All Tara ever wanted was to be a mermaid.
So she takes a year off between high school and college to don a fake tail and tour aquariums across the country in a professional mermaid troupe.
Everything’s great until she meets a gorgeous real-life merman named Finn. Suddenly, what she thought was a dream turns out to be a nightmare — she’s turning into a mermaid herself. For real.
Yet when she returns to the sea to seek out Finn and reverse her transformation, she finds herself in the middle of an impending war between the land and sea. Tara may have always wanted to be a mermaid, but now it’s sink or swim. In order to survive, she has to learn how to be one, too.
Summer 2015, award-winning, and best-selling authors will bring you romantic tales of mermaids, sirens, sprites, and other creatures of the deep! Keep in touch as we reveal each title in our collection!
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a man pulling himself up and over the fence by me. At least, I thought it was a man—he was hidden by the shadows and I couldn’t be sure. Curiosity overtook fear and I straightened from my kneeling position to get a closer look. Maybe it was a cleaner. Or a trespasser, in which case, I should be running.
I walked towards the figure as it began crawling across the ground, recovered from its climb.
It was dark, so I could barely see the outline of a man’s body stop and look at me. Then I saw the impossible, long, single fin on his lower half instead of two feet, and the scales cascading down from the man’s waist.
A mer tail. Not like the silicon kind I used for my performances. Even in the dark, I could see that it writhed and moved with a mind of its own, fully an extension of his body.
Reflexes and survival instinct took over before my mind could react. I backpedaled, trying to get away from the mysterious figure, only I misjudged how far I was from the edge of the water. And how wet the ground was.
My foot slipped and I fell head-over-heels backwards, plunging over the side of the fence and onto the rocky crags below. I screamed for help, but when my head struck solid rock and the rest of my body impacted with the ground, I fell into an unyielding darkness, one that was haunted by merman-shaped shadows emerging from the ocean.
1. What is your favorite mermaid story or myth?
I’ve always loved Disney’s The Little Mermaid, but when I read the original Hans Christian Andersen tale, I fell in love with it. It’s a dark, sad tale that still gives me chills. If you haven’t read it, you should pick it up and read it! You’ll never watch the animated movie the same way ever again.
2. What was the inspiration for How to be a Mermaid?
I stumbled upon the Weeki Wachee mermaids, a professional mermaid troupe based out of Florida. I wondered what would happen if one of those mermaids ever met a real-life merman and the story flourished from there.
3. Cast your characters. If How to be a Mermaid was made into a movie, who would play your main characters?
Tara: Katie McGrath is a bit older than Tara in the book, but I think she’d be perfect. I’ve seen her in comedy and I’ve seen her act, and she looks the part too! She’s been in a few things, but I imagine we’re going to see a lot more of Katie McGrath in upcoming movies.
Finn: Liam Hemsworth. Sighs. Imagine him with a mer tail and that’s him!
4. What was most challenging thing writing about mermaids?
The most challenging part, actually, was trying to get a behind-the-scenes perspective of professional mermaids. I went to the Georgia Aquarium to see the Weeki Wachee mermaids in action and did a backstage tour to see how the aquarium worked. After that, I was able to incorporate what I saw into the story.
5. Ursula or Ariel?
Ursula. Sea witches always have more fun.
6. What else should we know about How to be a Mermaid?
Pay attention to the character Jordyn – her character is getting her own story coming up!
Sci-fi junkie, video game nerd, and wannabe manga artist Erin Hayes writes a lot of things. Sometimes she writes books, like the fantasy mystery novel Death is but a Dream, the sci-fi middle grade book Jacob Smith is Incredibly Average, and the Her Wolf paranormal series.
She works as an advertising copywriter during the day, and she moonlights as an author. She has lived in New Zealand, Texas, and now in Birmingham, Alabama with her husband, cat, and a growing collection of geek paraphernalia.
You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll be happy to chat. Especially if you want to debate Star Wars.
- A mermaid care package to help you be the best mermaid:
- A signed copy of How to be a Mermaid
- Tara’s necklace
- Two Mermaid Mix soaks
- A mermaid mirror compact
- Six starfish hairpins
- A mermaid wallet
- Mermaid perfume
- Mermaid Tail Nail Polish
- A mermaid makeup bag
- Four Little Mermaid Buttons
- And one mermaid handbag to carry all your dinglehoppers
Does this sound tasty to you? Let me know in the comments below!