Have we told you how much we love L.K. Madigan, author of The Mermaid’s Mirror? When we get together with her, we sort of have a mutual love fest. Part of the reason we love her so much — and she loves us — is because when we ask her whack-a-doo, off-the-wall questions she lovingly answers them. You’ll see what we mean with the first question today in part 1 of our two-part interview.
So thanks, Lisa. For answering our questions. Even the whack-a-doo ones.
How do mer-folks have sex?
You guys are HILARIOUS!
Let’s put it this way: theories abound on the Internet, the most popular being that it’s a fish-like process … the mermaid lays eggs and the merman fertilizes them.
Yeah. Cold and boring.
So while I’m not going to offer up a detailed theory of my own, I prefer to believe the act involves intimate contact.
The end of Mermaid’s Mirror definitely leaves readers wanting more. Any thoughts of turning MM into a series? Where are you in that process?
I’m a slow writer. It’s the sad truth. And right now I’m revising a different book, but I definitely have MANY ideas for a sequel. At the moment, they’re just rattling around inside my head, but I’m looking forward to the time when I can start writing them down. I love Lena’s story, and I want to explore it further.
Can you tell us about the research that went into Mermaid’s Mirror? (surfing, mythology, etc.)
For the surfing angle of the story, I read tons of magazines and books, and I even watched a “How-to” video. I also asked my sister to share her experiences as a surfer. There’s a spot in the book where Lena talks about how she feels when she’s surfing, and her words are really my sister’s words:
“I feel like I’m in church … like I’m close to God, or something. Like the earth is so huge, but while I’m in the ocean, it feels like I’m in all the oceans on the planet …”
For the mermaid angle, I read fairy tales and folklore and children’s books. I’ve been fascinated by mermaids since I was a little girl, so of course any book or movie that had a mermaid in it appeared on my radar.
Flash Burnout is a wonderful example of realistic, contemporary YA fiction. What made you make the switch to the supernatural in Mermaid’s Mirror?
I wrote Mermaid’s Mirror years before Flash Burnout, so I actually made the switch from fantasy to realism.
Writers have to tell the stories that won’t leave them alone. I’m lucky I had an editor who was happy to let me cross genres. I have lots of books in me, still – more ideas than time to write them. I might decide someday to write a mystery or a horror novel or a picture book!
The setting is such a key element to Mermaid’s Mirror — it really becomes part of the story. How much time (if any) did you spend along the Northern California coast? Why is the setting so important to the story?
My family relocated from Los Angeles to northern California while I was in college. I stayed behind to finish at my chosen university. But I visited them frequently, and fell in love with that region. I’ve spent many, many hours walking on the beaches there, wading in the cold water, exploring the tide pools, observing elephant seals (at a state reserve called Año Nuevo), breathing the sea air, and just absorbing the feel of the place. I cannot imagine setting the book anywhere else. If I owned a wetsuit, I would have swum in the cold ocean, but I’m pretty wimpy about cold. So far my ocean swimming has always taken place in warmer waters.
Tune in tomorrow for part 2 of our interview!