Mermaid’s Madness

We set aside Viable Paradise for a moment to promote Mermaid’s Madness, Jim Hines newest book in the Princess series. Jim has graciously agreed to entertain questions from his incredible legion of loyal readers, and being one of his minions in that regard, I’m happy to post his answer to my question.

To see all of the questions Jim has posted around the internet, link to Happy Mermaid Day! The website link up above will reveal not only awesome information about Jim, but also pictures of the book cover for Mermaid’s Madness, so you can identify it through binoculars in the wild at your local bookstore.

Now back to…um…5000 words by Thursday.


Q: In the Princess series, what makes you choose certain characters as protagonists, and certain characters as antagonists? What princess have you enjoyed working with the most thus far?

A: In Stepsister Scheme, I wanted to start with three of the most popular princesses, so teaming Cinderella up with Snow White and Sleeping Beauty made sense to me. Making the little mermaid into an antagonist was trickier. In many ways, her story felt the most tragic to me, even before I started messing with it. Whereas my three heroines found one another and formed their own little family, Lirea (the little mermaid) is very much alone. In some ways, she’s what at least two of the other three princesses could have become had they taken a very different path.

Red Riding Hood was an easy one, and came entirely from a throwaway line in Stepsister about Red Hood becoming one of the most feared assassins in the world. Once I wrote that line, I knew I needed a showdown between her and Talia!

As for my favorite princess? It honestly depends on which book I’m writing, or even which scene I’m working on at the time. In Mermaid, I love the glimpses we get at Talia’s personality, things she normally keeps hidden. As I’m working on book four, I’m having a blast writing about Snow White as she [redacted for spoilers]. But then I’ll write a scene where Danielle’s family is threatened–either her husband and son, or her adopted family, it makes no difference–and I absolutely adore the way this normally quiet woman goes into full-on angry lioness mode.

Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

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