Amber Garr ~ Syrenka series Q&A with Fallon
Mermaid Month Q & A with Author Amber Garr about her Syrenka series
1) What inspired your Syrenka series?
I loved the idea of a forbidden love between two different species and of course, I LOVE the underwater world! I originally wrote a short story about Eviana and Brendan and that eventually became the first chapter in Promises, and that eventually led to a trilogy.
2) How much research did you have to do, to come up with so many mythological water creatures?
I researched a little bit about the selkie folklore to make sure that I could incorporate some of the myths into my character’s actions. The water sprites (particularly Abhainn) developed from a collection of myths that I researched (water sprites, kelpies, etc.). I created the ratchets out of my own twisted mind.
3) How many mythological creatures are in the Syrenka series and what are their names and origins?
Well, first we have the merfolk. And I didn’t want my merfolk to live in a fantasy underwater realm. I wanted them to be just like you and me, only different in that they needed to change forms and lived in a society hidden from, but mixed with, humans. I also made them more like marine mammals (whales) where they can hold their breath for hours, but do not suddenly develop gills when they get wet.
The selkies came from Scottish folklore, where the seal form is taken once the pelt is placed over a selkie’s body. In my stories, the selkie men are driven by a natural instinct to breed with a human female, and once they feel “the call”, they can’t ignore it no matter how hard they try. Relationships with selkies and mermaids are forbidden.
And the water sprites (sprites, nerieds, naiads, kelpies, ratchets) are all some form of beings that develop from water and gain their strength by feeding on humans.
4) Were any of the characters inspired from people you know? (namely Lucian a complex character)
No, Lucian was not inspired by anyone I know. However, Marisol, the bratty little sister, did have some resemblance to a certain family member of mine who had a tendency to annoy me as a teen!
5) Do you plan to continue on with this series in the future?
Not right now. I may still write some spin off short stories, and have toyed with the idea of a spinoff book...but nothing has been set in stone, not is it on the “near future” list.
6) Are you attracted to the bad boy like Graham or Prince Charming like Kain or the boy you are forbidden to end up with like Brandon?
I’d like to say the bad/forbidden boys...but that would be a lie. In my real life, I go for the Prince Charmings. But I like to read about the others in books! Ha!
7) Who was your favorite character to write in the Syrenka series and why?
I really like writing Eviana, my main character. I liked watching her grow up and deal with all of the things she thought someone else would handle for her.
8)What inspired your love story between Abhainn and Isabel?
Abhainn needed a backstory...and what a better way than with Isabel! This is actually one of those shorts I’d like to tackle.
9) Have you always been fascinated with mermaids and other mythological creatures?
Yep! I wanted to be a mermaid (like forever), I had a huge unicorn collection growing up (and I used to dream that they were real), and my imaginary friend was a witch. I don’t think I ever wanted to live in the (boring) real world!
10) (The world you created has so much detail and is so meticulous. I have not read a story at this level) I know you are fascinated with water and ocean conservation. Did your love of ocean creatures help your vision of this world?
Absolutely! My background in marine biology came in handy when I “designed” my water creatures and discussed the underwater scenes. You know they had to be geographically accurate! Ha! And I really do envision myself living there...under the water...some day.