What if joining your lover’s world
meant leaving your own?
Q: What’s your inspiration for The Mer Chronicles? What connects all the stories?
The inspiration was a mishmash of fairy tales – the brutal originals, not the prettified versions we’re more used to – and stories I basically mainlined growing up. Seriously, I can’t remember several years of childhood experiences in the proper order because I read so much, lived so much in my fiction.
What connects my novels are common characters and common mythology, with a big dose of romance and adventure thrown in. Thematically, they deal with how we all juggle work, family, and love, an issue that makes every woman I know kinda nuts.
Q: There seems to be two romances in Updrift—that of Kate and Blake, and Kate’s mom and her dream man. Why did you decide to tell these two romances in one novel?
I find secondary romances in novels such a treat… and truthfully, I thought Cara and John’s storyline enhanced both the tension of Gabe and Kate’s impending union; and it gave die-hard romance fans something to chew on while Gabe and Kate worked their way toward togetherness. I REALLY don’t care for insta-love, so having a side ship also helped feed everyone’s desire for intimacy until the main characters made their match.
Q: Tell us more about Kate Sweeting. Why did she decide to go to the coast? Why is she interested in the Blake family?
Kate and her mother move to the coast to free themselves from their grief-laden past, which was too tied to their home in Kansas where her dad died. The basis for Kate’s ability to love and reach out to others depends a lot on the close relationship she has with her mother, so the fresh start they make together, just the two of them, sets them both up for the rich love and adventure they find.
The Blakes are interesting because… well, too much detail on that front would spoil the story! Suffice it to say, the Blakes are very, very odd. 😉
Q: What was her first meeting with Gabe Blake like?
(From Kate’s POV when she reflects back as an adult)
Gabe and I swam for hours, although I had never learned to swim. We talked incessantly but without sound, and differently than we did out of the water. We would both be six in a couple of weeks. We had no sisters or brothers, although he had a lot of cousins. We were going to the same school in the fall. I had just moved from Kansas. He had lived here all his life.
Contained as I was in the sea’s embrace, I did not focus as I might have on the heavy pressure of the water; instead, I felt as if I were flying, and, contrarily, as if a light, fresh burst of air was circulating around me. For the first time in a long time, I felt anticipation for the life my mother and I were starting, and this swim signaled a wonderful beginning. Back in Kansas, we had lived a life of emotional subsistence defined by duty and grief, unconsciously becoming as dry and shriveled as a windswept plain in August. As I knew nothing different, I didn’t judge our diminished existence; but now I felt, by contrast, how beautifully hope colored and brightened the world, how it wakened my dulled senses, and inspired me to expand my old habits of thinking and feeling. From that point on, I yearned toward something more.
Q: Why are they perfect for each other?
Kate explains their attraction best near the middle of the story imo – how the miracle is in the bond you form, not so much because you’re fated. But she and Gabe are an ideal match because they’re each intelligent and ambitious, they appreciate the same off-beat humor, and because of the closeness of their families. These two grow up together, discover love together, and they fight for each other when it counts.
Q: What’s up next for you?
I released “Breakwater” a couple of months ago and am working like mad to get “Outrush” in shape! Continue reading