Title: Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings | Publisher: Sourcebooks/ Jabberwocky | Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary Fantasy | Release Date: December 1st, 2010
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My latest tween novel, REAL MERMAIDS DON'T WEAR TOE RINGS, is about a plus-sized aqua-phobic mer-girl who's trying to balance the two-legged drama of everyday teenage life with her quest to rescue her mermaid mother from really scary mer-dudes.
The YA-5 describes it as ".an unputdownable adventure, part Judy Blume, part Hans Christian Anderson, and 100% delightful, this fun, fresh tale (tail?) will have girls begging for a sequel."
While Kirkus says ".the author keeps suspense high and her prose moving while tapping straight into young teens' angst about friends, enemies and boys."
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Just like my own kids, I often wonder if I should have renamed my characters. Choosing character names is always so tricky for me. I once wrote an unpublished book and named my characters after spammers who kept sending me junk mail. That's how crazy character-naming can make me.
Do you have a specific writing style?
This recent novel is written in first person past tense but I've also written in third person past tense and first person present tense. I don't believe one point of view or tense is harder or easier to write than the other. Each point of view has its drawbacks and its strengths but certain stories are just meant to be told in certain ways.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I'm pretty sure it started when I won a newspaper contest in 4th or 5th grade when I wrote a caption for a picture of a hippopotamus watching a man play golf. I think I won a $25 gift certificate to The Jean Factory. $25/sentence seemed like a pretty good rate of return at the time.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Read, read, read. Write, write, write. Revise, revise, revise. Share you work with others.
How does your family feel about having a writer in the family? Do they read your books?
My kids actually crack me up on a daily basis, which is extremely helpful for a writer who writes humor for kids. Naturally, they are always in my acknowledgements.
Do you write full time? What did you do before you became a writer? Or Still do?
I would describe my self as a Full Time Stay at Home Writer Mom.
What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?
I'm definitely a planner. I describe my outlining process here: http://www.heleneboudreau.com/?p=863
Do you have a favorite object that is pertinent to your writing? If so what is it and please describe it. (Pen, Coffee Cup, Pet, Blanket, Chair)
My scarf. I am always chilly but I need to be warm when I write or else I can't concentrate. If you came to my house on any given day, I'd probably greet you at the door wearing multiple layers, a down vest and a scarf. Yup, INSIDE the house.
Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing? Example..get coffee, blanket, paper, pen and a comfy place
I work from a laptop and really like the flexibility of moving around as a write, depending on my mood. I might spend a couple of hours at my treadmill desk, walking and writing, or at my kitchen counter while my kids are doing their homework. But sometimes, I just want to kick back and work while stretched out on the sofa. Like I'm doing now.
What main genre do you write in?
Teen / Young Adult