Friday, November 13, 2015

Author of the Month - Holiday Special: Moon Mermaid

Happy Moon Mermaid Book Release Day!!

I guess you know what that means... It's time to share Moon Mermaid's interview!

Moon Mermaid was ever so gracious enough to take time out of her fins to answer questions very last minute (literally two days ago!), so I want to extend a huge, HUGE, thank you to her for this interview! Enjoy!

Credits go to: Grant Brummett

SSML: so moon mermaid, tell me about yourself!
Moon: My name is Moon Mermaid, I was born in the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea and first surfaced to humans in 2003. There weren't many mermaids when I started entertaining humans on land and I was very lucky to get to travel many exciting places! I enjoy entertaining for humans for festivals, conventions, fairs, aquariums, children's parties and events with my travelling lagoon and the 40 feet tank! It's so exciting and makes everyone so happy!

S: Who gave you the name "Moon Mermaid"?
M: I am a lunar mermaid, I was created by magic, my mother the moon and my father the sea. When I was born I thought I was the only mermaid until I met other mermaids on my adventures. I didn't have a name for a long time and my pirate friends I had met started calling me "Moon" so it stuck!

(Editors note: Aw that's so cute!!)
S: Now recently you wrote a book, "Moon Mermaid and the Treasure of Friendship"... could you tell me a little bit more about it?
M: Yes! I'm so excited! I first started shooting for my book in 2012 with lead photographer Grant Brummett capturing many of my adventures on land and underwater! It's a very colorful book using real photos of my adventures where I found a very magical map that lead me on an adventure of what my heart truly desired, friendship. You will see mermaids, pirates, a wizard, fairy, unicorn and treasure in my new book! The book was written for children but I found adults are just as excited to get one! My book release is this Saturday in Arizona and I am bringing many friends from my book to meet everyone! We are so, so, so excited!

S: Where did you get the idea for it? 
M: The book captured moments of my life as a mermaid, and some very common questions I get asked about such as, "how do you get legs"? You will see many of my secrets as you go through my adventure! During my live readings of the book I actually bring magical items from the story for children to find and point out! They love being able to see the actual items and hold them!

S: What inspired you?
M: I wanted to create a book that captured all of my friends that children often see with me. I wanted to show them how we all met and share our story with everyone. It has become kind of a family album of magical creatures for us!

S: Almost like a documentary of sorts!wink emoticon 
M: Yes!

S: Do you plan on telling more stories and releasing more books?
M:Yes, I have several books I am writing now and we will start shooting photos for the next one this spring. My good friend and lead photographer Grant passed away on the 25th and was not able to see this book completed. I am making arrangements for my new stories to be captured as well as he would have wanted. My current book has been dedicated in his memory. Without giving too much away some of my books will be strictly mermaids, and another book capturing my adventures with pirates!

S: Oh no I'm sorry for your loss!
M: Thank you.

S: Was it difficult to publish your books? What was that process like?
M: Yes and no. Thanks to the magical world of the Internet anyone can create a book pretty easily. However, as I said I first started the shooting for this book in 2012 so it was a long and sometime emotional process. It has been very expensive and I had to run a gofundme campaign as well as a lot of fundraising to barely cover a small fraction of the costs. Unfortunately, you can't pay for a book with seashells and sand dollars, who knew?!

S: They didn't take pirate gold as payment either eh?
M: Hehe!

S: Would like to give us a small hint on what the next story will be about?
M: Yes, I have 5 books I'm starting the writing on. It will take a lot of work for each book so hopefully the next one will be released this time in the next year or two! It's challenging when the book is captured in photos and is self published. The pirate adventure will capture my stories and relationships with the pirates. Some people think my pirate friends must be scary bad guys but I will be showing OUR story! (The pirates and I have a deal; I keep them safe at sea in in bad weather, they help me! Plus I can dive farther for the sunken treasure! It's good to be friends with a mermaid!) 
As for the mermaid books, I can't spill the beans on those just yet!

S: Dolphinately! Do you have any advice for other mers who want to follow your flippers and go with this storytelling route? Because I must say this is the most creative that I've ever seen... really unique and really different by going with photography as opposed to illustrated.
M: Oh, thank you! Yes, if any mers want to give it a try, I say go for it! It will be challenging, sometimes expensive, and takes a lot of commitment but it's so rewarding in the end as with accomplishing any goal. I'd personally love to see more mermaid books out there!

S: Finally, where can we find your books for purchase? Which is in two days!!!! (Editor's note - actually today! The interview took place just two days ago~)
M: Yes! Wow only 2 days away, it's so surreal! The books are available for per-order and on my Etsy. The link is on my website or ! I am working now on a small book tour, most likely at aquariums, book stores, and kids museums so check my Facebook and website for those announcements later this year!

S: Thanks so much for taking the time for the interview !
M: Thank you so much, I appreciate the interview!

To purchase Moon Mermaid's new book, visit and

Thursday, November 12, 2015


Hi Everyone!

I've two special announcements today which involves two authors.

The First: The official synopsis for The Kiss That Killed Me is here!


In anticipation for Kristy Nicolle's book release December 1st, and because the holidays is nigh, I will be sharing an interview I did with her back in August. I know, it's not a new interview, but her book release coincides with the time I usually release brand new interviews (I'll get to that in a moment) so if you missed it or if you would like to read it again, you can click here to swim on over to the Special Feature interview!

“The Kiss That Killed Me is now Live! Grab your copy today! #mermaid #newrelease #romance #IARTG #ASMSG #ebook #nook

The Second: Moon Mermaid's book release is in two days!

Credits go to: Grant Brummett

As mentioned in the previous announcement, THE HOLIDAYS IS NIGH, and everybody will be busy congregating, attending family functions, spreading the warmth of love and joy, etc., etc.! SO you guys actually get another interview (that was originally slated for release December 1st) 3 weeks in advance... actually available in two days to coincide with Moon Mermaid's book release. SURPRISE! You still get to read a new interview!

Which gives me enough time to do some resting!

Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noel, Feliz Navidad, Happy Yule, Happy Kwanza, Happy Hanukkah, Chuc Mung Giang Sinh va Nam Moi, and Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Author of the Month: Demelza Carlton

I will be posting this interview up early for the month of November as I will be occupied until November 2nd. Enjoy!


A few days ago I had the privilege of interviewing Demelza Carlton, author of How to Catch Crabs, the Romance Island Resort series, Turbulence and Triumph series, Ocean's Gift series, Mel Goes to Hell series, and many more titles (believe me when I say there are many, many titles)!

SSML: Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview on such short notice!

DC: First, I want to ask how you became an author, and what inspired you?
When I was writing my Masters thesis, there was a shipwreck and a tale of survival at sea that didn't make sense – a fisherman survived on the open ocean for three weeks, yet he couldn't swim. And when he washed up on shore, it was miles from where his ship sank…and in completely the wrong directions for the ocean currents. In my notes, I wrote, "Mermaids did it," and left it at that. When I did the final proofread, I laughed, removed the mermaid reference and submitted my thesis…but over a glass of wine later, I figured I'd do a little research into mermaid legends and sightings. I'd already uncovered some local Indian Ocean legends about mermaids and water dragons, and when I put all these together, I started writing what became Ocean's Gift, the first book I published back in 2012.

SSML: What have you written so far?
DC: So far I've written 21 books and number 22 is on the way, across five different series.

SSML: What genre are your books?
DC: The Ocean's Gift series is urban fantasy, about modern-day mermaids in Australia. The Turbulence and Triumph series was supposed to be a prequel to Ocean's Gift, but it became a whole series as the events on 1923 weren't quite as simple as I'd first thought, so that's a little more historical, taking place in the lead-up to World War II in the Indian Ocean. 
I have the Mel Goes to Hell series, which is a mix of paranormal romance and satire, as Lucifer emerges as the CEO of the HELL Corporation and falls for an undercover angel working as an office temp.
There's my Nightmares Trilogy, dark, psychological suspense about a girl whose body is found on a beach, almost dead…and unravelling the story about what happened to her and why.
And last up is something that came out of my Nightmares Trilogy, but is very different. A young rock star retires at the end of the Trilogy, and with his millions he buys an island resort in remote Western Australia. He's looking for love, as opposed to just the one-night stands he's enjoyed as a rock star, and he's going about it in some very unusual ways, inspired by the hotel's extensive romance library. It's called the Romance Island Resort series.

SSML: What gives you inspiration when writing a story or developing characters?
DC: Hahaha…oh, anything can do that. The whole Mel Goes to Hell series was inspired by an uncomfortable ride on a crowded commuter train.
Someone challenged me to put together a video on what inspires me to write the crazy things I do…so of course, I rose to the challenge:
Truly, anything can inspire me. All my stories are set in Western Australia or the Indian Ocean, at places I've been to. I take thousands of photos, which continue to inspire me when I'm home in my study. A fair few of them are underwater shots, too!

SSML: What inspired you to write the Ocean's Gift Series and the Turbulence and Triumph Series?
DC: Hmm…I already said where I got the inspiration for Ocean's Gift, but it's that book that inspired Turbulence and Triumph. I'll do my best to answer without giving spoilers.
Ocean's Gift starts with the sinking of the Columbia in a cyclone in 1921, where the sixteen-year-old mermaid saves a man who couldn't swim. The story then cuts to 90 years later, when the same mermaid returns to the same island. Older, wise and accompanied by her two daughters.
As the Ocean's Gift series progresses, her past becomes increasingly important – especially those 90 years, as that's when her daughters were born and she learns the skills that allow her to live on land and pass as human, something many of her people struggle with. So I set out to write a bit of that to inform the modern-day series, so I didn't get mixed up.
Except…well, Sirena only tells an abridged version of her story to her daughters. The truth is far more captivating. She didn't just meet a bloke, do the deed with him and nine months later have his children. No, William McGregor meant a lot more to her than that…and so the Turbulence and Triumph series was born. 
It starts with a grief-stricken girl who is pulled out of the sea by the crew of the Trevessa. They believe their ship is cursed and tempers are running high on the ship, which is a cargo vessel that doesn't normally carry passengers. The exception is engineer William McGregor, who's on his way to take up a new job at the Christmas Island phosphate mine. He forms an odd friendship with the girl he pulled from the waves and….well, the rest is history. 

SSML: I'm assuming you majored in English?
DC: Definitely not. I have four degrees, all in science or applied science However, I did proofread PhD theses for my beer money while I was at university. I have a Masters in Emergency Management from the Graduate School of Policing here in Australia – and I did my research on evacuations of remote sites, which involved investigating hundreds of shipwrecks over hundreds of years.
You want to know a secret? While the ships have changed, the people on them haven't. When disaster strikes, there's always at least one person who does something stupid. Just watch the news next time there's a really big storm, plane crash or shipwreck.

SSML: What were you like in school?
DC: I was always a quick learner, whether it was English, mathematics, science or anything else, though the only sport I was good at was swimming. I remember sitting in my high school mathematics class, having finished everything we were supposed to do halfway through the class, so I pulled out an exercise book and worked on writing a novel.

SSML: Would you say there's a little bit of yourself in each of your characters?
DC: I honestly couldn't say, because most of my characters are distinct voices (and whole personalities) in my head that are definitely NOT mine, but they become a part of me, especially when I'm writing their story. The number of times I've watched an episode of Supernatural and had Lucifer sniggering and making snide comments in the back of my head, or watching anything with a mermaid in it and trying not to laugh as my girls made disparaging comments about the discomfort of wearing seashells. Perhaps they take a bit of me or perhaps I take a bit of them – or maybe a bit of both.

SSML: What drew you to "paranormal romance" and "satire"?
DC: You mean aside from a mermaid who wouldn't shut up until I'd written her story? Actually, I'd call my mermaid books urban fantasy more than paranormal romance, though there is a strong romantic element running through the stories.
No, it's my Mel Goes to Hell series that's a combination of satire and paranormal romance. I take it you haven't heard the story about how I was inspired by a briefcase up the bum? Oh yes. You heard that right. Without going into too much graphic detail…
I used to work in a city office, commuting on a crowded train to and from work every day. Think Tokyo – and yes, I've travelled on Tokyo trains at peak hour. Very squishy. Anyway, on this particular day, I squeezed into a train with a few hundred other people and we were packed in like sardines, so tight we couldn't move. And the train suddenly stopped, almost tipping us all over, but we were packed in so tightly, that all we did was sort of teeter together before righting ourselves.
But when I stood upright, so did everyone around me – and that's not all that went up. Someone's briefcase (attache case, I think they're called?) kept going right up my skirt until the corner was wedged between my cheeks.
Now, I'm no angel. I was having very devilish thoughts about what I was going to do to the bastard whose bag was WAY too close to my bum, starting with stomping on his foot so hard I'd break all his toes. I glanced around, trying to work out whose toes to target, when I caught the eye of the man who was holding the offending briefcase. He looked as harried and miserable as I was, and I realised…he didn't know where his bag was. So if I stomped on his foot, it would come as a complete surprise…he'd probably jump and the bag would go up even higher. Hell no. Time to rethink my plan.
So I had two options – tell him (and a hundred other people within earshot, all of whom I regularly caught the train with) that I had a briefcase up my bum, to my embarrassment and his, or do my best to endure the painful train ride for the next ten minutes until I got off the train. 
I took the angel's path, and while I walked (stiffly) home, I started thinking about the background of why an angel would be commuting on my crowded train in the first place. I found the idea itself funny as Hell.
When I got home, I started writing down what would become the first few chapters of Welcome to Hell and See You in Hell. The rest, as they say, is history. And it keeps me off the commuter trains, which is an added bonus.

SSML: Have you ever written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?
DC: No. My characters cause enough trouble inside my head – I wouldn't want to inflict them on anyone else. I do have an upcoming project in 2016 with some other authors where we're all writing a novel set in a particular shared world, but each novel is just one person's work.

SSML: How do you think you've evolved creatively?
DC: Well, there are the days I'm so deeply immersed in my characters and their world, that I believe I have gills and a tail, or wings and a halo, or even horns and a tail…
I'd like to think I improve with each book. As I write each book, receive feedback from my critique partners and read their books, I learn more about writing, narrative and what readers want. I hope I continue to improve throughout my career, as I know from experience that not much survives in stagnant water…though that gives me an idea for a post-apocalyptic mermaid story…

SSML: To conclude the interview, I wanted to ask you if there was any advice you'd like to give to writers.
DC: The advice I'd give writers: If you feel your work is good enough to publish, set it free. You won't know until you try and self-publishing is well worth the risk.

Check out her website where she's currently giving away free books from the Mel Goes to Hell series.
You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook, and purchase her works in print at

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Author of the Month: Alec Emerine

A few weeks ago I interviewed Alec Emerine from Lake Mary, aka Merman Dylan, who is currently working on his book "Where the Tides Take Us." I had a wonderful time chatting with him. We may or may not have gone off topic :P Since this was my first chat-style interview, it's a bit longer and there were a lot of questions I wanted to ask him. I hope you enjoy!!

S: Let's start off with a little bit about you. How did you first start writing?

D: I first started writing a long time ago. Before I started working on any of my book series I would write fanfiction stories about video games and stuff. In elementary school, I remember creating my own creatures and a world they lived in that was inspired by Video Games and Cartoons. I remember trying to create different races for an online game, and then, I decided to write books. Now I'm working on writing my book series.
S: What is the current inspiration for your story?
D: The inspiration for my current story is my interest in light and darkness, good and evil. I find duality interesting. I don't want my story to be about good and evil, but I do think duality is a simple concept that can be used to create a complex story. Although my characters live in a world where there is good and evil, I want there to be a place in between for some of the characters to interact in. Another source of inspiration is the vastness of the sea and how under the sea and on land are two different worlds. My biggest hope is that the duality in the story helps people see the place in between that is our world. While light and darkness does exist, there is also a twilight that allows us to connect to each other in spite of our differences. With all the differences that exist between us, I want to write a story that shows how two worlds are actually smaller pieces of a much bigger world that involves both the worlds that one would think are too different to coexist.
S: I find the duality theme really interesting. As it turns out the current shows on tv and in the movies have that light and dark aspect to their stories too. Maybe it's just me but I've been noticing it a lot more recently. Do you think that it's a recurring theme?
D: Duality has appeared on lots of TV Shows. Recently, Once Upon a Time features a strong element of good and evil. In my personal opinion, there use of light and dark magic has created a major separation of good and evil. Many of their strongest characters are the ones that shift sides because they travel through that gray area. Who doesn't want to see Snow White try to kill the blue bird of happiness or see the evil queen get redeemed for her evil deeds. The characters that travel through the twilight are the ones that change and stay on the show. I believe that it's a recurring theme that is a simple concept that leads to a complex story many don't really have a good way to illustrate. The walking dead, for example, is an incredible story. You can't really say anyone is a good guy or bad guy. Some are more bad while others are more good, but every single one of the characters are constantly shifting around between the duality. Duality sets the boundaries, but the change in the characters make the story.
Often times, a story will give the characters their just deserves in the end for continuing to do evil deeds or continuing to do good deeds. Duality sets those boundaries. The important thing is that the characters don't interact only from the boundaries. They need to cross through the twilight to grow.
S: Funny you should mention Walking Dead and Once Upon a Time as those were the shows I was just thinking about when I posed the question lol!
D: They are great shows. I think Once Upon a Time needs to make more use of that place in between good and evil more. They seem very focused on the opposing sides. That's just my two cents. The Walking Dead makes great use of all three areas. You know what the boundaries are, but you also know that none of the main characters are stuck on one side or another.
S: Your main character, are they sort of in that grey area as well or are they gonna be exploring all three areas?
D: The character that I named my mersona self after is going to be an interesting case. Dylan Zalrian's name literally means born from the waves and strength of the sea. Dylan is unique because he's more like a gate keeper between the two places. Dylan is one half of a single whole, and there will be something about him that is greatly desired by both sides. Dylan exists in the light, but he has another half that exists in the darkness. They both play a major rule in the story. The evil that everyone has to fear is still something not even the dark half of Dylan has witnessed beyond small glimpses of the world the evil desires.
Dylan will be travelling from light toward darkness, and this transition plays a major role in the plot. However, this character isn't so simple of a character to say that he travels from light to darkness. He's the character that light and darkness pivots around. You'll have to read to find out how. All I want to say is, his dark half plays a similar major role, and the forces from both sides will be trying to obtain what the character doesn't know he has. Him and his dark half are like gate keepers in the sense that the other characters will change depending on how they go about trying to claim what they have.
S: Almost sounds like Anakin Skywalker. But a merman. 
D: He's not an easy character to talk bout because of how close to the plot he is. He's not a character that goes from good to evil or evil to good. Dylan is a character that is good with a few faults, but he never becomes evil. His fall means Evil's rise. This affects his dark half too. When Dylan falls into darkness, his dark half rises into light. One doesn't become the other but they are inverted from each other. If you think of it this way and I'm trying to be very careful with my words, if the big evil get the world that he wants, then Dylan's dark half becomes good while Dylan becomes evil. It's a mind bender, but Dylan can't be evil unless the bad guy gets what he wants. His absence of evil takes form as his Dark half as another character.
S: That does sound really complicated. What else can you tell us about the main plot of the story?
D: The main plot of the story or the first book involves a sea witch who is trying to lay claim to Dylan's home. She's having hard time claiming the last remnants of Marianous, and she doesn't figure out why until later. The story begins with a mysterious meteor shower that Adrian, Dylan, Lord William, Prince Andrew, and Rachel witness. The meteor shower means many different things for all of them. To some it's a very bad omen, and to others, it's a sign of change or adventure. The meteor shower kicks off the story by forming a connection between most of the characters. They all witnessed a celestial event that was bigger than normally ever was.
S: Were there any difficulties coming up with your story or characters?
D: Well, I think I had the most trouble with both. The characters are the story and the story is about the characters. They are two parts of a single whole. I found it easier to create the plot, but I found it harder to give the characters the spot light. As a writer, I find it easy to start making it sound like you are in the story hogging that spotlight. Writing good characters are the part I spend the most time on because they are the story because their actions make the story happen.
S: Besides Dylan, who was your other favourite character to work with?
D: I know I'm talking a lot about Dylan, but I have several major characters that play major roles throughout the story and the series. One of my other favourites is going to be the twist in the plot between Cecilia and William. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but Cecilia is a character that is very important, and the reason the Sea Witch has set her sights on this part of the world. She's the last of an island the witch claimed, and her story will be interesting. William is also another character I like. The biggest problem with asking about the characters is how dependent the story's plot is to the characters and their choices. I can say that William and Cecilia will have some very interesting interaction between each other that involves the Royal Family of Seasafair. Adrian is cursed by the Sea Witch, and Dylan is the only one holding back the curse even if he doesn't know it. Serena is a close friend to Dylan and Adrian. She made the Friendship Bracelets that she and her close friends share. Andrew wants to see the world. I love all of my characters, and I put a lot of work into them. There are just some things that are killing me not to share, but I don't want to spoil the story.
S: How far into the story are you?
D: I've completed almost 20 different chapters. Right now they are just drafts, and I'm working hard to tie those chapters into my story. I even have beginning plans for my second book. I'm just trying to finish my first story. I can't find enough time alone to focus on my writing... one of those things that comes with a busy life.
S: Thanks so much for doing this!
D: No Problem.
This pretty much concludes the interview! Just to get your feet wet though, Merman Dylan has graciously allowed me to share an excerpt from his book:
Before the Ancient World descended into darkness, the last friendship with humans ended in tragedy, and no one believed friendship was possible. He floated alone in the sea with this belief. Something in his heart told him that it was possible. No one else would entertain the idea.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Author of the Month: G.M. Lewanski

Hey all! It's that time again!

This month we are going to be featuring Gregory M Lewanski, author of  who reached out to us to promote his self-published novel, Oceanus, Tale of Two Tides, currently archived in our library.
"[It's] about my own vision of an Atlantis colony in a semi-fantasy setting in our own world. The people of Atlantis are undersea dwelling humans, who have been adapted to the sea in the way that cetaceans have adapted." -G.M. LEWANSKI
So without further delay (I know I haven't been as active as I would have liked), here is the interview!

S: How long have you been writing for? When and how did you start becoming an author? 

G: Well, I remember writing short stories as a child, around the fourth grade. My fourth grade teacher put heavy emphasis on classic literature such as Shakespeare. (A Midsummer Night's Dream in particular resonated with me) My father would read me novels as a child quite often as well. He read me The Hunt for Red October when I was three, and Dune after that, and the list goes on. I think almost everything I came to love I got from him. When I really decided that I wanted to attempt writing professionally, was near the end of my time in high school. Shortly before graduation I began brainstorming book ideas, and eventually this grew into what would become Oceanus! Around 2006 is when I started putting focus into creation with the intent to publish for others to read.
S: When you write your stories, where do you usually draw inspiration from? How do you come up with a story? 

G: My inspiration really depends on the story. Usually, my inspiration comes from the ocean, and nature. I've always had a fascination with nature, fantasy, and the sea in particular. However, I have some partially written manuscripts I haven't finished in other genres as well. For something like say, science fiction, I can get inspiration through quiet time alone - especially if I have a decent sky above. For something like horror, it's a little more difficult to find. All in all, I'd say the inspiration isn't from me or outside, but rather finding a time and place that both can spark together. 

S: What inspired you to write “Oceanus, Tale of Two Tides”? 

G: Oceanus, Tale of Two Tides was actually my very first novel which I first wrote up quite a while ago. The easy answer about my inspiration for it would simply be the ocean. In depth, however, I suppose Oceanus and it's contents are in a way, my ideal world. By that, I don't refer to the undersea nation in the story, amazing though it would be. I see the people of the book's Atlantis as a peaceful society that blends the expected human society with a firm love and understanding of one's place in and their connection to nature. I'm not certain if it comes across in the story, or even if it was intentional when I first wrote it, but Oceanus definitely ended up conveying a need to live as we wish, but to also live for one another and the world we are in. It ends up placing Atlantis in the role of a people who can be who they wish, without sacrificing the world they live in. 

S: From what you’ve told me, you’re also writing a mermaid story for future release – what is this story about?

G: I am! Unfortunately, there is quite a lot that I'm still working on, as it is still very early on in the creation process. I am still working on many important parts of the story and characters, so a proper excerpt isn't ready yet, but I will share what I can! While Oceanus has a thinly veiled connection to our real Earth, I intend to create a world of their own for the merfolk in this story. I feel that this can grant me much more flexibility to explore different possibilities with the characters, settings, and events. One thing that you should keep an eye out for if one were interested, is that I will be making use of distinctly unique merfolk societies and 'clans'. There will be a variety of species, body markings and colors, as well as societies to read about. I really aim to explore the merfolk group cultures, as well as carrying out the main story with this one. That main story isn't quite fully together just yet, though. I have some good characters ready, as well as a number of antagonists, but it will take a little time to get it all together!

S: I also understand that your recent book Oceanus is self-published. Do you have any advice to give for budding writers who would like to self-publish their works?

G: Self-publishing can be risky. The biggest risk is generally that you don't see much success in sales. This is because the book promotion usually relies on the author in question. I initially sent letters to a number of agents in the hopes of being noticed, but after the expected rejections of a first novel, I self published my book through An old friend was publishing her art and calendars through the site, which I learned allowed for a variety of publishing. Humble sales should be expected, as self publishing puts your story amidst countless others who share the same output for their own stories. 

It is worth noting, however, that there are ways to improve your publicity! Self publishing sites like LuLu offer packages from publicity and promotional agents and services, ranging from mentions in lists and meets, to internet and even TV ads. The price generally reflects the media source appropriately, and will cost accordingly. There is still the classic means of networking and word of mouth, as well as taking advantage of social media like Facebook pages or even creating your own YouTube advertisement if possible. I would recommend attempting self publishing if you wish to write for the sake of your stories or your own love of it. 

Thank you so much for letting us interview you, Gregory! It was an honour!

To purchase Gregory Lewanski's novel, go to: 

Monday, August 10, 2015

SeaGlass Siren's Special Feature 2015

Hi everyone! It's my birthday!
So as a special treat for you mers, I decided to post up Kristy Nicolle's interview months in advance for her upcoming book release "The Kiss That Killed Me," part of her Tidal Kiss Series!


 Like this image?  Check out the photographer @
Credits go to: Trish Thompson Photography

SeaGlass: Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Kristy Nicolle: I'm a 22 year old writer and full time MA student living in the historic English City of Lincoln. I attend classes at The University of Lincoln toward my master’s degree in twenty first century literature which has introduced me to no end of interesting new stories, genres and experiences. I originally hail from Norwich which was where I was born, went to school and also enjoyed partaking in sports such as competitive gymnastics, Tae kwon do and ice skating. However no hobby or interest has ever come close to my love of the written word and its capacity to tell stories. I live with my wonderful boyfriend and together we push each other, he pushes me with my writing and academic study and I push him to keep coming up with new and original ideas for his personal training business. Family is very important to me as is my partner in crime MooMoo (nicknamed Doctor Moo- yes I am a sci-fi fan) the family cat.

S: What are your ambitions for your writing career? When did you decide to become a writer? 

KN: I think I have similar ambitions as most writers which is not only to sell books, but to have people love my stories and connect with them in a similar way to me as the writer. It’s a great privilege to craft worlds for others to walk through, just as for the reader it becomes great privilege to walk in them and I love hearing what people make of things I've written. It’s incredibly rewarding to see strong reactions from people about your material- even if that reaction is that they don’t like a character or find your plot twist infuriating. I decided to become a writer officially when I was around 13, but I've always loved writing stories ever since I was able to write from the age of about three.

S: Describe your writing process; Is it structured? Do you write everyday? How do you get rid of writers block?

KN: I think my writing process is becoming more structured as I become further involved in my Masters study. To be honest, the reason book one has taken so long to get to publishing stage is because I'm a stickler for detail and unfortunately an avid perfectionist. I had read the manuscript and self-edited over fifteen times before my editor got her hands on it. Book one was something that I wrote free form- as in I only wrote when I was sure I knew what I wanted to write, but now I know that this is not the most productive way to do things, as your primary draft usually changes in radical ways before you hit publish anyway. I have writing days now where I block off a whole two day section to write new chapters for the sequels, but I'm consistently editing book one every day. As for writer’s block I think it’s something which occurs through over thinking. I make plans for my books- but they aren't definitive and I’ll sit down to write chapters with the idea that whilst following a general plot line, I'm open to what characters have to throw at me. If I'm really stuck (I have to say the worst writers block I had was at the midpoint of my manuscript for book one. It lasted about three months because I got myself into a state about one particular chapter with about fifteen characters in) the best thing to do is just to sit down and write, regardless of whether it’s to do with your book or what you’re stuck on, just write. If I'm ever REALLY REALLY REALLY stuck or blocked, sleeping usually does the trick in solving it as when my mind is mushy and pliable it comes up with solutions. A relaxed happy brain is the best writing tool you can have.

S: What have you written? 

KN: I'm currently working on The Tidal Kiss Trilogy- book 1 ‘The Kiss That Killed Me’ which is pretty much done and I'm beginning book 2 as we speak. I've always got a blog called Freedom Through Fantasy, which I don’t use too often as I'm quite busy at the moment but it does feature a short story I wrote as a part of my Undergraduate study and some of my poems. I have written A LOT of academic literary analysis too. I also have an unpublished novel which was kind of my practice go at writing called Genii- it was always planned to be a trilogy but I never finished it. Who knows, it may rise from the ashes one day.

S: Your new series the Tidal Kiss Trilogy, what is it about?

KN: The Tidal Kiss Trilogy is my current WIP (work in progress) and it’s all about Mermaids and Psirens. The books follow the journey of a young American teenager called Callie Pierce. I don’t want to give a lot away as book 1 is yet to be released, but the long and the short of it is that Callie meets this guy called Orion who she finds herself inescapably drawn to. In the end she discovers more about who she is than she bargained for and leaves the life she knows behind to become the warrior of a Goddess she has never believed in. Here’s the blurb:

When Callie Pierce turns 18 she has three very simple goals: avoid her stepfather, escape to an Ivy League university of her dreams, and party with her friends. But on a night like any other, when the moon is full over the ocean, her life changes in a way that no one could have ever seen coming. On the sandy beaches of San Diego she meets Orion, a man with whom she cannot stay away, to whom her return becomes as inevitable as the tide kissing the shore. If that isn't enough, a kiss which changes everything plunges Callie head first into a world of mythic responsibility, epic danger, and heart stopping romance. The Mer, an ancient race of warriors brought forth to defend the seas, show her wonders beyond what is humanly possible, forcing her into an archaic chain of events that bring together power, seduction, violence, and beauty in a terrifying, yet exhilarating mix. Then there’s the Banished to contend with, a group of Psirens corrupted by the oceans abyss that stand to destroy the eternity Callie has been promised. Will she sacrifice herself for the greater good, or is the gravity that pulls her to Orion just too great to bear?

S: What genre are these books? What drew you to this genre? Where do you draw inspiration from?

KN: These books are NA Fantasy Romance. I think the idea of putting relationships through a baptism of fire has always appealed to me which is why I wanted to do Fantasy Romance more than just normal romance. I enjoy testing the boundaries of how characters can be pushed, particularly romantically and so a fantasy setting is the perfect place to do that. I also really like coming up with quirky dates for my couples to go on, it brings something unique to the table that you won’t find in any other genre. I think I draw inspiration from music a large amount of the time, so much so that a few of my chapters are actually named after song titles because I was listening to those songs on repeat while drafting a particular scene.

S: Where do your ideas come from?

KN: My ideas are very fluid, I don’t have any one source particularly, but as I've said before I'm very inspired by music and I always take a long walk in the evenings before I sit down to write. The movement and beautiful surroundings of Lincoln help me think and I have a few friends who I bounce ideas around with. I wouldn't say I get my ideas from books. But the sheer volume of books I've read certainly helps me to know how to construct a story and what a plot needs to stay healthy and readable.

S: How do you think you've evolved creatively?

KN: I think I'm prepared not to be sentimental about my work now. As in I'm prepared to kill off main characters and take my story to places the reader might not particularly like or agree with. I try to push boundaries, work in new environments and with challenging characters now that I wouldn't have been comfortable writing before. I feel like I've come to a place with my work where I'm starting to really examine what makes up a person, what makes them human and what the human experience means and how to capture it. I think fantasy allows you to do this by looking at the inhuman particularly. It is after all only through knowing what we are not that we can comment on what we are.

S: Will you be doing a trailer for your books?

KN: I do teasers and excerpts regularly but I feel like doing a trailer in video form would be difficult unless I had thousands of pounds to put into it. I believe in quality above anything else. If I can’t produce something high quality, I won’t attempt it.

S: If your book was going to be made into a movie, who would you cast as Callie and Orion?

KN: When I got these interview questions I’ll be honest I knew this one would be the one I’d struggle with. I’ll openly admit that I believe in the written word and haven’t got a clue about how my book would even translate to the big screen. I’d like to have relatively unknown actors on my project, something fresh and new because to me I have an image which I don’t want to deviate from in my head already. I’ll put it simply. Someone cute, short and peppy for Callie and someone super hot for Orion. Who is as much your guess as mine.

(SeaGlass's commentary: Chris Hemsworth. MMMM...)

S: What formats will your books be available in?

KN: Ebook and Paperback. It’ll be available on Amazon, Barnes and Smashwords, kobo etc etc. The normal stops for online ebooks basically.

Thank you so much to Kristy for agreeing to do this interview!

If you'd like to support my lovely friend and The Tidal Kiss Trilogy, Like and Share her Facebook page The Tidal Kiss Trilogy. 

If you'd also like to see exclusive material from The Tidal Kiss Trilogy, join Kristy's Street Team, Tidal Telltails- Official Street Team of Kristy Nicolle for announcements, first looks, sneak peaks, competitions and give-aways!

Also, check out her website,

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Author of the Month: Mermaid Kelda

This month we will be featuring Poet Mermaid Kelda of Brisbane, Australia!

This interview was kept fairly short, but we hope you still enjoy it!

SSML: So tell me how you first started writing?

Kelda: I've always been a big reader - my mum taught me to read from a very young age and I was lucky enough to pick it up really quickly (I learned to read on The Hobbit!), and my dad was a fantastic story teller, so I was always interested in words and the different ways you can put them together to create meaning and aesthetics without the need for pictorial cues. I wrote my first story soon after learning the alphabet ("Once upon a time there were three flowers who were friends, and good friends." - to a five year old, that's a perfectly complete story) and I've been jotting things down when I have the chance ever since.

S: I'm assuming that you credit your parents then for your literacy and for inspiring you to write. That was a really cute story as well! What kind of things have you jotted down?

K: Yes, absolutely, though my primary school definitely encouraged us to write; a trio of dolphins defeating a grumpy shark, adventures in Egypt and the Amazon, and a jungle princess cursed to live as a tiger are the ones that come to mind. I've still got them, somewhere. I spent a good portion of my middle school years writing down the adventures my childhood best friend and I had had as a pair of heroic witches, and if I ever write a children's novel that's what I'll base it on. But over the last few years I've realised I'm pretty good at poetry, so that's what I focus on these days.

S: What are your poems about? Are there underlying themes in them?

K: It depends a bit on the form of poetry; sometimes it's abstract and unstructured, so there tends to be less of a "theme" than a "mood". If I'm writing a traditional rhyming poem (like my poem featured here), it's usually a story, often fantastical because that's what I enjoy writing about. I love writing half-rhymes most of all - there's something so raw and pleasingly imperfect about them - and they're a lot easier to write than traditional rhymes, so the themes vary just depending on what mood I'm in at the time. But because of my love of story telling, I'll often include elements of fantasy or folklore into all my poetry.

S: What was your favourite piece you work on? What poem are you currently working on?

K: My favourite piece I've written is a half-rhyme called The Space Where I Would Be, and you can read it here on my Tumblr. I like a good rhythm to my poetry, so most of the stuff I write works well read aloud as well as on the page. Currently I'm working on a children's poem about a girl's adventures though a dreamscape, filled with lessons about her perception of actions, intent, and character, and her own self-worth. Those are pretty in-depth themes to work into a story, never mind a poem, and then getting it to rhyme and flow well is another matter entirely, so it's slow going!

Thank you so much Kelda for taking the time to do this interview!
If you haven't already, check out her poem The Space Where I Would Be .