Please welcome Katie O’Sullivan to the virtual offices! I was curious about Katie’s new book, Son of a Mermaid, so I asked her by to chat about the book.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Katie O’Sullivan] Katie O’Sullivan lives next to the ocean on Cape Cod, drinking too much coffee and inventing excuses not to dust. She writes YA and romantic suspense.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Son of a Mermaid?
[Katie O’Sullivan] This young adult book is aimed at advanced middle grade and beginner YA readers and makes a perfect young teen beach book for summer, filled with adventure, light romance and beautiful descriptions of life along the sandy shores – and beneath the waves.
Son of a Mermaid is the first book in a planned series about Shea MacNamara and the undersea world of mermaids and mermen that he discovers off the shores of Cape Cod. The blurb reads:
Shea MacNamara’s life just got complicated.
After a freak tornado devastates his Oklahoma farm, the fifteen-year-old orphan moves to Cape Cod to live with a grandmother he’s never met. Struggling to make sense of his new surroundings, he meets a girl along the shore who changes his life forever.
Kae belongs to an undersea world hidden from drylanders. The daughter of royal servants, she knows the planned marriage of her Princess to the foreign King should put an end to the war between the clans. Two things stand in the way of lasting peace: an ambitious Regent and rumors of a half-human child who will save the oceans.
Sparks fly when she meets Shea, but could the cute drylander really be the Son of a Mermaid?
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Katie O’Sullivan] My kids and I have always liked mermaid stories. One day my son and I were walking the dogs on the beach and found a strange rock with a hole cut through the center. We started weaving a tale about the mermaid who lost it… and the book grew from there.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Shea?
[Katie O’Sullivan] Loyal, strong, insecure
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Kae had a theme song, what would it be?
[Katie O’Sullivan] Iris, by the Goo Goo Dolls
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Kae is never without.
[Katie O’Sullivan] Her transmutare medallion. Harvested from the heart of the ocean, the transmutare stones help mermaids channel and focus the ancient magick of the seas. Kae uses her medallion to help her transform her tail into human legs, to go ashore.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Shea’s bedroom?
[Katie O’Sullivan] Since he lost everything in the tornado, you won’t find much that is his own in Shea’s new bedroom. He didn’t bring much with him when he moved to Cape Cod, just what was in his backpack at school that day.
But things you’d never find? He’s a straight arrow kind of guy, so no alcohol or drugs, and he’s not into pop culture or fads, so no Pokemon or Homestuck stuff. He also has no photos of the mother who abandoned him as a baby – until he moves to his grandmother’s house and finds one. And recognizes her from his dreams.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Kae’s greatest regret?
[Katie O’Sullivan] Kae regrets being so constrained by the rules of her family and society, and wishes she had more freedom. She can’t wait to go away to school, where she thinks she’ll be able to have a fresh start. When she meets Shea, she starts bending those rules but finds that she’s not the only one with secrets, and that things aren’t always as they appear.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Katie O’Sullivan] For this book, living by the ocean was a big influence, lol. Like my character Shea, I walk my dogs along the beach at sunrise every morning, and spend that alone time working through stories in my head.
I’ve also been reading a lot of YA in the last few years – the genre has changed significantly over time and is one of the more exciting areas in publishing today.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Katie O’Sullivan] The 3 C’s: My computer, coffee, and chocolate.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Katie O’Sullivan] I’d have to say Death Lies Between Us, by Jody Kessler. Before that, it was The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern.
I read and enjoy a lot of books (a LOT of books), but love it when an author brings something really fresh to a book, something I haven’t read before.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Katie O’Sullivan] My mom was into mysteries and Agatha Christie, so she started me off with the Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. I read them all, but at the age of 10 read The Girl Who Owned a City, by O.T. Nelson and it changed the way I looked at books. Everything didn’t have to strictly “real” in the world of fiction, and grownups didn’t have all the answers.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Katie O’Sullivan] If I had my choice, I’d spend more time reading! But. I have three active, involved teens (over involved?) who keep me busy, as well as two big dogs who like to walk on the beach every chance they get. I watch a lot of soccer games and track meets, and go to a lot of concerts and plays starring my kids and their friends.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Katie O’Sullivan] My website: www.katie-osullivan.com
My blog: http://katieosullivan.blogspot.com
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorKatieOSullivan
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/OkatieO
Add Son of a Mermaid on your Goodreads list: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17184560-son-of-a-mermaid
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
About the book:
About the Author:
Katie O’Sullivan lives with her family and big dogs next to the ocean on Cape Cod, drinking way too much coffee and inventing new excuses not to dust. She writes YA and romantic suspense novels, and has worked for the last four years as the editor of CapeWomenOnline.com magazine and writes “The Write Way” column for the magazine.
She hopes her debut YA novel, SON OF A MERMAID, will make a big splash this summer, engaging young readers with a Cape Cod tale of a boy who discovers both his roots and his destiny far below the waters of Nantucket Sound.