Interview with M.S. Kaminsky, Author of Merman Rising
07 Apr 2020
What can you tell us about your new release, Merman Rising?
Merman Rising is a standalone YA urban fantasy adventure novel in the Mermaid Curse series. It tells the story of Delphin a young merman who learns to follow his authoritarian father’s strict rules. That all changes when Delphin falls in love with a human boy.
Will Delphin muster the courage to reject every rule his father wrote, fight for truth, and rise to defeat the evil that threatens to destroy him and his pod? If you enjoy romantic fantasy novels with mermaids, gay mermen, shifters and plenty of suspense, I think you’ll want to find out!
Delphin first appeared in The Atlantis Song and again in The Atlantis Queens. I wrote Merman Rising after receiving multiple emails from readers who wanted to know more about Delphin. I love to write young adult fiction with diverse voices and couldn’t wait to tell the coming-of-age story of a young, gay merman.
Because the series concluded with The Atlantis Queens it gave me the freedom to return and explore the world of mermaids and mermen in greater depth (pun intended). The events in Merman Rising take place before all the wild adventures that Allie and her friends have in the Mermaid Curse series. Because of that, readers can enjoy it on its own or as part of the complete series.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
The urge to tell stories struck when I was four before I could handwrite. My dad became a big encouragement when he helped scribe my tales while I narrated and drew the pictures. I remember being attracted to the fantasy and paranormal genre from the start. My stories often involved ghosts, monsters, fairies and dragons. I don’t remember writing mermen or mermaid stories back then, but I might have. Unfortunately, a house fire claimed what were possibly my most inspired works ever!
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
Oh, that is tough! There are so many books I’ve loved. Almost all fall under the fantasy and sci-fi banner. You’ll notice that I am cheating a bit since most of these books are fantasy series that encompass multiple books. You wouldn’t expect me to choose between A Wizard of Earthsea and The Farthest Shore would you? Here are a few that come to mind in no particular order:
A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R.R. Martin
The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis,
The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss
The Earth Sea Cycle Series, Ursula K. Leguin
The Belgariad, David Eddings
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 be Neil Gaiman. From the London Below in Neverwhere to Coraline’s “Other Mother and Father” Gaiman shows a massive talent for creating powerful characters who navigate uncanny fantasy realms. I’d love to hear more about his world-building process when he writes fantasy fiction.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
On days when I tap into a good writing flow, it’s a similar pleasure to reading a fantasy novel. I find myself transported to an alternate reality—a world of imagination that is bigger, brighter and bolder than everyday life.
What is a typical day like for you?
Typical went out the window when Covid-19 arrived! Besides being an author I also work as a filmmaker and freelance video editor so my schedule is variable. My ideal day is to get up early and do mediation and qigong for an hour. I’ve done this for years and have only missed one or two days throughout. Afterward I eat breakfast, grab some tea and get down to writing. I do my best work in the morning. I try to avoid looking at the news or social media (tough lately) until I’ve done my word count. In the afternoon I edit, work on book marketing (not my strong point–that’s why I turned to Written Word Media for their expertise!) In the evenings I exercise, treat myself to a Netflix show with my husband or catch-up on work I missed during the day.
What scene in Merman Rising was your favorite to write?
It’s difficult to talk about my favorite scene without dropping spoilers. Half of the novel takes place beneath the sea with Delphin’s fellow mermaids and mermen. The other half takes place in the human world (although still on the sea). I enjoyed writing the scenes that transition between the human and mer-worlds. I also loved exploring the romance between Delphin and Elias which forms the heart of the story.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless. – Jean Jacques Rousseau.
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