Ally Condie - celebrated author of the Matched Trilogy and brand new Atlantia - answers my question and many others in a great interview set up by Goodreads
Goodreads has a great habit of asking people who have given an author's book a five star rating to ask questions that will be selected and featured in a Goodreads interview with such author.
I have participated many times, but this is the first time one of my questions was featured!
This is what it was:
"Raquel: I would love to know what inspired you to write about sirens. What I loved about the Matched series is how it surprised me. I expected a soft love story but got a gritty survival romance. I wonder if Atlantia will surprise us and change the way we think about mermaids. How are the sirens from Atlantia different from our popular (yet still lovely) Little Mermaid? Are they good or evil?
I hope Atlantia surprises you! :) There aren't any mermaids in Atlantia, but the story was heavily influenced by The Little Mermaid (the Hans Christian Andersen tale, NOT the Disney version). The original fairy tale is dark and beautiful, and the character longs to be above in a way that is extremely poignant—and the story has a very sad ending! (SPOILER: In the real version the little mermaid DOES NOT get the prince! She dies!) I wanted my character Rio to have that same longing and suffering that the original tale had. And then I think the idea of water automatically led me to the idea of sirens and to their voices and to what would happen if someone had to suppress their voice and who they are (as Rio has to do with her voice). The sirens in the book are good and evil. They are complicated. They are very, very human."
I loved that she answered my question, and loved reading about all the other amazing questions as well. I was very excited about the fact that Atlantia is a Stand Alone. I had no idea, and that got it to jump to one of the top books of my "to read" list!
What did you think about the interview?