I am so excited to have Judi Fennell, author of Wild Blue Under, as a guest blogger!
I get asked a lot about the inspiration for my Mer series. It's pretty evident that In Over Her Head, the first book in the series, was inspired by The Little Mermaid. I'd been writing twists on fairy tales (Beauty and The Best was in the American Title III contest) and wanted to twist The Little Mermaid. Easiest way was to make the hero a Mer man. Off and running, er, swimming--er, writing I went.
When I wrote In Over Her Head it was simply to entertain myself. Well, and also with the hope someone would buy it, but I wasn't under deadline, I wasn't thinking of a series, I wasn't creating a whole world. I was just writing a story which became In Over Her Head, and giggled to myself the whole time.
Then the story hit the Gather.com online contest, climbed through the ranks and it looked like I had a shot of winning. (It made the Top 5.) The story didn't win, but when it made the finals, I knew that I wanted to show the judges (editors and Borders) that I had more than that one story in me. That this world I'd created was as big as the ocean it's set in. So I had to come up with more stories.
The thing is, for as much as In Over Her Head has been compared to The Little Mermaid, it really isn't. In The Little Mermaid, the mermaid comes out of the ocean. All I did was pick up the idea of an undersea world of Mers and use that. But when it came to Wild Blue Under, I did bring the Mer out of the sea. It was the most different thing from the first story that I could think of because I didn't want to write the same story all over again, and there are only so many times and ways you can have a Human experience the Mer world and keep it fresh.
It just so happened that around the time I was putting the story idea together, the movie It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World was playing for the umpteenth time on television. It's a favorite in my household, so I sat down to watch--and saw the actress who made me realize I had to write the next book based on that movie.
"Who?" you ask.
Ethel Merman, of course. I mean, she has MERMAN as her last name! It's a comedy! It's cross-country, in pursuit of treasure. How could I not?
I find a lot of inspiration in television and movies, and like to include little nods and/or jokes in the story I write about. There's one in Wild Blue Under.
That was one of the tough calls for me to make as an unpubbed author--do I put those kinds of references in my stories? Will people get them? Will an editor not like it? I took a chance with In Over Her Head and it turns out the Johnny Depp line was what sealed the deal for my agent. Yes, she gets my humor. My editor obviously does, too, which is so validating for my earlier uncertainty.
As a reader, do you like little "nods" or "pokes" to pop culture references?
And please stop by my website, www.JudiFennell.com to register to win one of two remaining Romantic Beach Getaway Weekends to celebrate the release of the Mer series books. The next drawing is November 30 at the Atlantis Inn in Ocean City, NJ (www.AtlantisInn.com), and the final drawing is February 28, 2010 for the Hibiscus House in West Palm Beach, FL (www.HibiscusHouse.com).
WILD BLUE UNDER—book 2 in the Mer Series—in stores November 2009!
The underwater kingdom is his as soon as he claims his queen…
Rod Tritone has the looks and charm to snag any queen he wants for his Mer kingdom, but unfortunately, it's not up to him. As fate would have it, the one woman destined to rule with him is terrified of water…
She lives in land-locked Kansas and has no idea she's a princess…
Valerie Dumere thinks Rod is gorgeous and irresistible—but why does he keep insisting she has another side to herself that only he can show her?
Somehow, Rod has to prove to her who she really is. But when she finds out the truth, will she ever forgive him?
About the Author
Judi Fennell is an award-winning author. Her romance novels have been finalists in Gather.com's First Chapters and First Chapters Romance contests, as well as the third American Title contest. She spends family vacations at the Jersey Shore, the setting for some of her paranormal romance series. She lives in suburban Philadelphia, PA.
Visit These Other Blog Tour Stops:
10/26/09 -- Romance Junkies
10/27/09 -- Revenge of the Book Nerds!
10/28/09 -- Sia McKye's Thoughts...OVER COFFEE
10/29/09 -- Love Romances & More
11/02/09 -- A Bibliophile's Bookshelf
11/03/09 -- Pop Syndicate
11/04/09 -- Wendy's Minding Spot
11/05/09 -- Starting Fresh
11/06/09 -- Anna's Book Blog
11/09/09 --Fresh Fiction
11/10/09 -- Fang-tastic Books
11/11/09 -- Cheeky Reads
11/12/09 -- A Journey Of Books
11/13/09 -- Passion for the Page
11/17/09 -- Literary Escapism
11/19/09 -- Love Romance Passion
Thanks to Danielle, from Sourcebooks, I can giveaway 1 copy of both In Over Her Head and Wild Blue Under!! (there will be 1 winner)
HOW TO ENTER:
~Answer Judi Fennell's question, As a reader, do you like little "nods" or "pokes" to pop culture references? (make sure to leave your e-mail address or your comment won't count!)
+1 Post about the contest on your blog and leave the link in your comment
+1 Tweet about the contest and leave the link in your comment (make sure to put @purplg8r)
+1 Become a follower (or if you already follow me, let me know!)
+1 Follow me on Twitter (make sure to leave your Twitter name)
~~For each thing that you do, please leave a separate comment or you will only be entered once!!
~~The contest will end on Tuesday, November 10th at 11:59pm
~~This contest is open to US and Canada only.