There’s a feature here on the Colony Island website called ‘Ask Madison‘. Madison is named for Daryl Hannah’s character in the movie, Splash and in this incarnation, she is the ‘agony aunt’ – advice columnist – for The Colony Chronicle, the island’s bi-weekly newspaper.
I thought this would be a fun way to discuss and flesh out plot points as the series progresses as well as give background on life as a mer on Colony Island.
At this point, I cannot say how often Madison will reprint letters from her column in the Chronicle. I will say, however, that I plan to continue this feature throughout the series. I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy creating it.
Awake with nothing to do at 5:30 AM on a rainy Thursday morning, I finally added a contact form to this site. The page is called “Contact The Author” and you’ll find it under the “All About The Author” tab.
Well, the final edits are done and final manuscript awaits my review. Once that happens, proof copies will be ordered and Urban Mermaid will finally be released.
The main hurdle will be finding time to review the final proof. I’ve got a book review to write and fruitcakes to bake. Two batches of fruitcakes, mind you. The next four days should be . . . well . . . interesting.
If I don’t respond to your e-mails or phone calls for a while, please try and understand.
I’ve been perusing some of the pages on this site and YIKES! I have beaucoup typos. What was good enough for my working notes is certainly not good enough for publication. That’s the problem with cut n’ paste.
I’m leaving the two original prologues as they are because I warn the reader that:
- I can’t type
- I can’t spell
- I can’t put together a grammatically correct sentence
- I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time
Well, maybe not # 4 but you get the idea. The next week or so will be consumed with clean-up.
I’ll let you know when I’m done.
Q: What’s with all the World War II stuff in Urban Mermaid? Doesn’t the story take place in the 21st century?
A: Up until that time in the Island’s history, the merfolk thought of themselves as being apart from the humans on the mainland. The fact that Christophorus Kolidakis swam to Greece in order to fight with the resistance served as a wake-up call for the residents of Colony Island. They loved their island home and knew that their way of life there was history if the Axis powers triumphed.
In the months following Pearl Harbour, the merfolk decided to stand shoulder to shoulder with their human neighbours. Many of the mermen enlisted in the armed forces while mermaids trained to be Red Cross nurses. Not all of them came home.
The fishing fleet did their part during the war by capturing a German sub during Operation Drumbeat and the town received a Presidential citation for their valour. The fleet was also responsible for sinking a 2nd sub but kept it quiet as the depth and how the charges were placed would have raised too many questions and endangered their secret.
For the first time in the town’s history, the merfolk felt themselves to be equal to the humans on the mainland. It was their finest hour.
Believe it or not, I’m at work on book # 2. In it, we’ll learn more about Amy and her family, including a feral cousin who shows up unexpectedly. Here are some notes from her character sketch:
About mid-way through the 2nd book – Xmas? – one of Amy’s feral cousins shows up w/ her 5 year-old son in tow. Her mate is still at sea.
She came to Colony Island for her son to be educated. Thinks it’ll only take a year, three at the most. Amy disabuses her of this notion.
She moves in with Amy & her mother. Amy has to hide her from Billy King, Peter’s college roomie who’s giving Amy some voice lessons. The cousin is outraged that they let humans into her house and is baffled that Penelope married a human.
She is more talkative than the average feral. Females tend to be, esp. among family or friends.
She Learns about life on land or at least, life on Colony Island. I’ll use this to tell the reader more about Feraltown.
She has problems w/ the following parts of speech:
Articles (a, an, the)
Verbs (are, is)
She sounds almost like the stereotypical Russian immigrant.
Son’s Name: Nikathlos
New Mate’s Name: Kharisthenês
Old Mate’s Name: Pistidas
She doesn’t understand why she needs a new name on land, or the need for a 1st and last name.
Pistidas was not the most attentive mate. Their mer-baby was a girl named ??. Pistadis was supposed to be watching the baby while Kulla gathered kelp for dinner. Pistadis was more interested in talking with his buddy. Then the baby became a snack for a Tiger shark.
Kulla was heartbroken. At least things were over pretty quickly for the baby. She immediately told Pistadis she didn’t want him to protect her anymore. (He wasn’t doing much of a job to begin with.)
Pistadis became an outcast. No females wanted anything to do with him. Mermen didn’t want to associate with him. Even the buddy who he’d been talking to distanced himself. Pistadis subsequently left the pod & disappeared into the sea.
Kulla chose another mate quickly. (She was besieged with offers from unchosen males.) This time she made a much better choice. Kharisthenês was everything Pistadis should have been. Kulla decides that Amy may not have been so wrong about living on land after all. Kharisthenês agrees that their son should be educated like Kulla’s cousin Amy.
There’s, of course, more to Kulla’s story but I’ve got to save something for the book.
Some authors will release a playlist of music which inspired their novel or which was simply some tunes they listened to whilst pounding their keyboard. There are a number of works referenced in Urban Mermaid, all of which are available on iTunes as well as other fine vendors.
Urban Mermaid Playlist
Can’t Help Falling in Love with You – Elvis, et al.
If I Loved You – Rodgers and Hammerstien from the musical, Carousel
I Loved You Once In Silence – Lerner and Lowe from the musical, Camelot
Coronation Anthem No. 1 – Handel. Note – Peter is looking at the mosaics in the lobby Colony Island’s town hall. The tutti forte entrance of the choir coincides with Peter looking up at the ceiling.
Truly, Madly, Deeply – Savage Garden
Canon and Gigue in D – Pachelbel
Minuet # 2 from Music for the Royal Fireworks HWV 351 – Handel. (I used the arrangement by The Royal Promenade Chamber Orchestra)
Rondeau – Mouret
Macpherson’s Rant – Robert Burns, traditional
Highland Cathedral – Ulrich Roever and Michael Korb
I’m Calm – Steven Sondheim. From the musical, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
Sea of Love – the 80’s version by The Honeydrippers. (This is not referenced in the story but I included it as inspiration.)
Leagues, leagues over the sea I sail
Couched on a wallowing dolphin’s tail.
The sky is on fire, the waves a-sheen,
I dabble my foot in the billows green.
In a sea-weed hat on the rocks I sit,
where tern and sea-mew glide and beat,
and where dark shadows the cormorants meet.
In caverns cool when the tide’s a wash,
I sound my conch to the watery splash.
From out their grottos at evenings beam,
the mermaids swim with locks agleam.
– Walter De La Mare –
Q: Why did you kill off Peter’s Parents?
A: Well, it was certainly not done out of malice. I did it as a sort of plot ‘de-complicator’. When I was first outlining the story, I decided I was going to have enough on my hands dealing with Penelope, her family and the other merfolk on Colony Island not to mention all the mer lore and customs. Not having to deal with his mother and father in the story not only made things a lot easier, but it did so much for Peter’s character and also allowed Ilene’s character to really blossom.
In a future installment of the Colony Island story, a human will fall in love with another mermaid and his parents will not only be alive but also the kind that like to come and visit – quite often – and bring their daughters along as well. I can’t say in which book this will happen, though. Only time will tell.
Well, the cover for Urban Mermaid is available for all to see . . . even though it was revealed 25 hours behind schedule. I was called in to work early Sunday evening and there just wasn’t enough time to put the cover on the Welcome Page and get myself ready for a fun-filled evening. I doubt that very many were disappointed by the delay.
Because of production schedules and the need for a few tweaks, the release date has been pushed back to late October. Some things just can’t be helped.
On other fronts, we’re having a few issues with the domain name – ColonyIsland.com – pointing to the right place. We’re hosted on GoDaddy.com and all too often, their documentation doesn’t always keep up with changes to their user interface. If you try to pay us a visit and discover that nobody’s home, don’t worry. We haven’t really gone anywhere and will be open for business again in short order.