Guest Post: Tricia Rayburn (Siren)

Saturday, August 7, 2010 |

  • The Melting of Maggie Bean
  • Maggie Bean Stays Afloat
  • Maggie Bean in Love
  • Ruby's Slippers
  • Siren (Egmont)

Tricia Rayburn used to save her weekly allowance for two things: the Scholastic Book Club and her family's bi-annual trip to the Smithaven Mall, where she loaded up on the latest Baby-Sitter's Club and Sweet Valley Twins books. Years later, Tricia discovered her love of writing for tweens and teens while taking a children's literature course in graduate school. Her first novel, The Melting of Maggie Bean, started as an assignment in that course, turned into her thesis, and was eventually published by Simon & Schuster as one of six launch titles for M!X, a line for tweens. Maggie Bean Stays Afloat and Maggie Bean in Love followed, and were joined by Ruby's Slippers and Siren in July 2010. Tricia lives on eastern Long Island.
"I'd love to know more about the research she had to do for Siren! I would love to have her discuss the different types of research that was required to write Siren due to its many mystical surroundings."

Before I began writing Siren, all I knew about the sirens of mythology was that they were lovely ladies who did some not-so-nice things to the poor sailors they lured in from the sea. I also knew they weren’t mermaids, even though the two have become quite interchangeable over time. What I didn’t realize was that they weren’t even close to being mermaids! Despite their waterfront location they had wings instead of fins, and were considered dangerous “bird-women”—not “fish-women.”

This discovery was about as far as my research went. I didn’t want my sirens to be birds! I wanted them to be as drawn to the sea as men were drawn to them. I wanted them to be able to swim underwater without ever having to come up for air. I wanted them to be physically dependent on saltwater so that the longer they went without it, the worse they’d feel and the weaker they’d become. And I wanted their relationship with the ocean to be the only relationship they couldn’t control.

So in some ways, my sirens are a mythological siren-mermaid mix. They lack tails and scales but can swim to the bottom of the ocean and back—and still have enough air left to sing seductive songs to poor, unsuspecting boys. Not quite the way things went down in The Odyssey…which actually makes Winter Harbor’s happenings that much harder for Vanessa and her friends to believe!


Thanks so much to Tricia for stopping by!


Darlyn said...

I love mermaid! I'm going to put this on my tbr list.Thanks for the interview ;p

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