Once again, Derrolyn Anderson has created a rich world populated with vivid characters, punctuated by flawless writing. This book focuses more on Marina and the other side of her family, but all my favorites from the first book were still given plenty of word-time. I really enjoyed seeing Shayla, who was introduced in the first book as a bully, fleshed out into an awesome supporting character with her own backstory. As with the first book, this one is full of such vivid descriptions that I’m not entirely convinced Ms. Anderson isn’t a mermaid herself, or at the very least using a real one as her muse.
Derrolyn Anderson was kind enough to answer a few questions for me about herself and her books. The interview was conducted through email, and it’s my first author interview (although I’ve done interviews for stories in the past, it’s still not my strong suit, so bear with me as I learn to better my interviewing skills).My questions are in bold.
Books about supernatural creatures are hot these days, but most writers seem to be focusing on vampires, werewolves, fairies, and even angels. What made you decide to write about mermaids?
These are the first books I’ve written, and when I decided to write a supernatural romance set in Aptos, mermaids just seemed to be the natural choice. Oddly enough, mermaids seem to be popping up everywhere now, so maybe it’s just their time. I’ve recently read that Stephenie Meyer’s new book series will involve mermaids, and then there’s the new “Pirates” movie… Synchronicity anyone?
Your Amazon bio says that you wrote Marina’s Tales as a love letter to your former home by the sea. Did you grow up in a town like Aptos?
My husband and I lived in Aptos for the first ten years of our marriage. We only left because we started a family and wanted a little more space. Ocean-front real estate is pricey! Now I live next door to a sea of hundreds of acres of wine grapes. It’s beautiful here, but I miss the fog, the sound of the surf at night, and early morning walks on a deserted beach. Sigh.
Maybe I’ll write a book series involving Bacchus/Dionysus someday! (Hey- that’s not such a bad idea!)
Your characters all have some sort of talent, which you describe in vivid detail. While it may be easy enough to research something like singing or gardening and get the details right, you talk about surfing and fashion as if you spent a lot of time in both those worlds. So tell us, are you secretly a world-class fashion designer who shreds waves on the weekends?
Wow! I like that characterization, and I’m not sure I want to destroy any writer mystique you may have just bestowed upon me. I’ll just say that I’m neither a super-hero writer chick nor am I a Walter Mittyish recluse sitting alone in an apartment with fifteen cats. As with just about everything in life, the truth lies somewhere in between…
Marina has lived all around the world with her father, often in developing nations with very few amenities. Are you as well traveled as she is?
Not quite yet.
“Aunt Evie” is one of my favorite supporting characters, with her lavish gifts and extravagant personality. Did you base her character on a real person, and if so, how do I get her to adopt me?
I have a very interesting aunt who was a Ford model in the “Mad Men” era. She modeled in New York and Paris, hobnobbed with celebrities, and even appeared in a Louis Malle film. Unfortunately, she did not marry money!
The “Marina’s Tales” series is geared towards the YA crowd. What was your favorite book as a teenager?
I was a voracious reader in grade school, and I mowed through every dog and horse story in the library. I moved on to James Michener’s epics and ended up reading Gore Vidal, Judith Krantz and Jacqueline Susann in my early teens. Let’s just say I knew a little too much about everything when punk-rock and the eighties put an end to my reading for a while!
How many books will be in the series? Do you have a set number planned, or will you just see where the characters lead you?
I’m working on #3, and expect it to be ready by the end of the summer. There will definitely be a #4, but the outline is sketchy, so I can’t say for sure where it will go, but I’ll probably need at least a #5 to wrap it up. I can’t really go back and change any major details once I publish them, so I’m trying to work out the “rules” and not write myself into a corner!!!
***Thank you so much to Derrolyn for doing this interview with me. I anxiously await her next book. And Derrolyn, if you wrote about Dionysus/Bacchus, I’d definitely read it! ***