Sunday, July 31, 2011

Interview With LOST VOICES Author Sarah Porter

I recently caught up with Sarah Porter to talk about Lost Voices, the first in a trilogy about girls who transform into mermaids as a result of trauma. Read on to learn more about Sarah's world, and why she chose to write about the darker side of the mermaid legend.

Where did you get the inspiration for Lost Voices?
There were a few different sources. I used to have recurring dreams where I was a mermaid swimming very fast under these gritty, industrial docks; you’ll see the influence of those dreams on the third volume of the trilogy! And there was an earlier, very strange mermaid story I wrote, where the mermaids could swim through earth as well as water. When they started burrowing near your house, you’d know they were coming to steal your daughters away. Then there was the time when I took a walk on the beach with a friend and we improvised a story about a punk mermaid who lived apart from the others. All of those ideas kind of came together in Lost Voices.

What drew you to writing about the darker aspects of mermaid lore?
Honestly, I wasn’t crazy about how fluffy and cheery the portrayal of mermaids had become. I wanted to restore some of that missing darkness and power and give my mermaids an emotional charge that went beyond just romance and escapism. Mermaids offer such an intense image of being trapped between two worlds, maybe even torn between two different personalities. They can express so much, and it seems like a shame to waste that potential by making them completely cute and bubbly.

Which character do you relate to most? Do you have a character that is most fun to write about?
Oh, definitely Luce—though of course I also love my other characters, especially Catarina, even if she tends to be difficult and temperamental. But you haven’t met the character who’s the most fun yet: that would be Nausicaa, who appears in the second volume of the trilogy, Waking Storms. I don’t want to give too much away, but she’s been around for a very long time, and she’s somewhere between wise and jaded, loving and abrasive, and since she’s way past caring what anyone thinks she’s always extremely honest.

How do you feel about this rise in popularity mermaids have recently gotten?
I’ll admit the mermaid craze took me by surprise. In some ways I would have liked it if there weren’t so many other mermaid books out there all at once, but I do think the Lost Voices Trilogy offers a pretty original take on the mythology. And then Lost Voices has received some publicity that it definitely wouldn’t have if mermaids weren’t a trend, like the photo of the cover that appeared in USA Today. And the image of the mermaid is open to so many different interpretations that there’s room for a lot of artists to explore different aspects and ideas, so bring it on!

What do you hope readers will take away from Lost Voices after reading it?
I don’t want to say what anyone else should think or feel. But I’d like it if it left some readers with an acceptance of the darkness and mystery and magic in themselves and in everyone—even if that magic is sometimes angry or frightening. The more we can feel tenderness for all the dark, wild aspects of ourselves, I think the less those aspects can control us. In a way, the parts of the mermaids that stay hidden under the water represent the parts of ourselves that are secret or strange or hard to understand. The mermaids have to come to terms with their humanity, but maybe we should come to terms with our mer-ness, too.

Lost Voices is the first in a trilogy. What can we expect to come in the next installment?
It’s hard to answer that without giving away the story of the second installment, Waking Storms. But Luce finds both love and a truly close friendship for the first time, and she starts learning to open up and stand up for herself and her ideas. The mermaids have been extremely na├»ve in believing they can just get away with sinking ships indefinitely, and now terrible trouble is brewing—and because Luce is in love with a human, she’s caught in the middle.

And lastly, what other projects are you currently working on?
Right now I’m working on the third volume in the Lost Voices Trilogy; it’s probably going to be titled The Twice Lost Army. It’s due in the fall, and it’s turning out to be quite epic, so I really can’t think about anything else until it’s finished! After that I’m dying to get back to a half-completed adult novel that I set aside a few years ago, called Boudoir. It’s dreamy and surreal and sort of horrorish—not mermaidy, though it does include a very significant swimming pool!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Fins Are Forever by Tera Lynn Childs Review

On Lily Sanderson’s eighteenth birthday she’ll become just a girl—still a mergirl, true, but signing the renunciation will ink Princess Waterlily of Thalassinia out of existence. That leaves plain old Lily living on land, dating the boy she loves, and trying to master this being-human thing once and for all.
Now that Lily and Quince are together, mer bond or not, she’s almost content to give up her place in the royal succession of Thalassinia. But just when she thinks she has everything figured out, the waves start to get rough. Lily’s father sends a certain whirlpool-stirring cousin to stay with her on land. What did Doe do to get herself exiled from Thalassinia and stuck in terraped form when everyone knows how much she hates humans? And why why why is she batting her eyelashes at Lily’s former crush, Brody?
The seafoam on the raging surf comes when a merboy from Lily’s past shows up—Tellin asks Lily for something that clouds her view of the horizon. There’s a future with Quince on land, her loyalty to the kingdom in the sea, and Lily tossing on the waves in the middle. Will she find a way to reconcile her love, her duty, and her own dreams?
Tera Lynn Childs’s sequel to Forgive My Fins offers another tail-flicking romance with plenty of fun, sun, and underwater adventure.

Son of a swordfish! This book was pure awesome-ness, even better than the first book! In the sequel to last summer's Forgive My Fins, Lily is forced to choose between her kingdom in the sea or life on land. I actually felt for Lily as she must deal with all these choices that no teenager should have to make. The most interesting part for me in the book was how Lily has become frustrated with having to hide the secret that she is a mermaid, and her yearning to come out of the ocean and reveal her true self to humankind, though that might not be the best idea, as we all know how humans feel about anything that is different. Still, the concept of mer kingdoms joining the United Nations and assimilating into human society makes me hope this will be dealt with in future installments.
Tera Lynn Childs is one of the only authors who has managed to make me laugh and cry while reading her books. The scene in the rain with Quince and Lily (I won't say anymore, for fear of spoiling it for others) literally almost made me cry.
I'm also not sure how I feel about the new character of Tellin. I mean, I felt sorry for him, but at times I found him too pushy and invasive of Lily's privacy. Then again, if you're a teenager confronted with the possibility of your entire kindom's demise, you might act the same.
And I can't believe I'm saying this, but I totally loved Dosinia by the end of the book. She definitely matured from a snobby immature teenager by the end of the book.
I think Lily's choice at the end was perfect, and the book ended on a hopeful note. It was hinted at that there may be sequels, and I sure hope so. (I'd love to read a book about the Trio, or Dosinia, or Peri, too, a character I really love but who barely gets book time, and who I would love to read a whole book about!)
So, if you love mermaids, magic, and you're looking for the perfect summer read to take with you to the beach or even sitting by the pool, Fins Are Forever is for you. I don't think the first book needs to be read to understand this one; it's its own self-contained adventure. And if you HAVE read Forgive My Fins, then water you waiting for? (Water? Get it? Oh, forget it.) Dive into Fins Are Forever and get ready for an incredibly well-crafted underwater world filled with undersea fun, teen romance, and mermaid magic.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mermaids Of Hollywood: 60 Celebs Trade Fame For Fins

Isn't it a coincidence that we recently blogged about who we would like to see as mermaids? Well, it turns out that photographer Mark Anderson took over sixty female celebrities and photographed them as mermaids. Here's what I found on the Oh No They Didn't Livejournal page:

"Chronicles of Mermaids have been told for centuries in the form of legends and fairytales. Images of this sea queen have haunted artists in their efforts to bring the beauty, sexuality and mystery of the mermaid to life. The role of mythology is ever changing in society and it is with this in mind that photographer Mark Anderson has captured contemporary images of this mythical creature as she may appear in today’s society.

We're all familiar with the playful modern mermaid of Walt Disney’s The Little Mermaid and of Darryl Hannah’s depiction of the human/animal creature in Splash. But lurking behind these light figures is the sadness and mystery of the mermaid's plight. Using over 60 female stars of the entertainment world, Photographer Mark Anderson brings us photos that weave together a never before seen perspective on what life could be like if Mermaids lived amongst us. His fantastical representations place the mermaid in often-unexplored territories to expose the roles to which we assign modern women: as sexualized beings, as temptresses, as mothers/daughters, and as creatures themselves constrained and created by myth."

Here are a few examples:
Kristin Bell (who, oddly enough, I pictured as the mermaid in one of my stories)

Charisma Carpenter (had to post this, as I LOVED her on Buffy the Vampire Slayer!)

The Kardashians (ugh, WHY?!?! They'd make better sea-witches than mermaids.)

Emmanuelle Chriqui (this is my favorite picture on the page! I love the message on the cardboard sign!)

If you want to check out other mer-celebs, read more at ONTD:

Mermaids: The Magazine

It's official: mermaids ARE the new vampires. And how do I know that? Because our favorite finned females now have an all-new 'zine coming out soon that's all about them. It's a quarterly magazine, which means there will only be four issues a year, but I think it's definitely worth it. I mean, an entire magazine devoted to our favorite girls of the sea? Sign me up! (Or, in this case, subscribe me.) Here's what the magazine's website says about the first issue:

We are so excited to present to you the new mermaid magazine for the world! Mermaids & Mythology, a quarterly publication full of mertastic stories, interviews, mer fashion, mer music, in fact mer everything!!! You can subscribe now and be one of the first people to received the magazine when it is officially released on 21st September on the Autumn Equinox!

About the first issue, the site says:

The debut edition is launching this September, and will be making a splash with some exciting features including Hannah Mermaid, the stunning artwork of David Delamare, and coverage of the World Mermaid Awards. Plus mermaid fashion, mythology and more…
Founder and MerFae Karen Kay says, “I have always loved mermaids and used to draw them constantly when I first moved to Cornwall. I love all things Mer, and love living by the sea, I always feel complete when I look out over the horizon and I love the feelings I get from a calm or stormy sea – unpredictable, wyld and free, a bit like me!”

“When I started FAE magazine back in 2007 there were mermaids in the first and second issues, and they always seem to find their way onto the pages of FAE! So I felt, it was about time they had their own space! A special new mermaid magazine where their watery realms could be explored and adored! And the myths of the sea, with legends and mythology, and some Pirates too!”

So, will any of you be subscribing to Mermaids & Mythology Magazine? Or, you might be able to purchase backissues online as well, in case you don't want to subscribe.

Swim on over to for more information!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lady Gaga's Mermaid Music Video

It seems that Lady G's mermaid altar ego Yuyi is making her debut in Gaga's latest music video for her fantastic song You and I.
Gaga and her team were shooting in Nebraska  not long ago, which makes no sense on the Mermaid front, but the song is sung to a "cool Nebraska guy", but I'm sure she'll will make it work.
Apparently, Katy Perry is also planking about in a mermaid costume recently, but no more news on that.

Much love and sonic screwdrivers,

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Casting Merpeople Part 4: Selkies

So Selkies are half-seal (or all seal depending on your myth). Here's the final bit for the casting series!

Number one choice without a doubt: ADELE!

Number two, Joss Stone a fantastic Scottish Singer who could definitly rock a pelt.
Other good choices include....
Johnny Depp
Queen Latifa
Matt Lewis
Eliza Doolittle
Zooey Deschanel
Darren Criss

That concludes our four part series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you for sticking around and listening to me rant.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

We Now Interupt Our Regularly Scheduled Programming...

To bring you more Lady Gaga mermaid news, and this time, it doesn't involve Katy Perry.

Our very own Lady Gaga preformed in a mermaid tail again, this time using a wheelchair to get around and playing some of her piano tuneage.
Things is, Bette Midler's been doing the same thing since 1980. And Bette (hilarious lady and very talented actor and singer) called her out on Twitter for it. It was actually fairly hilarious.

The two have patched it up and are probably laughing about it over some expensive alcohol as we speak.
Gaga has preformed in a tail before and plans to base a music video around the tail soon. We've written on her before when she preformed in the tail the first time and when the Little Monsters and the Katy Perry Camp got into a fight about who would make a better mermaid.
What's your opinion on all these mers in the music industry? Well, they are the muses of the olden generation.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Anyone Out There Speak Filipino?

From what I can tell, mermaids must be hugely popular around the world, especially in the Philippines, from what I gather. Two different "teleseryes", or what we Americans call a soap opera, are about mermaids who come ashore to live on land as humans. The first is called Marina, and it was the first of the fantasy-oriented teleseryes and launched a new trend for Filipino pop culture.

Marina is about a young girl who is cursed by the sea deity Victoria, because Marina's father spurned the woman's romantic advances and instead fell in love with the woman who would become Marina's mother. Marina was transformed into a mermaid and eventually her parents released her to the sea, where she was found by a group of mermaids who took her in and raised her. Years later, as a young woman, Marina seeks out the good sea-witch Dugong to gain legs and become human. And of course, mermaid-y adventures ensue.

The next teleserye is Dyesebel, which from what I've researched, it is hugely popular in the Philippines. Dyesebel is part of Filipino culture and mythology, kind of like the Philippines' equivalent of Ariel. The mermaid character first appeared in a series of graphic novels written by Mars Ravello, and several movie adaptations have been made. In 2008, a television series was created based on the character.

Dyesebel's story begins when an amnesiac mermaid-turned-human falls in love with a human man and has his child, who is born with a mermaid's tail rather than legs. Dyesbel goes to live in the sea, but she receives a necklace that allows her to come ashore and grow legs. She falls in love with the human Fredo, but there's a sort of love triangle between her, Fredo, and the handsome and royal merman Erebus. But the sea is also being corrupted by the evil sea-witch Dyangga, and Dyesebel might be the only one to stop her.

Both shows are in the Filipino language, so unless you know how to speak it, you might get a little lost. But if you're just looking for some more beautiful mermaids to watch and care little for the dialogue (I'm sure you'll be able to follow anyway) you might want to check out both Marina and Dyesebel's underwater adventures.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Casting Merpeople Part 3: Sirens

Hello hello again! I'm trying to finish this up fairly fast so I won't get any more ideas and go on and on and on and on.
So this lovely early morning here in the States, I've compiled some great talent to take over the roles of the evil seductive sirens, closer to the mermaids seen recently in Pirates of the Carribean than Ariel and Co.
My number one choice would have to be Blake Lively. She'd be a fantastic siren. It just fits her so well. You've probably seen her in Gossip Girl or The Town, and wether or not you'll admit it, the Sisterhood of the Travling Pants.
Number 2: Helena Bonham Carter. She's a personal favorite of mine and I think this role would give her something to play on as more than just an evil face. She's been seen in Harry Potter as the wicked evil Bellatrix Lestrange, the somewhat demure-in-comparison Corpse Bride, The Red Queen in this latest version of Alice in Wonderland, Queen Elizabeth in the King's Speech and so many more.
Number three on our list: Liv Tyler. Known for playing insanely beautiful women (Arwen in Lord of the Rings most noteably), she'd be spell-binding.
Other good choices include:
Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone, X-Men First Class, The Hunger Games as Katniss)
Noomi Rapace (Lisbeth Salander, a charcter in the upcoming Sherlock Holmes Sequel)
Kaya Scoldelario (Skins)

What are your thoughts? Comment below! I'd love to hear what you have to say. I'm  such a movie geek and nobody ever talks to me about films and actors and camera angles :)

Much love and sonic screwdrivers,

Casting Mermen: Part 2

Hello all! Sorry it's been a long time for part 2, but I waited eight months to see another particular part 2 and that took up a lot of time :)

So today, I'm here to talk about mermen and some good choices for actors if they're ever brought to the big screen (which I hope they will be in the near future).
Anyway, so mermen bring to mind underwater vikings, old dudes with beards and tridents (again, thank you Disney) and well, hot guys.

Alexander Skarsgard. He fits the underwater viking bit.
As far as old dudes with beards and tridents, my mind is kind of drawing a blank because all the old guys in beards that I've seen recently are now all reeeeeeeeeeealy old and I don't know if they'd even be possibilities anymore.
But my mind brings up Michael Gambon in his Dumbledore-ness from Harry Potter and Gandalf from Lord of the Rings. And for some strange reason, I think Colin Firth would be fantastic in a role like this, maybe minus the beard.
On just hot guys, I'm gonna plug Doctor Who again and go with Matt Smith. I can imagine him playing a merman for sure (what is it with all the sci-fi dudes here? Trend?).
Other good choices include Michael Phelps, Michael Cera (sort of), Logan Lermen, Jesse Eisenberg (more so than Michael Cera seeing as they look a lot alike), and Elijah Wood.
See you next time for sirens!

Much love and sonic screwdrivers,

Thursday, July 14, 2011

FishTales: Awful Movie, Gorgeous Mermaid

Mermaid movies are relatively rare, but they're out there. Splash, The Little Mermaid, and Aquamarine are probably the Big Three. But Fishtales is a film that features a beautiful mermaid named Nereid.

The film's story is about a professor who stays at the home of a colleague on the island of Spetses in Greece, accompanied by his young daughter Serena. But when Serena explores the island, she meets a beautiful mermaid named Nereid who falls in love with the professor, but she is being hunted by a fisherman named Mavros who wishes to capture her for her jewel-encrusted tail.

The movie is bad, and I mean AWFUL. I'm not exactly sure what the filmmakers were trying to achieve in making it. It's just plain bad, sometimes so awful it makes you want to cringe. The storyline is just a big, jumbled mess. For example, is the mermaid (minor spoiler alert!) the long-lost daughter of the owner of the house? I mean, there's a lot of talk about how the man's daughter disappeared into the sea, and while looking through a book of mermaids inside the house, the mermaid notices a portait of a mermaid and says, "It's someone I haven't seen for a very long time." But it's never revealed. The acting is stale, and the movie's just one big goofball. In fact, when the movie debuted at the Cannes Film Festival, the critics got up and walked out before the film had even finished. One critic said, 'This is the worst movie I've seen in a very long time... I fell asleep within the first 15 minutes.'

Despite all this, the mermaid is one of the most beautiful that has ever graced the big screen. I love the tail and its colors, as well as how incredibly long it is and the jewels embedded in it. The tail was created by Jason Baird, of H2O and Aquamarine fame, and the actress who portrays the mermaid, Kelly Brook, is beautiful and truly looks like a girl of the sea.

So, FishTales truly is one god-awful movie, and I don't recommend it, unless you want to check out the mermaid. Otherwise, this is one you can skip out on.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lady Gaga's Not The Only Sea-lebrity Anymore...

So, if you're an avid reader of this blog, you've probably seen our posts about Lady Gaga's mermaid alter ego and her upcoming mermiad-themed music video. Well, it turns out there's another celebrity out there who has donned a set of fins.

Katy Perry, known for her songs "I Kissed A Girl" and "Teenage Dream," just to name a couple, tweeted a pic of herself dressed in her mermaid garb, and it seems as if her new music video might be mermaid-themed.

Apparently, there is now a fued raging between Gaga and Perry fans, accusing Perry of stealing the mermaid idea from Lady Gaga. Lady Gaga's creative partner Laurieann Gibson tweeted, "Proud of my artist #1 in the world @Ladygaga her vision& passion. even though they try to steal a tail theres only 1 Mermaid, Swim On!!!"

In my opinion, I say the more mermaids, the merrier, no matter whose idea it originally was. Mermaids are becoming extremely popular, so it's evident they're going to show up all over the place, just like vampires did when they were the latest craze. Even Lady Gaga wasn't the first to don a mermaid tail for a music video. Does anyone remember Sade's video for "No Ordinary Love?" Gaga and Perry are just the latest celebrities to dress as a mermaid, and I'll happily welcome and watch both music videos.

What are your opinions on the Gaga/Perry mermaid feud?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Casting a Mermaid (or Randi Is A Dork) Part 1: Mermaids

Hello again! I'm sorry i've been gone a while, I've been busy in the Harry Potter fandom.
So this is a four part series on how to cast merpeople into movies. Each post will focus on a different branch of merpeople, this one being your generic mermaid. The next mermen, after that the more evil sirens, and fourthly, selkies (you think I was gonna let that one go?).
So mermaids, we usually think of blondes or gingers (thank you Ariel) with big expressive eyes and a generally small waist.
So what comes to mind for moi?

Ellen Page. I don't particularly know why, but I think Ellen Page would make a fantastic mermaid. She has the above traits, and she's a gifted actress. It might be a bit of a departure from her normal roles (Bliss Cavender in Whip It, Juno McGuff in Juno, Ariadne in Inception).

Karen Gillian from the wonderfully addictive British sci-fi show Doctor Who would also be interesting to see with a tail. She plays a Scottish  companion to the time traveling Doctor who brings wit and wonder to the mix.  She's also quite ginger :)
If you've got any ideas on the subject, comment below, I'll be happy to read them!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Yes!!! There Will Be A Sequel!!!

One of my all-time favorite mermaid novels is Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs. I loved the characters, the plot, and the action. But I wasn't sure if the book would have a sequel or not. According to Tracy Deebs's Facebook page, yes! There will be a sequel! It's going to be called Tempest Unleashed, and here's what Tracy had to say about it on her Facebook page:

I am thrilled to announce that all the details are settled :) The second Tempest book, Tempest Unleashed, will hit shelves in Spring 2012. I'm finishing up Zero Day and will start work on Tempest 2 in July-- so check back for snippets :) I promise to post. And look out, because there are going to be some surprises!!!!

I'm so excited for this one!!! For those who have read Tempest Rising, what did you think about it? Are you excited for Tempest Unleashed?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Mermaid Sightings: Are They Real?

If you follow this blog, more than likely you're a mermaid lover, but is there really such thing as mermaids? Most people think sailors mistook manatees for mermaids, but sailors who have been at sea for a long time have seen pretty much everything that is to see out there, and I'm positive they would have known the difference between a wrinkly, gray sea cow and a naked fish-tailed woman. Here's a few accounts of purported mermaid sightings all over the world.

The first comes from explorer Henry Hudson, and here's his account in his journal about what his crew supposedly saw:
"This evening (June 15) one of our company, looking overboard, saw a mermaid, and, calling up some of the company to see her, one more of the crew came up, and by that time she was come close to the ship's side, looking earnestly on the men. A little after the sea came and overturned her. From the navel upwards, her back and breasts were like a woman's, as they say that saw her; her body as big as one of us, her skin very white, and long hair hanging down behind, of colour black. In her doing down they saw her tail, which was like the tail of a porpoise, speckled like a mackerel. Their names that saw her were Thomas Hilles and Robert Rayner."

Another sighting hails from the Scottish Highlands, in which a mermaid supposedly washed ashore and died. The townsfolk felt so much pity for the dead creature, they ordered her a coffin and buried her in the nearby cemetery, and to this day she is supposedly still buried there atop a hill. (What do you think is actually buried there? Something that would change everything?)

Also, Captain John Smith (yes, of Pocahontas fame) was exploring the West Indies when he spied a beautiful woman in the water. He instantly felt attracted to her, but then noticed that "from the waist down the woman gave way to the fish...and her long green hair...(was) by no means unattractive."

Even Christopher Columbus, who sailed the ocean blue in 1492 and is credited with discovering America, encountered mermaids and said this about them: "Three sirens...came up very high out of the sea: but they were not as beautiful as they were painted."

But mermaid sightings have continued even into the modern day. In Kiryat Yam, a city in Israel, locals claim there is a mermaid who dives in and out of the water at sunset. The mayor of the town is so adamant that a mermaid lives in their waters that he offered a million dollar prize to anyone who could catch a photo of the elusive creature. A television crew for the show Destination Truth featured an episode where the hunted for the mermaid, and they did catch a humanoid figure on video. Was it a mermaid? The world may never know.

So, after the claims of all these respected men and entire towns of people who insist the mermaid exists, ask yourself: Do you believe in mermaids?