Thursday, October 27, 2011

Interview with Vanessa Barger

Thanks so much fo the interview! I always enjoy talking to people, and I hope that you get a chance to read Slack Tide and that you enjoy it!
1. How did your book come about? What was the inspiration?
Well, I'd known about selkies for awhile and thought that there were few books that featured them, and those I'd read that did didn't delve much into their mythology. After a strange dream one night, the story sort of emerged into what it is now. Starting mostly with the idea of the skin and the idea of it being able to transform something. And then it wasn't a far stretch for me to wonder if a skin could belong to more than one person.....

2. Selkies are starting to become just as trendy as merpeople. What drew you to them?
I think it was because I've always had a special interest in the UK and celtic folklore and mythology. Selkies just captured my imagination, and I figured they had so much more potential for merging my own take on them into what already exsisted. 

3. I always ask this question simply because it gets some weird answers, but what did you eat while writing?
What did I eat? Hmmmm... There was probably some chocolate in there. (Isn't there always), but I do remember that on at least two occaisions, there was tea, scones, homemade strawberry jam and clotted cream. The whole nine yards.

4. If any, what music did you listen to while writing and/or inspired moments or scenes? I love book playlists.
There's a ton of songs on the playlist, but I can tell you that the ones featured most prominently were Running Up That Hill by Placebo, Moonlight Sonata, Imogen Heap, Tomanandy, Voodoo by Godsmack, and The Call by Regina Spektor, to name a few.

5. Just for fun, what was the last movie you saw and book you read?
Let's see... I just finished Fade by Lisa McMann last night, and I'm trying to start What the Night Knows by Dean Koontz. (though my overactive imagination demands that one be read in daylight!). as for movies, I watched the Vicar of Dibley Wedding Special last night. Hilarious, if you like Dawn French and/or Brit Coms!

6. Halloween is coming up. What are you doing on All Hallows Eve?
Every year we host a big Halloween party for all our friends (my roommate and I). So that's this weekend. This year we're doing a murder mystery and then heading to a flashlight corn maze. It should be fun. Each year the activities change. Sometimes its ghost tours through Williamsburg, sometimes its just hanging out around the house. This year is pretty low key, with only 15 guests, and only a few staying over. (There was one year we had about about 10 people speniding the night. Suffice to say, you had to be careful where you walked!)
On the actual night, I'll probably watch the Ghost Hunters Live event, and keep some candy, just in case any children brave the dark to get to our house out in the boonies. Its never happened yet, but its a goode excuse to buy candy!

7. What's your next writing project?
I'm in the middle of two, actually. I've got five more chapters left to write in a new thriller/mystery based very loosely on Hamlet, and I've got a romance/horror I'm outlining to use as my NANOWRIMO project.

8. Zombies or Unicorns?
oooo.... tough one. Zombie Unicorns? Think of how odd that would be!

Thanks again, and let me know if you need anything else - URLs, pics, etc.
:) Have a great night!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mer Book Review: May, Daughters of the Sea #2 by Kathryn Lasky

After a re-read of number two, I think I'm ready to divulge my thoughts to you all on the second Daughters of the Sea book.

After strong-starter Hannah, May answers more questions and really starts to build the story up to what is sure to be a thrilling climax in the fourth novel.

First of all, the pacing of the book was MUCH better than Hannah. May doesn't wait nearly as long to dive in as Hannah. The funniest bit is that May and Hannah's stories are entwined and May gets a little antsy when Hannah STILL hasn't found out about her tail (I see what you did there Kathryn).

The setting here is Maine, where the last half of Hannah takes place. May lives in a lighthouse with her "foster" parents Edgar and Zeeba (I don't thnk I can spell her real name right to be honest. It's an odd name). Edgar found her at sea floating in a treasure chest (remember that bit, it's prominent in the story).  Zeeba is sick all the time and makes May care for her, which adds that sort of villian-y touch to the story (think someone like Gothel from Rapunzel).

However, there is a love story in this book, which I wasn't very happy with UNTIL I started actually reading the book. One of the things that made Hannah so special was that there was no love interest and that it was just a story about a maid that finds out she's a mermaid (I know, I'm punny, deal with it). It's a little overblown at times as the book progresses bit it is  a very sweet love interest and I can say I enjoyed it well enough.

Again, just the fact that this is a non-modern, non-super lovey dovey mermaid book is really something cool. This one seems to be aimed a little older than Hannah, but all in all, it's a fitting seuqel not to be missed if you read the first.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mer Book Review: Hannah, Daughters Of The Sea #1 by Kathryn Lasky

Hey everyone! Before I begin my review of this cool book, I want to thank everyone who recently started following the blog and reading these jewls on the Internet :) It means a lot to me and Garrett for each comment and follower, and I know that I for one am thrilled. Don't be shy! I'll be happy to read comments and  be total dorks with you all!

But onto the book review....

Kathryn Lasky (The Owls of Ga'Hoole series most notably, which was turned into a film last year) is writing a great quartet about mermaids called Daughters of the Sea, and I've read all the published volumes, which are Hannah, and May, which I'll review in my next post.

The basic premise is this: Three mermaid (triplets as they're all the same age) sisters seperated at birth and all sent in different directions and walks of life. This book focuses on Hannah. The year is 1899 and Hannah was put in an orphan home, and quickly sent off to a job as a scullery girl in a fine Boston Home. Whacked out stuff starts happening, and by the hands of fate, Hannah finds out she is a mermaid, and that the mysterious cool artist guy currently staying with aforementioned fine Boston family might know more about her than she does herself.

My one big complaint about this book is the pacing. Hannah is super oblivious to the whole mermaid thing, and it's in the last FIFTY pages that she discovers she is a mermaid, which leaves very little time to explore all the concepts and questions that come with that tail of hers. I spent the whole book resisting the urge to just shout " GO TAKE A SWIM!"

But there was a lot of other cooler things about the book.

1. It's a historical mermaid fiction. Not a lot of these out there, except for the occasional Greek Mythology ones (Sirena for example). Not only that, but a turn of the century setting. It makes for an interesting read.

2. Except for a brief moment with the painter I mentioned up there, there is no love interest in the book, which is super refreshing with all of the mer-books that revolve around love. And I'm not dissing those books at all, in fact, I enjoy them as much as the next mer-obssessed girl, but I do get a little tired of them sometimes. That was one of the coolest things about the book. It made me like it a lot more.

3. Hannah wasn't Beatrix Kiddo from Kill Bill, but she wasn't a completely whimpy heroine either. She was a little plucky, but not mouthy. There was something fun about her strongwilled but demure aspects. It was a nice blend. She's like a mix of the headstrong Katniss from the Hunger Games with a  big dose of Alice of Wonderland.

4. This book really sets up the sequel really well, which after reading the sequel, I like this book even  better.

It's aimed at the more tween set, but I know adults who've enjoyed the series as well. You won't find the cheesy processed romance or lots of brain food, but a good period read that's unique from a lot of other mer-books.

Review of the sequel to come soon after I give it another read.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Little Mermaid Will Be In 3D!

Most of us mermaid fans had our love begin with Ariel. Disney's The Little Mermaid is a classic movie that still has legions of fans even today, and it's one of the studio's most well-known films.
With the success of The Lion King's rerelease in theaters in 3D, Disney has decided to release other movies in the same way. And one of those movies is none other than Ariel's story!
The Little Mermaid in 3D is set for a release date of September 13, 2013. That's a long wait, but it's definitely going to be worth it! I can't wait to see Ariel and her underwater world on the big screen, even if it is in 3D! (Especially the final battle scene with Ursula - that should be epic!)
So, what do you guys think about The Little Mermaid being released in 3D? Will you go see it? Or are you content with the DVD and don't want to spend that extra few dollars on 3D glasses? Let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Interview with RANDI!

And now the long awaited final chapter!

1. How long have you been interested in mermaids? How exactly did you get interested in them?

I got hooked (haha, punny!) after seeing The Thirteenth Year admittedly. The acting was bad, but the whole idea intrigued me. Then I found H20 and then I started having whacko dreams about merpeople, and then I figured I'd write some books about them. And thus began the obssession.

2. If you could be in any mer-book or movie (human or mermaid) which would it be?

Hmmm, I really liked Kathyn Lasky's Daughter's of the Sea series, but you couldn't go back and forth, so that'd be a con... I'd have to go with that one though. Or maybe The Fins series. I haven't finished it yet, but at least you can get a bit of land, a bit of sea.

3. Which merworld would you NOT live in?

Much as I loved the book, I wouldn't want to live in Lost Voices, because of all that's implied when you get a tail, that trauma that gets you there and all. Plus, they were all at each other's throats at some point in the book. I'm sort of a hippy, I can't take drama like that very well.

4. What's been your favorite post on the blog?

I really liked following the build-up to Lady Gaga's mermaid video, because I thought that video was pretty cool :) But don't get me wrong, I love posting on the blog and every little blurb is special.

5. What's your most anticipated mer-related thing of any sort to happen in 2012? (It's ok if there's more than one).

Ooooh, you know, I'm excited about the films coming up. I want to be a director when I get older and I'm excited to see some of the films that are in development. Oh, and tons of books too.

6. What do you think of the recent upsurge in mermaid popularity?

It's a little bittersweet in the sense that I thought I was being super unique writing about mermaids, but I've also found more people who are into merpeople because of it. Like this blog for example ;)

7. So you're a big music fan. What songs or bands do you think would make a great mermaid soundtrack?

I'd actually assembled a playlist for the blog, but I haven't got around to posting it yet. But for bands, Florence + the Machine wihtout a doubt. Florence herself is so like a mermaid it's hard to imagine anyone else, though if I did, I'd probably come up with Tori Amos or someone sort of like that. And for composers, Alexendre Desplat (The last two Harry Potter movies, The King's Speech) or Hans Zimmer (Pirates of the Carribean, Inception, ect).

8. What other interests do you have besides mermaids?

Well like I said, film, music, writing, books, and I'm on a quest for rainbow knee socks and Dr. Suess Chuck Taylors. I have a wizard rock project called Love Wrocks, that plays songs about Harry Potter, Doctor Who, The Hunger Games, and a bunch of other cool stuff. I'm just looking to explore all kinds of stuff to see what I like and do best.

9. We've gotten to interview a lot of authors. What's been your favorite interview?

Well I got to interview Maijia Barnett, author of Black Waters, which was cool because I really enjoyed the book, but Sarah Porter was awesome as well.

10. You've written a series of mermaid-themed books that you said you might publish on Kindle someday. How did you get the idea for the series?

Awww, now I feel bad, I should've plugged your writing too! But yes, I am writing a merpeople series. The overview name isn't decided yet, but the first book is Dancing Barefoot, the second is Bottle It Up, and the third is Falling or Flying, which I haven't finished the last one yet. All the titles are song names, and extra points as to who can guess all three in the comments, heheheh. But I got the idea from the aforementioned whacko dreams I had about merpeople, and I was really looking in to developing an underwater universe and people but incorporate the land to. It's going pretty well. But not ready for le Kindle yet!

11. Just for kicks, what was the last movie you watched?

I think it was Sucker Punch or Kill Bill. I'm on an action movie kick. I think I liked Kill Bill better though. I need to watch Sucker Punch to determine what's real or not though.

12. Do you have any other blog type things besides this one?
YES! and I'm on Tublr as well under the same name.

13. So, what's YOUR favorite food?

Hmmm.... I'm a Greek food person, so baklava, but there's also this popsicle stand that sets up at our local Farmer's Market, and they make Peach And Cream popsicles that are delicious.    

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Interview with GARRETT!

Surprise! Garrett and I interviewed each other once we hit fifty followers so this is his interview! Mine will be following shortly.

1. What prompted you to found the mer-blog?
Well, I started it when this whole mermaid craze finally started kicking off. I tried creating a blog about mermaid-oriented books in the past, but in the time there wasn't much. It was when mermaids started to surface in books, music, and movies that I decided to make a blog that had all this information in one place, where mermaid fans could find out about the latest in mer pop culture.
2. If you could be in any mer-book or movie (human or merman) which would it be?
I'm not picky, I'd like to be in quite a few of them. But the most recent would probably have to be as a character in the Forgive My Fins world. Normally, I would want to be a merman, but in FMF, there's hope for land-dwellers, too, as humans can be turned mer also!
3. Which merworld would you NOT live in?
Hmmm...probably the Pirates of the Caribbean world. It'd be scary to live in a world where the mer girls eat you!
4. What's been your favorite post on the blog?
I'd have to say the interviews. I can't pick just one! I know, I know, that's cheating, but I love each and everyone. I love picking the brains of each individual author and learning more about the mermaid world they've created.
5. What's your most anticipated mer-related thing of any sort to happen in 2012? (It's ok if there's more than one)
I'd have to say all the new mermaid books! Tempest Unleashed, The Vicious Deep, Of Poseidon, Waking Storms, and, even though it's in this year, Tangled Tides!!!

6. What was your reaction to passing the fifty followers mark?
I was excited I even got one! I remember after the first week and I already had ten followers, I was beaming. This is the reason why I started the MerBlog - to spread the mermaid love to other mermaid fans!
7. Just for kicks, what was the last movie you watched? Probably The Adjustment Bureau with Matt Damon. I really liked that one and its message that sometimes love can overcome all obstacles...even fate. The last thing I actually watched was Terra Nova - gotta love Spielberg and dinosaurs!
8. What do you think of the recent upsurge in mermaid popularity?
I LOVE IT!!! For years, I've been wanting new mermaid books to come out. I'd read the same ones over and over. I remember when I first saw Forgive My Fins. I has Googled "people need to write more mermaid books," and it was one of the first things to pop up. Soon after, more and more mermaid books started to show up, until I was beside myself in excitement. I hope it lasts for years and years.
9 If you could pick one band to provide the music to a mer-movie, who would it be?
Hmmm... I think it depends on the mood you're looking for. If it was for a beachy, feel-good movie, maybe Weezer, whose "Island in the Sun" is the perfect beach song and was used in Aquamarine. But I really love Florence and the Machine. Their music is truly magical, perfect for a mermaid movie.
10. So you're a guy, and you're into merpeople, and I know you've said that people think it's weird sometimes. Has that changed any since merpeople started to become trendy?
I think so. No one says anything about my mermaid interest anymore that's negative, mainly because since then I've gotten more confident in what I'm interested in and don't feel the need to hide it anymore. This is who I am, this is what I like, so why hide it? Surprisingly, a lot of people seem to respond to it rather well, probably because of the new Pirates movie. People now see mermaids as darker and more complex, rather than the traditional Disney princess.
11. So what do you do besides keeping up with our now massively popular blog?
Well, I'm a senior in high school, counting down the days till it's over. :D But I'm also a massive fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and True Blood, besides mermaids. Buffy + mermaids + Sookie = bliss.
12. The last book/book series you read?
The last book I finished was the first book in a 4-book series of Buffy novels, entitled The Lost Slayer. (Yes, I'm so obsessed with Buffy, I read the tie-in novels, too. My English teacher hated me for it, lol.)
13. Do you have any other blog type things besides this one?
I used to, but now I've basically given up on them. Some of the reviews I have on my old blog I've copied and pasted and made new blog posts on here. So, it's kind of like Blog Post Recycling.
14. We've gotten to interview a lot of authors. What's been your favorite interview?
Ooh! What a trick question! I can't answer that. Seriously! I've loved each one and getting each author's different take on mermaids, so I'd say each one has different unique qualities as to why I love them.
15. Lastly, one of my trademark questions I always end up asking anyone: What's your favorite food?
Haha, that's easy. My mom makes this special dish called Mexican Chicken that I LOVE! It's like a casserole with chicken, Velveeta Cheese, Rotel tomatoes, and it's topped with a layer of Doritos that act as a crust for the casserole. Yum! It's insanely delicious, and it's a rare thing for there to be leftovers. In fact, friends from school actually make me tell them when Mom's making it to invite them over. It's definitely a favorite among friends and family!