Author: Kiri R. Newton
Publisher: Bookpal Austrailia
For far too long these sailor-drowning, ship-sinking sea sirens have been portrayed as happy, peaceful creatures who want nothing more than to fall in love with a prince and live happily ever after. Undertow is an unconventional twist on one of the oldest mythological creatures known to man.
About Kiri R. Newton
Its weird right but as an author I could tell you about my characters inside out and yet when people ask me to talk about myself I go all quiet. Anyways, here I go.
I am a child of ‘91 born in Jandowae, a tiny little town out past Dalby. When I was five my parents decided to pack everything up and move to Tonga in the South Pacific after Dad visited there and mum fell in love with the place after reading a book about it. So I grew up in a third world country, fluent in a second language by the time I was eight and lived amongst the locals who I was friends with.
When I was thirteen my father passed away and due to the fact that the government refused to pay my mum a pension over there like they did my father, we were forced to move back to Australia.
As for my writing career, I started writing progressively longer short stories in Grade 5 where one teacher noted on my report card that ‘I had unique ideas and an unusual talent’. By Grade 7 I had completed my first novel a post-apocalyptic fiction where cats are the highest life form and live basically as we do and follows the lives of a litter of cats, the characters based on a litter of cats belonging to my neighbour. I continued writing different things from horsey stories to Phantom of the Opera fan-fiction right through my teenage years, nothing serious, mostly just a lot of scribbling.
In Grade 12 I realized that if I was going to be serious about being a writer I needed to finish stories, not just have a lot of random scribbles to my name. So forgoing all my assignments I finished my second book called Dynamite which is an Australiana tale about a racehorse. Two years later I went on holidays to Fiji, came home and three months later Undertow was completed. In the middle there I wrote a Tolkien-esque fantasy epic called The Dark Assassin with my now ex-boyfriend. The year after that I completed Hazardous, which will be my next published title.
Is your next door neighbour a mermaid?
Another thing with Undertow is that I mention a few times mer-folk that have been banished for a variety of reasons. And due the fact that mermaids can live quite happily out of the water provided they remain well hydrated the chances that your secretive next door neighbour is a mermaid is very likely. The trouble is land based mermaids look just like everyone else, which makes spotting them hard but there’s a few giveaways if you know what to look for.
For starters land based mer-folk are often secretive. I mean they have a tail and they are not supposed to exist so you’d be secretive too. Generally if they have a massive salt-water pool in their back yard and a twelve foot fence, that’s a bit of a giveaway as well. Mermaids also avoid chlorine pools as it messes with their skin. Mermaids don’t like getting caught in the rain for obvious reasons though they do love pina coladas. Mermaids can drink like a fish, so if your friend holds their alcohol abnormally well they are either a mermaid or an alcoholic. Try to get the facts before you accuse any of your friends of either.
Mermaids are fanatical about keeping hydrated, many carrying bottles of water on them or plenty of loose change to duck into the nearest shop. Long hair isn’t always a clue, some mermaids do keep their hair short, it just depends on the mermaid in question. Under a microscope the difference between human and mermaid eyes is apparent but the chances that your neighbour will let you examine their eyeballs under a microscope are unlikely. Their respiratory system is also different but the chance of you figuring this out without being done for murder is also unlikely. Height and weight is no giveaway either, mer-folk from colder climates are shorter though North Sea mermaids are often tall and burly. Selkies often have longer nails that the other mer-folk as they seem to grow faster but they look just like normal nails so this isn’t really helpful either.
Mermaids though do like to keep a bit of the ocean on them at all times. It can range from a key ring with a shell on it to owning a massive aquarium that takes up half their living room. The love of seafood is a giveaway as well. So if your friend wants to have sushi for breakfast, fish and chips for lunch and a seafood buffet with the lot for dinner they are likely a mermaid or just pregnant with weird cravings. Again do your homework.
Of course the biggest giveaway is their dorsal patterns that start at the base of their tail-bone and usually ends just below their shoulder blades. These patterns are a variety of colours and each pattern is unique to the individual though reflects the family they come from. Your best bet is somehow convincing your secretive neighbour to take their shirt off. That saying it could also be a tattoo, so tread carefully.
All in all it is entirely possible that your shy next door neighbour is a mermaid and it is possible to decipher. If they reveal their secret to you then feel worthy, you have just been endowed with a massive secret and for heavens sakes don’t ring up the Ellen Show and tell them about it.