If you follow me on Twitter or have read my review, you know how much I enjoyed Jennifer Donnelly's Deep Blue. It was just the read I needed: fun, well-written, and puntastic. With that having been said, I am excited to have Jennifer Donnelly on the blog today for an interview about Deep Blue, mermaids, magic, and more! Below you will find information about the novel, and then after the jump, the interview with Jennifer Donnelly and two chances to win Deep Blue, which the publisher was generous enough to provide. Enjoy!
Deep in the ocean, in a world not so different from our own, live the merpeople. Their communities are spread throughout the oceans, seas, and freshwaters all over the globe.
When Serafina, a mermaid of the Mediterranean Sea, awakens on the morning of her betrothal, her biggest worry should be winning the love of handsome Prince Mahdi. And yet Sera finds herself haunted by strange dreams that foretell the return of an ancient evil. Her dark premonitions are confirmed when an assassin's arrow poisons Sera's mother. Now, Serafina must embark on a quest to find the assassin's master and prevent a war between the Mer nations. Led only by her shadowy dreams, Sera searches for five other mermaid heroines who are scattered across the six seas. Together, they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood and uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world's very existence.
The mermaids in Deep Blue use songspells--spells to conjure fire, swim faster, etc--to help them throughout their journey. If you could choose one songspell to have in your life, used in the novel or not, what would it be?
The power to end all violence in the world. I’d love to have that one. But it is a big one. And I’m not sure my magical abilities are strong enough to allow me to cast it. So if I couldn’t do that one, I’d settle for a dulcifero. You deploy that one on bullies; it turns every mean thing they say into a lovely compliment!
The mermaids in your novel are all very diverse and have different sets of skills: there's Serafina, who is selfless and loving; Neela, loyal and snarky; Becca, determined and a quick thicker; Ava, blind yet brave, and snarky like Neela; Ling, wise and reasonable; and lastly Astrid, irritable but admittedly rational. Of these character, whom would you say you relate to the most?
I wish I could say Serafina, who is so selfless. Or Ling, who’s so smart. But I’m afraid it’s Astrid – who’s short-tempered and not terribly tactful!
What are some mermaid novels you recommend? Favorite movie about mermaids?
I love the movie Splash and the H2O television series.
Many of your previous novels are adult; how difficult or easy was it for you to transition from writing adult novels to young adult, and vice versa?
I’ve written several YA novels as well as adult novels, and one picture book, so the transition isn’t hard at all. I think of whom I wish to speak to, then write for them.
If you had to describe Deep Blue in three words, what would they be?
Magical. Suspenseful. Exciting.
Each of the mermaids in the novel have their own special gifts; which of the six mermaids' powers would you most rather have?
Serafina’s power of love. Many merpeople – her mother and her beloved teacher among them – tell her that this is the greatest power and the strongest magic. I believe that. The question is...does Serafina?