One of my favourite Disney movies is The Little Mermaid, and I must say it is one of many. But honestly who doesn’t love a mermaid. I was able to find out a little more about Bernadette Rowley, author of The Lord and the Mermaid, and her career.
Hi Bernadette and welcome to Beauty and Lace.
Thanks for having me Michelle.
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I’ve always been a writer but I guess my goal to publish a book took shape after a goal setting workshop in 1998. I was in a pretty low place then so having a focus like that was important. I did a children’s writing course and kept developing my craft from there.
Can you tell us a little about your latest book, The Lord and the Mermaid?
The Lord and the Mermaid is a retelling of The Little Mermaid, the much loved fairy tale. I wanted a different kind of heroine for this story and decided upon a mermaid. As Wildecoast is a coastal city, it was the perfect setting.
Mermaid Merielle flees her people, hoping for a better life. She is determined to find a human man and make him fall in love with her, believing his love will make her human in turn. The man she happens across is Lord Nikolas Cosara, a hunky ship’s captain, who has exiled himself after a past tragedy. He is the last person who would ever love a mermaid but they experience an instant attraction and the story flows from there.
This begins the Wildecoast Saga, how many books have you got planned for the series?
The books planned for this series number five at the moment but that’s only because I’m yet to meet the characters past book five. Each book is usually a springboard for the next adventure romance. In The Lord and the Mermaid, I introduce Lady Alique Zorba and General Kain Jazara. This duo tells their story in The Elf King’s Lady which is due out in November 2015. The Wildecoast Saga itself is a spin off from two previous books set in my fictional world of Thorius: Princess Avenger and The Lady’s Choice. So there is virtually endless potential for this series.
You write fantasy romance, what made you choose this genre?
I was challenged to write a romance by my mentor Louise Cusack. Having read fantasy since my early teens, I determined that if I wrote romance, it would be in that genre, which I understand intimately. Fantasy romance takes you out of your own world and into a realm of limitless possibilities- the ultimate escape. Challenged by Louise with this task, my muse sent me an avenging princess and she was my first heroine. I love feisty heroines who aren’t afraid to fend for themselves and take what they want in life.
What was your favourite book growing up?
In primary school, I remember loving Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and Secret Seven series. The children in these books solved crimes and got themselves into and out of dangerous situations. They were really empowered and I loved that about these stories. Later on, I discovered fantasy via Tolkien and Brooks and I was totally hooked. I love series too, the longer the better!
Can you tell us a little about what inspires your stories?
My stories are inspired by my love of the fantasy genre. I’ve ‘lived’ in these worlds for decades so they are as real to me as my own world. I’m a veterinarian in my day job and I’ve found that inspires my writing too. Healing plays a very big role in every book- usually magical healing. Animals abound as well, but not the cats and dogs of my job. I fill my pages with horses and creatures such as hawks, bears and wolves. Merielle, my mermaid, has the tail of a dolphin and she often reflects on the creatures of her ocean home.
Are you working on anything you can share with us?
I’m currently developing an idea for a romance between a lady smuggler and a pirate. I can see enormous possibilities for this story and am excited to start getting words down on the page.
When is your favourite time to write?
I write late morning and in the afternoon. I like to get any mundane chores out of the way and do a little social media and then get stuck in. I’m not a late nighter because I get too tired.
Can you tell us a little about your writing process?
When developing a new story, I get a sense of the hero and heroine first. To do this, I brain storm everything about them- what they love, hate, look like, their families, etc. Once I have a good fix on them, I’ll usually be tempted to write a couple of pages of the manuscript just to get started. Then I write the synopsis as a planning tool. Focusing on the romance elements, I brainstorm the synopsis, letting my emotion carry the characters on their journey. Once that’s done, I get back to drafting my story.
What does being a woman mean to you?
That was unexpected and difficult to answer. I live in a male dominated household and spend a lot of time with cricketers so I’m really comfortable around men and get along well with them. I don’t really think about the fact that I’m a woman that much. I believe I am extremely capable and that I’m the cement that holds my immediate family together- I think most mothers would relate to that. I relate more to what I achieve in life than to being female. I’m not girly, hate having to dress up, always wear pants and hate shopping so that could give some indication of the type of woman I am. The main word that springs to mind when I reflect on the female sex is strength.
The Lord and the Mermaid is available June 25 from Momentum and from all good ebook retailers.