The time it was about The Summer of Chasing Mermaids

Posted June 1, 2015 by Stacee in Blog Tours and Hops, Book Promo, Giveaways, Interviews / 6 Comments

I found The Summer of Chasing Mermaids and was instantly in love with the cover.  The synopsis was intriguing and when I started reading it, I devoured it.  When I saw the open form to be part of the blog tour, I couldn’t type fast enough.

SUMMER OF CHASING MERMAIDS

Before we get to Sarah’s interview, let’s check out the book!

9The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom—until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can’t sing. She can’t even speak.

Seeking quiet solitude, Elyse accepts a friend’s invitation to Atargatis Cove. Named for the mythical first mermaid, the Oregon seaside town is everything Elyse’s home in the Caribbean isn’t: An ocean too cold for swimming, parties too tame for singing, and people too polite to pry—except for one.

Christian Kane is a notorious playboy—insolent, arrogant, and completely charming. He’s also the only person in Atargatis Cove who doesn’t treat Elyse like a glass statue. He challenges her to express herself, and he admires the way she treats his younger brother Sebastian, who believes Elyse is the legendary mermaid come to life.

When Christian needs a first mate for the Cove’s high-stakes Pirate Regatta, Elyse reluctantly stows her fear of the sea and climbs aboard. The ocean isn’t the only thing making waves, though—swept up in Christian’s seductive tide and entranced by the Cove’s charms, Elyse begins to wonder if a life of solitude isn’t what she needs. But changing course again means facing her past. It means finding her inner voice. And scariest of all, it means opening her heart to a boy who’s best known for breaking them . . .

Sounds good, right?

right

1. Where did the idea for The Summer of Chasing Mermaids come from?

Like all of my book ideas, inspiration for The Summer of Chasing Mermaids came from many different sources, all crossing my path at the same time and ending up in a big daydreamy soup pot that eventually boiled down into a story! It went something like this:

The beach. I love books that take place in the summer on the beach, and the last time I’d written a story like that was in 2009 (Twenty Boy Summer). Five books and five years later, it was time for me to go back to the sea!

Mermaids. Daydreaming about the ocean got me thinking about mermaids, and soon I found myself wondering how I might incorporate a bit of mermaid lore while still keeping the book grounded in a contemporary realistic setting. I also took inspiration from The Little Mermaid—both the original fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen and the Disney adaptation, which was quite different!

Voice. This was a huge one for me. Denial of voice is a major theme explored in the book, and something I see so many young people—particularly girls and women—struggling with. From a young age girls are often taught—explicitly or implicitly—to be nice, accommodating, and selfless. Often we’re also told to “be ourselves,” and that we can do anything we put our minds to, but we’re not given a lot of direction on what that really means, or how to deal with the challenges that inevitably arise when we truly, authentically put ourselves out there. Not everyone will accept that—even (and sometimes especially) the people who claim to love us most. And so often I see—in my own life as well as the lives of girls and women around me—denial of voice in action, where we’re shut down and shut up simply because we don’t fit into whatever box society has built for us. We’re confronted by things like sexism, gender roles, expectations, double standards, lack of opportunity, aggression, poverty, racism, fear, power dynamics, institutionalized misogyny, just to name a few.   That’s a super simplified reduction of a complex issue, but one that’s very important to me. So I really wanted to explore that theme in a YA novel, symbolized by a character who literally has no voice—she’s permanently mute after an accident—and has to learn new ways of expressing herself, embracing her new life, and standing up for herself when others either speak for her or shut her out.

Trini Accent Tag. Around the same time I started thinking about the beach, mermaids, and denial of voice issues, I was randomly clicking through YouTube and came across a meme about accents. I’ve always been fascinated by regional accents, slang, and language development, so I got totally sucked in to watching them—a kind of fun game to see just how differently people say the same words and phrases in English. I ended up in the Trini accent tag collection, and one of the videos featured two sisters from Trinidad and Tobago who’d also posted other videos of singing performances. When I saw these girls singing, it just hit me all at once, like a big anvil of inspiration falling on my head! I thought, that’s my character, and she has a twin sister. But what is her family like? Where does she live? How did she grow up? What does she do for fun? I immediately dove into research mode, learning as much as I could about Trinidad and Tobago, the culture, the food, the music, the history, the people—it was such a rewarding process; I didn’t know much about the country at all when I started. So thanks in large part to random strangers on YouTube, Elyse was born, one of six sisters (like in The Little Mermaid), a girl who grew up singing with her twin, both of them en route to stardom. But then she loses her voice, and everything changes. She can’t sing. She can’t speak. Who does she become? What happens to her sister? Where does she belong? Who is she, if not the girl with the beautiful voice? I wrote the book to answer those questions.

Supernatural. Oh yeah. Christian Kane is basically Dean Winchester on a boat, so there’s that. ;-)

2. Why do you love Elyse and Christian and why should readers root for them?

They’re both so passionate and intense, yet struggling with finding and accepting their authentic selves. That struggle means different things to each of them, but one of the things I love most about them is how they really grow together, helping each other face personal demons, falling in love, yet never once eclipsing each other. Elyse and Christian are very much their own people, but they’re stronger together because they believe in each other, and that unwavering faith and mutual support helps them to believe in themselves.

3. Describe The Summer of Chasing Mermaids in 5 words.

An empowering, romantic beach read!

4. You can only read one book for the rest of your life. What is it?

The Diary of Anais Nin. Every time I pick up one of the volumes, I fall in love all over again.

5. What is the one thing about publishing you wish someone would have told you?

That a career in this business would be the most simultaneously rewarding and emotionally challenging thing in my life. But even if someone had told me that, I wouldn’t have understood. I had to go through it myself. And you know, despite the ups and downs, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

6. You wake up and discover you are Bella in Twilight. You know how it plays out. What do you do differently? {Huge thanks to Bookish Broads for letting me use this question.}

Run away to California and find a cute surfer instead.

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SarahSarah Ockler is the bestselling author of young adult novels, including #scandal, The Book of Broken Hearts, Bittersweet, Fixing Delilah, and the critically acclaimed Twenty Boy Summer, a YALSA Teens’ Top Ten nominee and IndieNext List pick. Her latest, The Summer of Chasing Mermaids, hits the shelves in June 2015.

Sarah is a champion cupcake eater, coffee drinker, night person, and bookworm. When she’s not writing or reading at home in Washington, she enjoys taking pictures, hugging trees, and road-tripping through the country with her husband, Alex.

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Huge thanks to the FFBC ladies and to Sarah for taking the time.  Make sure you’re checking out her website, following her on Twitter, liking her Facebook page, and adding all of her books to your Goodreads TBR shelf.

And definitely check out the rest of the blog tour for additional goodies.

Now.  Haven’t had a chance to get your hands on a copy of The Summer of Chasing Mermaids? There is a pretty awesome giveaway set up!

**Good Luck!!**

giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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6 Responses to “The time it was about The Summer of Chasing Mermaids”

  1. These are such great interview questions! I loved this book because of how many aspects it was made of. The fact that Elyse couldn’t sing, Sebastian’s constant lookout for a mermaid, the bet, and just Elyse’s feelings as she spends more time in the Cove.

    ~Kaitlin

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