Interview with Jim C. Hines about "The Mermaid's Madness"  

Posted by Wishwords in ,

I'm so excited about this book. I absolutely loved "The Stepsister Scheme" and have been impatiently waiting for this second book in the series. I'm also excited about this interview. Jim is personable and encouraging to those of us who want to be authors when we grow up. He's also a damn good writer. So read the interview and go enjoy the book!


What struck me about The Little Mermaid was how totally messed up that tale really is. I'm ashamed to admit I hadn't read the original Hans Christian Anderson tale growing up. Like so many tales, if you've only been exposed to the Disney version, you're missing a lot.

In this case, when I got to the end of The Little Mermaid, where the prince hooks up with another woman and our mermaid sacrifices her life so that he can be happy, I had a visceral "Hell, no!" reaction. I just had to mess with this one.

Of course, this meant writing a novel in which 90% of the action takes place at sea. When I started writing, my experience with sailing was pretty much limited to the toys my kids played with in the bath. So I spent a lot of time reading up on sailing ships. After that, I wanted to come up with a really interesting ship, one which would make this more than just another sailing story. I think I accomplished that with the queen's ship, the Phillipa, but I'll let the readers be the judge of that.

I also did a fair amount of reading about the ocean, trying to figure out what it would be like to navigate the different currents, and how the merfolk would have to function in order to survive. Things like needed an extra layer of body fat, or crying more in order to rid their bodies of excess salt. I read as many mermaid stories as I could find, trying to incorporate more of that mythology into the story. Mermaids have a strange obsession with souls, which turned into an important plot element.

Hopefully the result is something both new and familiar. I'm happy with the result, and I'm very much looking forward to hearing what readers think.

Thanks for giving me the chance to chat about the book!


Web site:

Blurb: There is an old story — you might have heard it — about a young mermaid, the daughter of a king, who saved the life of a human prince and fell in love. So innocent was her love, so pure her devotion, that she would pay any price for the chance to be with her prince. She gave up her voice, her family, and the sea, and became human. But the prince had fallen in love with another woman.

The tales say the little mermaid sacrificed her own life so that her beloved prince could find happiness with his bride.

The tales lie.

Where should readers buy the book? Wherever is convenient for you. Independent booksellers have been good to me, so I try to support them when possible. Barnes & Noble has also gotten behind the princess series, so I'd happily send readers their way. But in the end, I get my $.48 whether you buy it from Borders or Amazon or Walmart, so do what works for you.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 7, 2009 at Wednesday, October 07, 2009 and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


I liked it so much. Very well.

January 14, 2010 at 9:24 PM

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