scene that cracks me up and I’ll write it down, but it never makes it into the book. But those scenes aren’t wasted; they just get shuffled into a funny scene notebook for later use. 🙂
Angel: Have there been any favourite fan reactions to your books?
Anna: My favorite fan reaction to Of Poseidon was when someone emailed me, calling foul on the cliffhanger ending:
Dear Ms. Banks,
I was just wondering if you noticed that your book didn’t end?
I may or may not have snorted slushy out of my nose when I read that…
Angel: What is the biggest thing that people THINK they know about your subject/genre, that isn’t so?
Anna: The saddest thing is that people won’t pick up Of Poseidon because it’s a “mermaid book”. I worked very hard to make the scenarios in this series scientifically realistic. There are no talking crabs, no flounders with pinchable cheeks. Everything is based on fact, and real emotions, and real reactions.
In fact, if it weren’t for the aspect of some of my characters being able to breathe underwater, it would read like a contemporary YA.
Angel: What question do you wish that someone would ask about your books, but nobody has? What would be your answer?
Anna: A reader once asked Stephenie Meyer if all the Cullens knew when Bella was on her period. Her answer was “Ew.”
Along those lines, no one has ever asked me how a Syrena takes a crap. If they did, my answer would also be “Ew.” And then I would speculate with the reader on ways that they could take a crap. Probably write a blog post about it. Or something.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Anna!
Want more Of Triton? Comment below or on my review of the book with your email address and/or Twitter handle to win a paperback of Of Poseidon, a finished copy of Of Triton AND an Of Poseidon bookmark! I’ll be picking winners at the end of the tour. (US/Canada only)
May 13: Learn 10 Secrets About Galen @ Bewitched Bookworms
May 14: Kate @ Ex Libris interviews Galen and Rayna
May 15: Interview with Anna Banks @ The Book Cellar
May 16: Toraf and Rayna stop by @ Two Chicks on Books
May 17: Read an exclusive scene @ IceyBooks
May 20: Tales of a Ravenous Reader
May 21: The Cozy Reader
May 23: MacTeenBooks
May 24: Carina’s Books
Anna and Of Triton are going on tour! Check out the fantastic trailer:
and find out if the Fierce Reads authors will be stopping by in a town near you.
Pre-order Of Triton and Anna Banks will send you bonus content! Find out more here.
Anna Banks’s first novel, Of Poseidon, was a Macmillan Fierce Reads title. She lives in Crestview, on the Florida Panhandle, with her husband and their daughter.