11th Jul 19


Return to a world of water-witch potions, telephone fish and talking seahorses in BAD MERMAIDS - and this time, the mermaids are on very thin ice indeed!

There are some very bad mermaids on the run, hidden magical ice creatures that need to be found, and shopping to be done in the chilly waters of Frostopia! Author SIBEAL POUNDER tells us more!

Q: If you had a choice, which of your worlds would you inhabit, Witches (Witch Wars series) or Mermaids (Bad Mermaids series)?

A: I'm not sure I could choose! I'd love to live in Hammerhead Heights in the Hidden Lagoon with all the sharks, but I'd also love to hang out on Ritzy Avenue eating jam with the witches!

I wrote a book called Bad Mermaids Meet The Witches for World Book Day and in it we see that the worlds of the witches and mermaids are linked - so maybe I could live in both...

Q: There are lots of different worlds in the Bad Mermaids books. How do you develop your settings and at what for you is key in creating a believable setting - and one you'll enjoy writing about?

A: I often take inspiration from real places I travel to, or create places I wish existed (like the underwater ice kingdom of Frostopia).

I think the key to creating a believable setting is to fill the world with detail - everything from who's in charge and what the world looks like to smaller details, like what food they eat, what kind of pets they have and so on. The more you build, the more believable it'll be and the more fun it will be to explore.

Q: You tend to write books that are in series - why do you like to revisit your worlds and do you ever plan to write a one-off novel?

A: I love revisiting characters and seeing how they grow and develop throughout the stories, and it's nice to give different characters the spotlight in different books.

Q: In the latest book, Bad Mermaids On Thin Ice, we visit the secretive world of Frostopia. Did anything particular inspire how you shaped it?

A: Frostopia was one of the mermaid places I was most excited to create. I love the idea of a frozen underwater world and the sea creatures - killer whales, seals and polar bears - were so fun to include.

There's a scene with polar bear cubs having swimming lessons with baby mermaids - I loved adding details like that.

Q: There is a brilliant range of characters in the latest story - did any stand out for you?

A: I love Martitza Mist, the water witch. She used an immortality paste on her tail when she was seven, so she looks like a child but speaks like a wise old woman, because she's actually extremely old. She says 'dears' a lot.

Q: Steve the talking seahorse has always been a bit of a mystery and you explore that in this book. Did you always plan that - while tiny - he would have a big role to play in this story?

A: I always wanted to explore where he came from as his whole identity revolves around being a miracle (because he's the only sea creature who can speak).

He soon learns he may not be the only one (so he describes himself as 'a miracle until proven otherwise'), and in this latest book he finds out who he really is and where he comes from.

I wanted him to be more than just a sidekick character - he's one of the gang and gets the same treatment as the mermaids.

Q: There are shopaholics among your mermaids and lots of shopping to be done in Frostopia. Which of their shops would you like to pop into?

A: I would love to visit Glambey's Frozen Fashion, mainly because it's above water and you get there on a gondola pulled by a seal.

Q: How much of your story do you plan before you start to write?

A: It depends... usually the broad brush strokes are planned well in advance (when writing a series, these can be mapped out at the stage of writing the first book), but the details happen as I go along.

Q: Any favourite illustrations in the latest book?

A: I love them all, Jason has done an incredible job again! But if I had to choose, it would be the one with the mermaids lounging on lilos in Pinkly Lagoon.

Q: Which of your characters would you like to go on holiday with?

A: I'd love to go on holiday with Mimi, as she'd be so fun to travel with and she can hear what sea creatures are saying (she's a fishtalker), so if we were swimming, she could alert me if anything was going to sting or bite me.

Q: And where would you take them?

A: In the real world, I'd take Mimi to Japan because she loves beautiful things, and Japan is the most beautiful country in the world, and she also loves CARTOONS, and Japan has the best cartoons. I also think she'd probably like their unusual ice cream flavours, like the sweet potato one.

Q: How many Bad Mermaids books are you planning to write?

A: There's technically four right now as I wrote Bad Mermaids Meet the Witches for World Book Day. And yes, there will be another - I'm working on it right now, but I can't say much about it just yet!

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