On October 31st, Maria Lewis’ new book, It Came From the Deep, will be released world-wide via ebook distributors and I’m so excited to read it and be part of the fantastic blog tour taking place to promote this awesome new release.
I’m incredibly pleased to share a Q&A with Maria Lewis in anticipation of It Came From the Deep.
Your new book It Came From the Deep is set on the Gold Coast and features mermen. What was your inspiration for the book, and why mermaids/mermen?
I’ve always wanted to do a merman story and see if it could be played straight and serious. That’s not to say there aren’t jokes in the book, of course there are, but there’s no one spouting lines like “moisture is the essence of wetness”. As for the inspiration, I used to compete as an iron woman on the Gold Coast for over a decade which involved a lot of training – three times a day – and a lot of time swimming up and down a pool or paddling out through the surf. My mind always tended to wander during those sessions and I would make up stories, which is how It Came From The Deep was birthed. Given the number of canals, rivers, creeks, beaches and lakes on the Gold Coast it’s a very easy place to imagine up something like this.
You’re known for writing strong, female characters. What do you see as the strengths that help define Kaia Craig and how is she similar or different to characters you’ve written in the past?
Tommi Grayson is the character I’m best known for at the moment due to the Who’s Afraid? series being as wide-reaching as it has been (thank heavens) and in a nutshell, Tommi is made up of a lot of hard edges. She speaks her mind, she’s not afraid of confrontation and she often dives into situations thinking with her heart rather than her head. Kaia Craig, in contrast, is a lot softer in the sense that she’s a quieter person and a lot more cautious. She’s also 18, whereas Tommi (being in her twenties) has a much clearer idea of who she is as a person and who she is as a woman. Kaia is still figuring that out, which is fun to explore as she transitions through that period where you’re – as Britney Spears put it – not yet a girl, not yet a woman. Both ladies have really been through it in terms of serious challenges they’ve had to face, but how they have faced them is very different. Kaia Craig also comes from a position of privilege – she’s the golden girl – whereas Tommi has always been the scrappy underdog (under werewolf, if you will). Both Kaia and Tommi are very loyal to those they love (friends, family, you get the drift) and I like to think of them as each being bad-ass in different ways.
You’ve written stories featuring creatures based off of the Wolfman and now the Creature from the Black Lagoon, are there any other creatures that you would like to write about?
Oh heck yes! I have a fantasy series I want to kick off based around another classic Universal movie monster – The Invisible Man. Except this character is a woman, because Lord knows there’s already enough dude-centric stories out there. I do also love vampire tales, but it has ben done so often – and in many cases, very well – that I don’t know if I have anything to say.
You chose to self-publish It Came From the Deep and release it as an ebook – what has been the most positive part of this experience for you and do you see yourself self-publishing again in the future?
One of the reasons I wanted to self-publish It Came From The Deep as an e-book was it meant I could make it available for everyone – worldwide – on the same day and at the same time. That kind of instant access to readers was a major positive to me, especially given the staggered nature of traditional publishing as it takes time for books to be bought, sold and distributed in different countries and territories. It was also an opportunity for me to learn a lot, having never done this kind of release before.
It Came From the Deep is a science-fiction thriller – what are some of your favourite science-fiction (or thriller) books?
Oooooh, great question! My all-time fave would probably be When She Woke, which I guess is maybe a cross between a science-fiction dystopian thriller? I also adore Maria V. Snyder’s Inside Out and Outside In duo of novels, along with comic book series Saga which is a super high concept, high fantasy science-fiction thriller. Keri Arthur’s The Outcast Series is a really interesting spin on the genre and I just finished Kim Falconer’s The Blood In The Beginning. After I announced It Came From The Deep, that story was recommended to me on Twitter as being a cool spin on science-fiction mermaid stories.
An elderly professor is murdered, leaving a puzzling crime scene for police to unravel and a laboratory housing all kinds of marine life. But something is missing … something huge.
Recent highschool graduate Kaia Craig has problems of her own, with her career as an ironwoman on the Gold Coast in jeopardy after a horrific accident. Yet someone wants to hold her accountable.
After nearly drowning in Lake Pelutz and her attackers on the run, Kaia is left with more than just physical injuries. She’s convinced she saw something in the depths of the lake: something that choose to spare her. Uncertain whether she’s running towards the discovery of a friend or foe, Kaia begins digging into a mystery that may have bigger ramifications than she or any of her friends can fathom.
You can check out Maria Lewis on the following platforms: