Which historical myths did you draw from when creating your stories?
I adore Hans Christian Andersen’s literary fairy tale, “The Little Mermaid,” and enjoyed how much it focuses on souls. I definitely played with some of those themes when writing The Mermaid & the Pearl, though it isn’t a straightforward retelling. I also enjoy stories with mythical sirens and how their voices can call storms and seduce sailors to their deaths. It was fun to play around with some of these themes when creating the mermaids in my novel.
Do you have any personal connection to any particular body of water?
I have always been a fish and was even on a swim team for many years. Starting from a young age, I had to learn how to swim well because my family took vacations to Sanibel Island and we also spent our summers at the Lake of the Ozarks. Sanibel is very special to me because I am obsessed with seashells, which are important in The Mermaid & the Pearl.
The Mermaid & the Pearl is set in the same world as my novel A Sea of Pearls & Leaves. I never had intended to continue writing stories within that world, but when I was invited to create a novel for the Realm of Darkness Anthology, I knew I wanted to write about mermaids. The Mermaid & the Pearl is a sapphic retelling of “The Little Mermaid” with a Corpse Bride twist and an underwater circus setting.
About The Mermaid & the Pearl (host note: I had the pleasure of beta reading The Mermaid & the Pearl, and highly recommend it.)
As a performer in the underwater Cirque du Mer, Muriel charms skeletons to dance using her voice and magic pearls. When the circus travels to the Crescent Reef, Muriel is eager to take part in the Sacrifice. She desires to sink the ships of humans, the vile creatures who had once enslaved her.
During the Sacrifice, though, Muriel comes upon a different type of human—a woman. Instead of feeding the woman to the Moon Priestess’ kraken, Muriel rescues her. Soon, she learns that Yara is a princess and, despite being human and mer, they have much in common. A romance blossoms between the pair, until Yara’s rescue ship arrives.
When the depressed Muriel learns that Yara has died in another shipwreck, she rushes to the Moon Priestess for help. Muriel gives up her voice as payment, and the Moon Priestess turns Yara into an undead mermaid. Muriel has three days to make Yara fall in love and find her soul’s pearl—all the while performing in the circus.
Can love conquer death?
The Mermaid & the Pearl is available for preorder with the Realm of Darkness Box Set:
The ROD set features 40+ dark fantasy novels for only $0.99
Hope you’ll join these other fine authors and artists to learn why merfolk inspire them and their work!