Today I have a special guest post by author Michele Israel Harper in celebration of the release of her newest book, Silence the Siren! Michele is awesome, by the way. I've talked to her a couple of times at Realm Makers and was so disappointed that she wasn't there this year. I haven't had a chance to read her Beast Hunters series yet, but I loved her Zombie Takeover book.
Thank you so
much for featuring me on your blog today, Jaye! I am so honored to be here.
So it’s no
secret that the latest book in my Beast Hunters series, Silence the Siren,
is a light reimagining of Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid.
I mentioned this
in an earlier blog post on the tour (so I will only restate it briefly!), but I
was raised on the Disney version of fairy tales. When I first read Andersen’s Little
Mermaid, I threw my Kindle across the room.
(I mean, she
didn’t get the prince, she died, and she turned into sea foam? Why,
But that first
read stuck with me so hard.
It kept circling
in my head, the little mermaid’s sacrificial love and giving up what she wanted
so the prince, and his new bride, could be happy.
Such different fare
than my usual happily-ever-after must-reads.
his morals, loved telling his stories to children with an admonition to “be good”
and to care for their eternal soul—a strong theme in his Little Mermaid
tale—so different from the (dare I say it?) more selfish “I just have to wish
hard enough and all my dreams will come true” stories I was raised on.
Don’t get me
wrong. I adore those stories and absolutely think they have their place.
But this theme
of sacrifice, of not always getting what you want, no matter how hard you work
for it/wish for it—is this completely valid too?
with it, wrestled with it, and finally had to write a story about it.
absolutely admit that I couldn’t do to my characters what Andersen did to his,
but I played with the themes of love and sacrifice and happily ever after—and
my characters explore what happens when things don’t quite go as planned.
Lest you think
the story is a downer, let me assure you it isn’t! Silence the Siren is
a high-seas adventure with pirates, sirens, swashbuckling, and heart, with just
the slightest bit of sweet romance. (I grew up on HEAs, remember?)
But I had to
explore self-sacrifice and putting others before one’s self.
I pray you enjoy
the tale that was born out of that moment of throwing my Kindle!
Fun fact: There
are quotes from the original story in both English and French throughout the
Mermaid was first published
in Danish in 1837, then translated into English in 1845. I wanted to use quotes
from the original English version, but using stories in the public domain can
be tricky. I had to find the original English version, pull five quotes (it was
so hard to pick just five!), then translate them into French (oh my gosh, the tenses).
measly little quotes took me two weeks to get just right. I don’t trust Google
translate, so I had my French dictionaries spread around me, had three
different French versions of the tale (and oh my word, each were significantly
different), and conferred with a few of my French-speaking or
French-nationality friends to get the phrasing just right.
So there you
have it! I sweat blood and tears over those translations, friends. I hope you
love them! (And any mistakes that got past those who knew what they were
talking about were entirely my fault.)
Thank you, Jaye,
for letting me ramble on about my story today! You are just the sweetest.
About the Book