Please welcome author Jaclyn Dolamore to GreenBeanTeenQueen! I was a big fan of Jackie's debut, Magic Under Glass, so I was thrilled to get the chance to talk to her about her new book, Between the Sea and Sky. I feel like I've been waiting for this book forever. I first found out about it at an ALA dinner where Jackie showed off the cover (which is gorgeous, don't you think?) Since then I've been super excited to read her take on mermaids! So here's what Jackie has to share about her new book and her inspiration:
GBTQ: It seems as though mermaid fiction is becoming more popular in YA. What do think the appeal of mermaids is?
JD: I can't speak for everyone. I know there is just some general paranormal creature chasing going on, and Stephenie Meyer said she was going to do mermaids, although I was working on mine before I heard about that and I suspect a lot of these other mermaid-book authors may have been too. For me, the appeal of mermaids is the yearning. Mermaids are so often yearning for this land world that they can't have--at least, not without paying a price. I think everyone yearns for a different world sometimes, and it can feel impossible to get there, so I identify with the plight of the Little Mermaid in her various incarnations. But there is also a dark, mysterious side to mermaids, associated with the ocean that can be either beautiful or violent, and that is fun to explore too, although this book didn't really go the dark direction.
GBTQ:I've never thought about mermaids having that pull between different worlds, but I think it makes them appealing to read about. Your books have a classic, fairy tale feel to them, which I love. Are there any myths/fairy tales/legends that help shape the inspiration for Between the Sea and Sky?
JD: The Little Mermaid, of course, and various British Isles legends of mermaids and selkies who have a magical item that a man can steal to make the mermaid his bride. Part of my plot came from trying to work out why they would have this thing a man could steal. Surely they weren't BORN with a magical comb/belt/cape/cap? So it must have been created at some point, but why would they create an object that they can then be bound to?
GBTQ: I've read in previous interviews that you're a sucker for star-crossed romances, which makes sense since you write about them! Who are some of your favorite star-crossed pairings?
JD: Well, the first starcrossed romance I ever got really obsessed with was in the book Castle Roogna by Piers Anthony. Jonathan the Zombie Master was this dourly handsome isolated guy who had a magical talent for making kind of sad, friendly zombies who would serve him. He wasn't very popular because of this so he lived alone with his zombies and no one loved him! This girl finally comes along and isn't afraid of him or his zombies but she gets killed and becomes a ghost, so he actually turns HIMSELF into a sad zombie so he can be with her forever. My ten-year-old heart broke over the tragedy that this powerful, handsome sorcerer would turn himself into a shambling, rotting zombie just to be with the girl he loves. (It does end okay, eventually.)
(GBTQ: I want to find that book and read it now!)
JD: I went through the book with a highlighter so I could just reread the good parts over and over. Reading it later, it isn't quite the same--the girl, for one, is a typical Piers Anthony girl, not much to her besides a lot of talk about her great body--but I guess it set a precedent for how much I like really weird romances. Also, I was born in the 80s and some of my favorite movies were Splash and Mannequin. In the 80s it was, apparently, fine to fall in love with mannequins and robots, which explains a lot about my brain.
GBTQ: Oh yes, I watched Splash a bunch too-made me want to be a mermaid!
Between the Sea and Sky is a stand alone, whereas your previous book, Magic Under Glass, is part of a series. Was it easier to write a stand alone novel?
JD: Well, funny enough, Magic Under Glass actually was a standalone, until my editor asked me to open up the ending for a sequel. So, it was about the same while writing! That also made it a little painful when people would gripe about the ending to Magic Under Glass, but, it meant I got to write Magic Under Stone, which I LOVED writing, so I'm happy it worked out that way.
GBTQ:I'm really glad we get a sequel! OK, now for some fun questions!
Favorite Disney movie?
JD: Robin Hood all the way. I'm not usually much for the furries, but, he is a foxy fox. And that "Love Goes On and On" song gets me every time...
GBTQ: Agreed! Robin Hood is awesome, even as a fox! What would the theme song be for Between the Sea and Sky?
JD: "Tu ch'hai le penne, amore" sung by Cecilia Bertoli. I was listening to her CD of Italian opera while writing and I already really liked the song, and then I found the translation is "You who have wings, love".
GBTQ: If you could live in any fairy tale, which one would you choose?
JD:Fairy tale characters really don't have the best lives. It's all dead mothers and curses and noble suffering. I can't think of any I'd actually want to sign up for!
GBTQ: So true-fairy tales have a tough life! What do you think would be the best part of being a mermaid?
JD: Being able to maneuver so swiftly and well in the water...it would be almost like flying! And then to see some of the ocean's beautiful places without having to worry about how to breathe.
Thanks so much for visiting the blog! Be sure to check out Between the Sea and Sky!