Merworld News: Ice Floe Interview with the Author


Self-interview with and by Melissa Birling

MB: Hi, Melissa. Thanks for joining us today.

Melissa: Hello. I'm happy to be here. Thanks for having me.

MB: We're here to to talk about your new book, Ice Floe. Coming out this spring if I'm not mistaken.

Melissa: That's right, end of April.

MB: So exciting. What can readers expect from this debut novel?

Melissa: In summary, Ice Floe is the young adult fantasy novel you’ve been waiting for your whole life. Expect a mashup of fight the system action and romance – minus the damsel in distress, plus sarcasm and a dash of anti-heroinism.

MB: Why is your main character a mermaid? You could’ve made our heroine, Glacia, less fishy.

Melissa: As someone who feels like I frequently juggle different worlds and varied interests, I can relate to the juxtaposition mermaids represent. Scales and skin. Rescuers and killers. Land and water.

MB: Wait…what do you mean killers?

Melissa: Sirens luring captains to crash their ship into the rocks. Sailors jumping overboard because of mermaids’ enchanted singing. Folklore is full of tales of less-than-flowery mermaids with several skeletons in their closet.

Ice Floe insider tip: There are no pirate ships in my novel. Pirate ships are overrated and prone to wood rot.

Ice Floe insider, insider tip: Lacus – the underwater city in Ice Floe – is too cold, and dead bodies don’t decay quickly enough for skeleton collecting to be a viable hobby. Now…collecting frozen human corpses? That’s a more realistic goal in Lacus. And not too far off from the truth.

MB: Are you implying the mermaids in Ice Floe aren’t fairy-tale princess innocent?

Melissa: Ice Floe mermaids are not of the sit on rock while combing hair, singing songs only in a major key variety. These are combat trained, take-no-prisoner mermaids who follow several cringe-worthy societal rules. Consider yourself warned.

MB: That’s…umm…unsettling. Do these unapologetic females kick butt on land too?

Melissa: Obviously. You don’t know much about mermaids, do you?

MB: How do their tails work on land?

Melissa: As soon as their tails dry, mermaid scales shrink up to form a unique bottom – like a skirt or shorts – to complement their human legs. Dry scales are cloth-like and flexible in nature, allowing mermaids the same freedom of movement on land that humans enjoy. Also they don’t have as much laundry because their bottoms turn back into scales the moment they get wet.

MB: If you were a mermaid, what kind of bottoms would you want on land?

Melissa: Skorts. Cute and practical.

MB: And what kind of tail would you have wet?

Melissa: Orca or manatee.

MB: I’m sorry, what?

Melissa: Orca because they’re an apex predator and crazy intelligent. Manatee because they get to float around in warm water all day eating lettuce. See above for my “varied interests” comment.

MB: Is an orca or manatee tail…errr…mermaid even possible?

Melissa: Absolutely. Mermaids, Mermen, Wilds, Orcas, Selkies – all types of mercreatures. Stay close to the Ice Floe Series books as they’re released, and you’ll learn about all sorts of amphibians.

MB: Ooooh, a series. So you’re already writing Book 2?

Melissa: As a fish swims.

MB: What does that even mean?”

Melissa: Yes, I’m writing Book 2.

MB: On that note, we're just about out of time. Anything else you want to say to readers before we wrap up?

Melissa: Just live large and swim often. I heart you readers.


Post interview, unmic’d.

MB: How is it interviewing yourself for a blog on the website?

Melissa: Pretty weird, actually.

MB: Couldn’t agree with you more. Do you think we should use this content?

Melissa: Jury’s still out.

MB: What are the chances someone reads this far?

Melissa: Some permutation of negative infinity.

MB: Maybe we should give the reader a reward if they do make it this far?

Melissa: It’s like you’re in my brain. Readers can send us an email at [email protected] with "Woohoo, I read it all" in the subject line. Jot a quick note about your favorite mermaid myth, aquatic movie or book character, or other sea-inspired factoid and we’ll send you a fun download!

Until next time. You flipping rock!

~Melissa (and Melissa)