Daphne’s a typical mermaid, and at least according to her, that’s a problem. She’s courageous and has a beautiful singing voice, but lacks the power of an elemental, the ability to command water with the sound of her voice. Jealous of her best friend, she makes a deal with a sea-witch, only to be betrayed, in place of her beautiful tail and flukes Daphne’s left beached with a pair of human legs. The spell keeping Daphne looking human will become permanent, unless Daphne can hunt down and bring the scheming Lorelei a unicorn horn before the next full moon.
Unable to reach her friends and family for help, Daphne doesn’t know how to walk, much less where to find a unicorn or how to catch one. Even if she’s successful, Daphne’s still not sure if she can trust Lorelei and her pint-sized kraken to keep their end of the bargain and let her return to the sea.
read an excerpt...
"You'll see lots as you travel from place to place," Daphne told the small dolphin. "Come, your mother won't forgive me if I let you roam from the pod."
Why hurry? Echor asked as he swam, spinning around different plants and sponges that grew along the rocks, before focusing in on a vibrant snail. It was not a very old reef, though it was well inhabited by many vividly-colored, small fish. The young dolphin seemed to take pleasure in disturbing them and watching them scurry into their small hiding crevices and among the anemones. You're so lucky that you get to stay in your town all the time. This part of the sea is so beautiful!
"I think it would be neat to see so much of the ocean," Daphne said, thinking of her small town of Thranda. Unlike the dolphins, who often travelled long distances in a single day, most merfolk lived in towns unless they left their communities to hunt or travel to another community. She had known members of his family since she was a little mermaid, and only got to see them a few times a year when they passed through her home to feed in a nearby bay. She heard a series of warnings behind her—the other dolphins had detected something with their echolocation. Unless it was something exceptionally large, they should have been safe within the pod, but Echor was very young. "Echor, let's return to your family." The young dolphin had wandered off while Daphne had turned her head, chasing a seal that had left her bob, trying to swim away from Echor.
"Echor!" Daphne called, swimming after him. She caught up to him, then looked over her shoulder as she heard a familiar sound. An orca! Daphne suppressed a shudder. It was large, but far enough away for her to find a hiding space. Still, killer whales almost always travelled in groups. The killer whale dove when he spotted her. She knew the others would want to help, but they were no match for an orca. He swam quickly towards her and Echor. Daphne knew she would be hard pressed to out-swim the large creature.
Hide! the orca told her.
Daphne then saw the immense shadow and wooden keel of a ship following the orca. The killer whale dove deep, though the water was too clear and shallow to truly hide his massive form. A harpoon followed him, missed, and was quickly pulled back to the surface by a rope. Another harpoon plunged into the water, and then another. The rough waters churned green and grey in the ship's wake, and Echor's warning chatter only told her that there was another human vessel. It came from Daphne's left, and it dragged a net behind it.
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about L.T. Getty...
L.T. Getty is a rural paramedic from Manitoba. She enjoys writing science fiction and fantasy and generally being creative.
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Does this book have a special meaning to you? i.e. where you found the idea, its symbolism, its meaning, who you dedicated it to, whatmade you want to write it?
I dedicated this book to my nieces, but the one I wrote it for is Scarlet, the oldest one.
We had a small book launch party for my novel Tower of Obsidian and my niece, about 4 years old, walked up to me with about $3.50 in spare change to buy a book. She gave me a hug and I knew then and there I was going to give her something appropriate some day.
This is a story about growth. Daphne starts out as a very jealous character, but she’s not a bad person, so much as insecure. Esperanza, the coheroine, seems very different in that she’s very self-sacrificing and seems to be a victim of unfortunate circumstances, but it’s an immature version of being selfless; her family’s situation wasn’t going to change until she started helping Daphne and shenanigans ensued. The girls go through their ordeals and they learn to meet somewhere in the middle – even Sean, the third major character in the story, starts out as a generically nice guy with a crush on Esperanza, and she for the most part likes him and thinks he’s cute, but he’s not anything other than the guy they’re using for a ride. It’s when he learns his family history hunting unicorns, he gets a bigger purpose – the Sean at the beginning of the book would have stuck by Esperanza and not betrayed Daphne, but he knew that they needed the horn back and that took precedence over everything else.
Where do you get your storylines from?
Inspiration comes from all over. Can we blame the sheer amount of unicorn-related merchandising from when I was a kid? Not this cutesy-fru-fru stuff I’m seeing today. Unicorns, Pegasus, and other magical horses were in My Little Pony and sweet and wholesome, sure – but that was the entry-level to suck you down the path. Rainbow Brite and She-Ra were deceptively colorful and, while still meant for little kids, were about adventure and both heroines had magical horses. And to be fair, the very first episode of the original My Little Pony had them up against a monster that looked like the devil, so maybe I’m a little off
Two minutes of wholesomeness followed by dragons kidnapping two of them. https://youtu.be/O-Ll5zaPcIE
Five year old me doesn’t understand a thing about Valkyries but really wants her mother to let her frolic on the back of some 900 lb animal.
Check out this cover art from the game King’s Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella. It’s a thinking item-gathering quest, I never beat it, but tell me this doesn’t grab your inner 8-year old’s imagination.
Before you get too excited, this was from like 1992, you can watch the entire playthrough of the game here https://youtu.be/vCqDIRMRTTY
I’m more of a button-smasher kind of game player.
Was this book easier or more difficult to write than others? Why?
Mostly easier, as it was meant to stand on its own and be fun without dragging. Honestly, I just thought about what I liked about stories like Narnia and the Wizard of Oz, and wrote a story I would have liked to have read as a kid.
Because it wasn’t my first novel, it wasn’t as hard as other projects. I also wasn’t really trying to do anything super hard or take a lot of chances, so it’s fairly easy for people unfamiliar with the genre to also read this, whereas other books I love I would recommend after they get their feet wet. Hence, I didn’t have to spend a lot of time explaining the technicalities or incredibly long backstory to the reader. Here’s my mermaids, and they’re not that complicated, and now one of them’s on a quest. I think part of the reasoning for this was because I was writing for a middle grade audience, I wanted it to be friendly and have tropes people might recognize from other tales.
Do you only write one genre?
No, but mostly what I do is science fiction and fantasy.
Tower of Obsidian is Historical Fantasy, Dreams of Mariposa is Steampunk Horror, and the Rogue Healer series is a Sword and Sorcery. These titles are really all aimed at adult audiences, but Dreams of Mariposa is the only one I’d say is for an audience 16+. It depends on maturity and reading level, really.
Give us a picture of where you write, where you compose these words…is it Starbucks, a den, a garden…we want to know your inner sanctum?
I don’t tend to write in just one area. I bought myself a desk and I have an office, but I’ll be honest I mostly work at my kitchen table on the main table because I love the natural lighting there. I will give a shout out to The Daily Grind Café in Winnipeg; it was my go-to spot for University/Paramedicine/Fire College and I still like to go there and write and edit once in a while.
And finally, of course…was there any specific event or circumstance that made you want to be a writer?
I’m a naturally creative person and I find if I don’t get an outlet I will annoy you normies. It’s better to let me have a little down time or I will draw all over the white board at work. It can be drawing, painting, shoot even designing and doing wood working projects is fine.
Creativity is an off shoot from problem solving, but if I’m left with mundane, boring work for too long I will zone out and think of ways to make it more efficient or day dream a story. I think a lot of my childhood was ‘hurry up and wait’ so it was a natural thing for me to be bored waiting for other people to catch up, so I doodled and designed things.