*** WINNER UPDATE: The contest is now closed. After tallying up the total number of entries (over 200!) and heading over to Randomizer, the winner is... Angel! Send your mailing info to firstname.lastname@example.org so I can get your prize in the mail. Thanks to everyone for the wonderful mermaid debate! ***
Ten days ago, my third young adult novel released into the world. Forgive My Fins is about a half-mermaid princess who goes to high school on the mainland. In the general promotion hubub of the past few weeks, I've been doing a lot of online interviews for friends and review blogs. The one question that always surprises me the most is, "Why mermaids?" It's really hard not to reply back, "Why not mermaids?"
My love affair with mermaids began when I was eight years old and saw the movie Splash for the first time. From the moment Daryl Hannah swam into view, with her gorgeous blonde hair and magical, life-saving kiss, I was hooked. Right then and there I knew I wanted to become a mermaid. Sadly, the closest I ever got was a career as a competitive swimmer. I would spend hours in the pool every week, wishing my legs would magically turn into fins. It was that same fantasy that, nearly twenty years later, led me to the story idea for Forgive My Fins.
Now, I know why I love mermaids, but all those interview questions made me think about why we, as a culture, love mermaids. There have to be some common, unifying threads that make us fantasize about a life under the sea, right? I've finally come up with three things: freedom, mystery and magic.
In mermaid lore, they always seem to be a carefree sort of being, with few responsibilities or worries. They spend their days frolicking with their sealife friends and brushing their hair. When we're overwhelmed by errands and bills and play dates and deadlines and day jobs and planning dinner and who knows what else, it's easy to be envious of the beautiful, lithe creature whose greatest dilemma is whether to swim with dolphins or lure humans into the water.
We humans run rampant over our domain, the land, but when it comes to the ocean we are like the kid outside the candy store with our noses pressed up to the glass. Sure, we might get to go in every once in a while, but we'll never really know what it feels like to live there. Mermaids, on the other hand, can explore every square meter of the oceans, from the deepest, darkest trenches to clearest crystal beaches. We can never hope to understand or even see every mystery the ocean keeps.
The very existence of a mermaid is a result of magic. No other means could create a being that is half fish and half human. So when we look at a mermaid, we see a creature born of magic, full of magic, and in possession of magic. Their ability to change forms, to shed their tailfin in favor of human legs, means they could be walking among us right now and we'd never know. Don't we all wish the reverse were also true, that, with a little dust of magic, we could shed our human legs and dive into the sea, breathe water, and swim ... everywhere?
So, how about you? Have you ever had the mermaid fantasy? Did you dream of swimming off into the sunset with a hunky merman? Or am I the only one who, still to this day, fantasizes about a magical mer kiss that will grant me the powers of the sea? It's okay, you can tell me.
To celebrate the doubled launch of the Supernatural Underground (aka the awesomeness that is this blog) and Forgive My Fins, I'm giving away a collection of my books. That's signed copies of Oh. My. Gods. and Goddess Boot Camp and the brand new Forgive My Fins!
You can earn up to five (5) entries. Here's how:
+1 comment about mermaids
+1 tweet, facebook or blog a link to this post
+1 follow us on twitter
+1 follow this blog
+1 like our facebook page
(This contest is open to US/Canada.) Now, add up your entries and post the total!