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Sep 3, 2010

Fins - Interview with Ashley Knight

Time for a review of Fins, by the lovely Ashley Knight The gorgeous cover is by Ken Koberlein.

Mermaids. I love mermaids.

In this young adult novel, Morgan discovers that her parents have been keeping secrets from her. Morgan's mother has a new husband. And a new baby. And an ancient curse. Oh, and by the way, honey -- you're a mermaid!

Thanks for the head's up, mom!

This is a fun, frothy novel, with likable characters and a gorgeous mer hero, Thayde. I happen to think that male swimmers have the finest bodies in the world. I fancied the hero probably looked like Matthew Mitcham:


While Morgan is still trying to deal with her new family, Akin, a snotty bastard from a rival family, assaults and tries to rape her. Akin's half-brother, the gorgeous Thayde, rescues her and beats back Akin. However, Thayde's own family cast judgement on him, and, because he is honorable, he lets them strip him and tie him to a pole. One by one, they take turns torturing him....

It is now up to Morgan to rescue him.

This was my favorite scene in the book. I love torture scenes! What does that tell you about me? Let's not dwell on that. Moving on....

Different kinds of mermaids have different colored tails (I love that!) and different powers. Because Morgan is a half-human, her powers should be weak, if she can even phase to mer form at all... yet not only can she phase, she has extremely strong powers.

Unfortunately, even if she can rescue Thayde from his own family, there is still a sea witch type character lurking in the background, who's curse means that Morgan and Thayde might be forced to relive the same tragedy that once separated her mother from her true love.


Ashley was also kind enough to answer some of my questions.

Is this your first book? Tell us a little about what inspired it, how long it took you to write and what your writing process is like.

This is my first published book. I've had my poetry published before. I've loved mermaids ever since I saw "Splash!" in the early 80's - Thom Shouse did such a remarkable job with Darryl Hannah's tail that I knew they were real! I've written about them ever since. The last few years though, I've been more focused on my family & the bills than writing. In October of last year, I came across a picture of a mermaid & merman locked in a passionate kiss & it made me remember how much I loved them. I began writing that same day. I wrote from October to April.

My writing process is strange - I get an idea & I have to write or I lose it. Sometimes hours will fly by & I've written three chapters. Then there are days I'll go for weeks with nothing. I never know where the story will go. I write & everything falls into place.

I loved her tail in that movie too! You have a toddler, am I right? How do you balance the demands of family and writing?

I have a six year old, Emma & an 18 month old, Belle.

I have to write when an idea hits - even if I'm cooking eggs with Belle on my hip while doing the laundry & making sure Emma's doing her homework. Suddenly I'll grab a pen & paper & write the idea down. When the kids are down for their nap or asleep at night, that's when I finish up. My hubby's been neglected as of late, the poor guy!

I can understand that. I have three kids of my own, all below the age of four. Whew! How did you connect with Chalet? Can you talk about the advantages of working with a small press?

I grew up on a ranch in New Meadows, Idaho & our neighbors were John & Karen Brees. Karen's a published author & when we connected on Facebook, I asked her how she did it. She kindly introduced me to the Chalet Family.
I've not had my novels published before & I've only worked with Chalet. But I have both of my publishers home phone & cell phone numbers! I call them at all hours & they always answer. I doubt that happens very much with the larger publishers. I'm the type of person that doesn't like anything to be sugar coated, & I love that they give me their honest, candid opinion. It means that when they say it's good, they are telling the truth. Both of my publishers are kind, caring, thoughtful people & I just love them.

Thank you for stopping by, Ashley! Check out her website, where you can read the first chapters and find the book at Chalet Publishers.


Tere Kirkland said...

Thanks for the review, and the interview. This looks like a great read.

Too bad I don't have a sunny beach to lay on and read it...

SandyG said...

Sounds like an interesting story!

Also, is that one of your drawings, Tara Maya

J.Norman said...

Beautiful review/interview, Tara. I am very appreciative and I thank you.

Michelle D. Argyle said...

I'm checking this out! I've heard good things about elsewhere, too. I love that you're reading and highlighting self-published and small-press authors. Thanks for this great review!

Michelle D. Argyle said...

Okay, I give up. Where can I get this book? I can't find it anywhere.

Tara Maya said...

Michelle, I think it's just coming out in September. I'm sorry I don't know the exact release date.

Tara Maya said...

@ Aramelle. Yeah, I painted the mermaid.

Ban said...

Oh ... sounds like I've got another book to add to my TBR pile :D

Thanks for the interview!

Michelle Gregory said...

i love mermaid stories. this one sounds great.