Title: At the Heart of the Deep (A Falling in Deep Collection Novella)
Author: Carrie L. Wells
Published: June 23, 2015
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
I caught sight of his cut, thought a moment, and swam away. He floated there, treading water and wondering what would happen next. At that point, his face conveyed the pain in his side. I watched an intense sting replace what I knew of the original burning sensation of a coral abrasion, and the open wound spilled into the ocean at a steady pace.
Conceivably, I had underestimated the severity of the cut. Maybe the coral cut deeper than I thought. The blood clouded the water surrounding him, and now the problem remained of how to take the injured man across the reef without doing further damage. We still needed to cross at least two miles and climb a rocky beach. Or did we?
Before he had time to contemplate any other option, I approached him from below. I swam up to him slowly, and he did nothing. He didn’t dive to meet me or attempt to swim away. He hung vertically in the water, waiting.
He must have felt me before he could clearly see me. The water shifted as I neared, my physicality changing the flow of the ocean around me. He knew I was there, but he didn’t dive below. Was he afraid? Too hurt to move? Instead, he stayed still, moving as little as possible, allowing my approach, and keeping the blood loss at a minimum.
I moved below him and then up, along his body, until my head emerged from the inky blue water and he stared into my eyes. He let out a fast gasp and quickly sank below the surface.
1. What is your favorite mermaid story or myth?
Growing up in New England, it seems all stories were about the ocean. I know it is cliché, but I remember sitting on my grandmother’s porch, looking at the water, and wondering if Marina, the “real” little mermaid was actually out there. I guess she started it all for me.
2. What was the inspiration for your mermaid novella?
I spend a lot of time down in Vero Beach, FL where my sister lives, and since it is on the Treasure Coast there are plenty of stories about buried and found treasure. I wanted to mix pirates with mermaids, and while I didn’t quite do that here, this leads into the next book in my series, The Mark of the Mermaid, which does just that.
3. Cast your characters. If your novella was made into a movie, who would play your main characters?
Anya would be a Drew Barrymore type, independent and a bit silly. I could see her tripping in front of Luke and just laughing it off. Luke, well, I wrote him with the surfer version of Matthew McConaughey in mind. Focused and fun, at home in the water, and cut!
4. What was most challenging thing writing about mermaids?
The challenge was determining how much time to put them on land. It isn’t easy to offer mermaid human interaction in the middle of the ocean, so you need a plausible world where they walk on land.
5. Ursula or Ariel?
Ariel’s curiosity, but not her “sell my soul” naiveté.
6. What else should we know about your novella?
It’s my first! I have plenty more in the works, but I’m busy reveling in this one right now.
About the Author