Saltwater Witch and Mermaid
A Tale of One Story...
...that ended up becoming two stories, one with a tail. (There’s also a screenplay involved, but I’m going to save that for another day). I wrote the original Saltwater Witch story in 2004, bringing in my daughter Chloe to help with some of the plot and character ideas I was exploring. At the time I was in the middle of another book—with plenty of scenes in and around the water, indulging my love of marine biology and the oceans, but Chloe was the one who said, “I want to read a book about mermaids”. And off we went—with one requirement from me: Kassandra doesn’t have a mermaid tail. Chloe wasn’t happy about that, but went along with it. The original title of the book was The Wreath of Poseidon. It was quite a bit longer, with a lot of detail that I cut when I rewrote it in 2007 as Saltwater Witch. The original was also in third-person point of view, and my complete rewrite brought it all into first-person, from Kassandra’s POV.
In the meantime Seaborn, which takes place five years after the events in Saltwater Witch, had been picked up by Juno Books, and was released in the summer of 2008. I quickly followed that up with Seaborn’s sequel, Sea Throne. (My original intent had been a single much longer book that included everything from both stories. Maybe someday.)
There’s always trouble when three books become a “trilogy”.
The story and characters in Sea Throne are intricately joined to Seaborn. The two are essentially two parts of one long book. Seaborn can be read on its own—it has a complete story arc. Saltwater Witch can be read as a stand-alone novel, or the prequel to Seaborn and Sea Throne, or simply as Book One in the “Seaborn Trilogy”. This last was the obvious next step for Kassandra and her tale. The only problem was that it felt weird that the first book was in first-person POV and the other two were in third.
So, in the spring of 2012, between writing Salvage and Autonomous, I did another rewrite, and brought Saltwater Witch in line with the rest of the trilogy—third-person POV and the return of a few scenes (mostly around the science teacher, Michael Henderson). Another motivating factor was the number of emails from readers who longed for the good old Wreath story, with its detail and depth, some of which was cut from the leaner first-person version of Saltwater Witch.
Roll things forward to the summer of 2014, and I can now add Mermaid to the list. The Saltwater Witch screenplay and comic are both based on the first-person version of the story, and so I have brought it back, with some changes and additions. A big one is Kassandra begins her underwater story in Red Bear Lake with a tail—yes, with flukes. Mermaid just came out of editing, and will be released in print and ebook (it’s already available on the Kindle).www.SaltwaterWitch.com