Kindled A New Idea In My Mind

Hermione Lee Author Interview

The Lost Siren follows a young and beautiful siren who loses her memory and when she starts to regain it, realizes she must seek redemption for past actions. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Last year, I wrote a book called Where the Magic Lies, which Literary Titan has also kindly reviewed and granted the gold book award. There is a chapter in it about amnesia, and that was the trigger that kindled a new idea in my mind. What if a story began with a character with amnesia? It would be like a mystery, as the character doesn’t know anything about themself, and there could be countless possibilities for their true identity. I’ve always wanted to write a mermaid tale, and since I played around with my cover designing app and with the help of Shutterstock, came up with a cover I adored, I decided I would have to write The Lost Siren as soon as possible.

Aquila remains strong despite finding out about her past and realizing that her old self could ruin her hope for a happy future. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

The theme of redemption and righting one’s wrongs is important in this story. Also, I did an experiment with Aquila—the same one I did with many of my other female protagonists, Azalea Wood from The First Buds of Spring and Amethyst Quartz from Where the Magic Lies. I made these characters feminine but strong. Now, I received criticism regarding the protagonist of my first book, Alexandria Richardson from In the Name of the Otherworld. Some readers didn’t like her because she was too masculine, and they believed some of her remarks were offensive to feminine women. In other words, she was too politically correct. Of course, I wasn’t happy when the criticism reached my ears, because I felt misunderstood. I didn’t mean to bash anyone at all, and it was unfair the readers automatically assumed I believed what my main character believed! But at the same time, their words got me thinking—would it be possible to create a female character strong and independent, yet graceful and romantic all in equal measure? My three babies—Azalea, Amethyst, and Aquila did it, or at least in my humble opinion. 

I encourage people to view my characters as separate individuals instead of labeling their character traits as masculine or feminine, and respect their uniqueness no matter whether they are male or female. In fact, this is something that should be valued in real life, too—to have a heart big enough to accept people of all types and not judge them or label them in a certain way. No matter whether you are a feminine female, a masculine female, a masculine male, a feminine male, or none of these or all of these, you deserve to be you. Having been a victim of bullying, I can’t stress the importance of this enough. Back to the point I made about gender roles, I sincerely hope everyone, regardless of gender, can relate to my characters, regardless of gender, either. Personality traits should be viewed as neutral and not marked masculine or feminine. Everyone should feel free to identify with any trait.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Redemption is obviously a main theme. There is also an underlying message in the story: don’t judge people based on first impressions. Everard and Raphael, Aquila’s two love interests, are stark contrasts. Everard is charming and gentle at first glance, but he turns out to be a liar who abandons Aquila instead of helping her face her past. Raphael, on the other hand, appears aloof at first, but he shows concern for Aquila when she is in trouble. Just because someone is friendly and adorable doesn’t always mean they have a heart of gold. And it’s also true the other way around—just because someone seems unapproachable and standoffish doesn’t always mean they don’t crave warmth and affection. This is a message that applies to all relationships and friendships alike.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

It’s been a long time since I finished The Lost Siren, which was last August! I went on to write Within the Walls, a YA paranormal fantasy about two students discovering the dark secrets of their boarding school. And after that was A Gathering of Tales, a YA dark fantasy novel with romantic elements centered around the adventures of four protagonists from well-known fairy tales. After that came Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, a prequel and retelling of Alice in Wonderland, told from the Queen of Hearts’ perspective and explaining how she went insane and became evil. Then, I wrote Where the Darkness Lies, a sequel to Where the Magic Lies, and finally, I finished Snowfall, a YA fantasy romance about a cursed ice witch finding love. Right now I’m working on Stars, Clouds, and Shadows, a paranormal romance about an angel and devil falling in love with each other. However, Snowfall might be my next publication. I hope to release it in January because it’s a snowy book, and because I want to get it published on my Mom’s birthday. 

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Aquila Hannigan has no recollection of her past. When she swims to Glacies, a whimsical island with ice pyramids and golden palm trees, a young fisherman takes her under his wing, and the two soon become more than friends. Yet one day, he accuses her of being a murderer and claims she was lying about her amnesia. Abandoned on a snowy island by him and left to freeze to death, Aquila is bereft of hope until Raphael, the king of Glacies, rescues her. However, when she falls for him and their relationship blossoms, an incident triggers her lost memories, and she recalls everything. To protect Raphael and atone for her sins in the past, Aquila must embark on a journey of redemption and right her wrongs, a mission that will likely cost her her life and her future.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on January 14, 2023, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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