Tangled Up with Karen Hooper
Karen and I met at RWA in Orlando in 2010. I was waiting to talk to my agent Sara Megibow after a PRO panel and the cutest girl at RWA in the cutest hat I'd ever seen, asked me if I'd take a picture of her with my agent. Turned out one of my agent's other clients--the amazing MG author Natalie Bahm--and Karen are good friends. Karen and I were inseparable at RWA after that. We both love cute hats, cute guys, and we have the same birthday (I'm all of one year older). She will now and always be my RWA Other Half. I'm thrilled to be able to interview her about her brand new book TANGLED TIDES now on sale. Everyone please say hello to my Karen!
Karen! Welcome to my Storytime blog! Tell us about your story TANGLED TIDES. What's the plot?
Tiffany!!! *tackles with hugs* So glad to be here. I've missed you to pieces.
The plot of Tangled Tides can be summed up by singing "Merfolk, selkies and sirens, oh my!" But if you need more than that, it's about a human girl who is turned into a mermaid and she discovers she is the only soul who can save a world of sea creatures--including herself.
Why mermaids and sirens and undersea creatures?
Why not? Ha. Just kidding. I love the ocean. Many times, whether it be on a cruise ship, swimming, laying out at the beach, watching a sunset over the gulf, etc., I’ve let my imagination wonder about what life beneath the waves might be like. Plus, I've always loved mermaids.
I adore mermaids and mermaid legends. My love of mermaids comes from Disney's The Little Mermaid. I love it so much I even wrote a novella that's a modern day retelling of the Disney version of the story. Where does your love of mermaids and sea creatures originate?
Oh, yes, I’m a Disney fanatic, so I love The Little Mermaid too. However, my first mermaid love was my Sea Wees dolls. They were rainbow colored mermaid dolls and each came with a sea creature pet like a seal or penguin. Then, the movie Splash came along and I loved how Madison the mermaid had a tail in the water and legs on land.Best of both worlds.
How long did it take you to write TANGLED TIDES?
I wrote the first draft in five months. My critique partners read it and gave me notes, and then I spent another couple months revising and editing. Six months of querying agents left with lots of rejection letters, so, with a broken heart I shelved the manuscript for a year. But that’s a whole different story.
Who is your publisher and what's been your experience like working with them?
Rhemalda is my publisher, and every day I thank the heavens for them. They have been awesome to work with. They believe in giving authors a say in anything and everything. They allowed me to be involved in the development of the cover, they were open and supportive of my idea to include artwork in my book, and no matter how many emails or phone calls I bombard them with, they are always patient with me and happy to help in whatever way they can.
Is this part of a series? Will we see more mermaid books in the future?
You betcha. The Sea Monster Memoirs is the series title, and my sea peeps have lots of adventures in their future. Tangled Tides ends as if it’s a stand alone because I wanted readers to have a sense of closure, however, I hid a secret hint somewhere in the final chapters that left the door open for book 2. I didn’t know if Tangled Tides would ever be published, or if anyone would like it enough to want a book 2, but I’ve already had a few fans tell me they are craving more , so I can’t let them down. *big smile* As long as readers want more, I’ll keep writing more memoirs. I’ve got enough ideas to last a lifetime.
What's your best advice to aspiring writers?
Never give up on a project you love. And write what you love. The universe will take care of the rest.
Will you be my RWA Other Half again this year?
Heck yes! Remind me to register early this year! Ha. We should dress up like my sirens. You do know my sirens are all sultry, right, Ms. Erotica writer? We could wear high heel boots, corset tops, and…oh, wait, we’re still interviewing. We’ll discuss this later.
And most importantly, how do mermaids and merman have sex? Inquiring (dirty) minds...
This question has come up like five times in the last two months! I should have addressed this in the book, but I didn’t know so many peoples’ minds were in the gutter. Lol. The answer is very simple based on the world I built and the rules I created. Wait for it...
They have sex just like humans do.
No weird fish eggs or anything like that. My merfolk are human on land, and they even have the ability to control whether or not they have legs (and all other human anatomy) in the water. So yeah, they can get it on in the water or on land, but they have to be in human form because weird fish sex would've freaked me out.
Karen was born and bred in Baltimore, frolicked and froze in Colorado for a couple of years and is currently sunning and splashing around Florida with her two beloved dogs. Blurring the line between paranormal and fantasy, she writes young adult novels that appeal to readers of all ages. She's addicted to coffee, chocolate and complicated happily-ever-afters. While writing young adult novels, she blurs the line between paranormal and fantasy.
Find Karen here!
Author Website: http://www.karenamandahooper.