Friday, May 27, 2011

Book Club Discussion Questions for Sea Witch

1. Sea Witch and the Children of the Sea are based on the Orkney legends of the selkie (“The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry,” the movie “The Secret of Roan Inish” ).
‘I am a man, upo the lan,
An I am a silkie in the sea;
And when I’m far and far frae lan,
My dwelling is in Sule Skerrie.’

What did you know about the selkie legend before you read this book? How are the merfolk (selkie, finfolk) different from other shapeshifters?

2. To what extent do you think Margred “acts like a guy” in coming ashore for sex and after her one night stand with Caleb? How did you feel about her behavior?

3. For me, non-human characters are a way to explore what makes us truly human: the capacity to choose, to love, to commit. I wanted to take Margred's "otherness" seriously, both as a non-human character with a unique point of view and as a way of exploring human relationships. I had to consider how Margred’s experience and emotions within her element—her environment, the sea—would affect her thoughts and decisions on land. There’s a recurring line in the books that I use to capture the children of the sea: “We flow as the sea flows.” I adored writing Margred because she’s so amazingly sensual and sexually confident, but has so much to learn about faith, love, and tenderness.

How does Margred demonstrate her “otherness”?
Does her being a child of the sea (not human) make her more or less sympathetic as a character?

4. Caleb is a police chief and former soldier, but he has no magic powers. Would you describe Caleb as an alpha or a beta hero? How does he demonstrate his heroism?

5. Romantic Times said of Sea Fever, “This is an especially fine paranormal with strong characters, logical plotting and a great sense of place. It keeps the magic at a low burn and focuses on the people.”

How important do you feel the setting and the island community of World’s End are to Sea Witch?
Which elements are important to you?
Who was your favorite secondary character?

6. Sea Witch borrows pretty freely from Hans Christian Andersen's original "The Little Mermaid," especially in terms of Margred's search for a soul:

“So I shall die,” said the little mermaid, “and as the foam of the sea I shall be driven about never again to hear the music of the waves, or to see the pretty flowers nor the red sun. Is there anything I can do to win an immortal soul?”

The whole mythology I created for the elementals and the "First Creation" is patterned on the Creation story in Genesis.
Did you see/get the religious references?
How do you feel about their use in a paranormal romance?

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