Interview with Anna Finch, Author of Voiceless: A Mermaid’s Tale

08 Dec 2020

What can you tell us about your new release, Voiceless: A Mermaid’s Tale?

Voiceless: A Mermaid’s Tale is an exciting young adult with mermaids, magic, secrets, and a fight for freedom. It’s a coming of age novel from Princess Moriah’s point of view, a sixteen-year-old who lives in Zoara-Bela under the reign of her grandfather, the cruel King Abaddon, where mermaids like her are shackled by the role society deems appropriate young mermaids rendering them voiceless.

It’s not until she meets Michael, a young, handsome man, that she questions her place in society and the king’s tight control of her people’s freedom after witnessing the stark contrast between the kindness of the human world and the bitter reality of her draconian society.

Moriah must risk her life to free her kingdom and uncover the secrets of her past and family. If she wants her freedom and the chance to love freely, she must stand up to the wicked king who will stop at nothing to crush any voice of dissent.

Time is running out and the fate of an entire kingdom rests on her shoulders.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

It wasn’t until the end of primary that I really began to love reading, particularly fantasy and sci-fi. Eventually that love of reading became a passion for writing. Since high school I’ve written poems, songs and short stories incorporating both English and Spanish into my writing.

I knew that I wanted to publish a book, probably a collection of short stories, as I had tried writing novels before but I’d always lose interest. I actually planned and came up with the initial idea for Voiceless after watching a number of writing advice videos but I didn’t actually start writing the novel until I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo 2019. When I finished my first draft, I was proud that I finally finished a novel. But if I’m being honest, my students were what inspired me. I wanted to write story that they would enjoy and be able to read regardless of their literacy level. As they wrote their own stories, I wrote mine and told them about it, promising to publish it the following year. And I kept my promise.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

The Giver by Louis Lowry

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchet

Death Note Another Note: The Los Angeles BB Murder Cases by Nisio Isin

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

The Danger Game by Kalinda Ashton

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

My first guest would probably be Louis Lowry because I found the way she presented the concept of memory and utopia as dystopia in The Giver fascinating. A world completely devoid of emotion and societal memory, ruled by logic and precision in all things immediately grabbed my attention. I would love to ask her about her writing process and what motivated her to write The Giver in the first place.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

My favorite thing about writing is watching the story unfold in ways that are completely different to my initial plan and discovering the people my characters become by the end.

What is a typical day like for you?

I actually work as a teacher full time in English and Humanities so my typical day is actually lesson planning, marking assessments and face-to-face teaching. But on weekends and school holidays I set aside time to work on my next novel, reading new books (desperately trying to get through my TBR) and making videos for my YouTube channel ‘Finch Press Publishing’.

What scene from Voiceless: A Mermaid’s Tale was your favorite to write?

Ooh! That’s a tough one. Without giving too much away, it’s a tie between Moriah’s first official meeting with the Sea Witch and when she was pushed to the edge towards the end of the novel. Both of those scenes were fun to write. The first official scene between the Sea Witch and Moriah (the mermaid) was fun to write as I inserted little jokes in what was supposed to be a serious situation – it didn’t help that I was listening to ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’ on repeat. The second scene is where Moriah is at her lowest – she knows that she’s outmatched and outgunned (or outmagiced rather) – and she knows that she can’t win in a fair fight. She is desperate and needs to choose between – the right and moral thing to do or casting away those morals and do whatever it takes to win. It was one of my favorites because in real life people sometimes have to make decisions that aren’t right or moral in order to ensure their safety.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

Yeah, I actually included it in the front of my book in the epigraph section. One of my favorite quotes is ‘Prefiero morir de pie que vivir de rodillas’ or translated into English ‘I’d rather die on my feet than to live on my knees.’ I didn’t actually know who said until I went searching for the exact wording and found out it was Emiliano Zapata. I try to live by it because it’s important that we stand up for what we believe in, to fight for what is right, because staying silent and being a bystander when something is wrong or atrocities occur right in front of you is just as bad as being the perpetrator.

Anna Finch is the author of the new book Voiceless: A Mermaid’s Tale.

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