Today I am featuring Tera Lynn-Childs as part of her blog tour for her latest Young Adult novel Forgive My Fins. It was published by Templar on July 1st. Mermaids seem to be a popular theme in children's literature at the moment and this is definitely one of the best. I hope you enjoy reading about Tera's influences and why she decided to write a book all about mermaids.
One of the reasons I love mermaids so much is that I’ve always been a water baby. I love being in, on, or near the water. I love long showers and hot baths and walks in the rain. When I was younger I was even a competitive swimmer. I spent countless mornings, afternoons, and summer days in the pool, pounding out laps.
I have to confess that I started swimming because of a boy. In fourth grade, I had a crush on a boy who was on a swim team. At the end of the year show-and-tell he brought in a giant paper bag of ribbons he’d won in races. It was so impressive. I’m not sure if I was more smitten with him or the bag of ribbons, but I went home and told my parents I wanted to join a team.
My all-time favorite swimming memory is also a mermaid memory. I was on a summer swim team in high school and we had just finished morning practice at the local university’s outdoor pool. All of the other swimmers had gone home and one of the coaches was waiting with me for my mom to show up. He was picking up things around the pool area while I stayed in the water. I swam down to the deep end, beneath the diving platforms where the pool floor sloped down to ear-popping depths. I took a deep breath, sank below the water, and floated down to the angled bottom. Sunlight gleamed down through the crystal clear water, the pale blue surface of the pool glowed around me as my hair fanned out in golden waves, like seaweed in a gentle current. In that moment, I felt like a mermaid. I knew that, if I ever magically became a creature of the sea, that was exactly what it would feel like.
To this day, every time I get in the water I think I’m trying to recreate that moment. That perfect experience. I try to recreate that moment in Forgive My Fins too. Through Lily, I get to relive my mermaid experience, and make it even bigger. Yes I still hope that one day my legs will magically turn into fins and gills will suddenly fill my throat, and through my writing I get closer to that dream than I ever can in real life.
Oh, just in case you were wondering, I now have a big bag of swimming ribbons of my very own.