Fire of the Sea by Lyndsay Johnson: Blog Tour including Interview and Exerpt

A New Young Adult Book, Fire of the Sea by Lyndsay Johnson

Sharp, sleek, and golden. Like the dagger she has worn since childhood, eighteen-year-old Aeva is all three of these things. But there is something else that this mermaid and her prized weapon share – they are both hunted.

Hidden within the caves off Iceland’s dark shore, Aeva waits to take her place as the next ruler of the Meriads. But when Aeva uses her potent and alluring song to save a drowning human, she disrupts a delicate balance. Realizing she has unexpectedly bound herself to Gunnar, Aeva is torn between duty and love.

Aeva severs one life to begin another, and soon finds herself not only rejected by the sea, but also stalked by an old enemy. As the worlds of myth and man intertwine, Aeva will challenge fate to protect her own sacred relic and the man she loves.

But legends and lies cast an intricate net. With time and safety quickly unraveling for Aeva and Gunnar, there is only one clear course: Find and defeat Delphine before she can shift again.

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1. Was there a specific moment or idea that inspired writing Fire of the Sea?
 I had a dream, actually. I’ve always had really vivid, detailed dreams. One morning I woke up after dreaming that I was a mermaid. I had rescued a pilot who had fallen from his plane (he was being dragged under by his parachute). I was swimming through all of this billowing, white fabric. It was amazing. I woke up and had to type a rough draft of what would eventually become the second chapter in my book. (*for an excerpt from this chapter, see below)

 2. Do you see bits of yourself, your family, your friends, or your life in your characters that surprise you?
 I can definitely see some of my flaws in Aeva. She worries a lot about what her course in life should be. I think that’s something inherent in all of us at some point. But I can look back at myself at 18 and see how I shared a lot of the same anxiety about life and love and which direction to take. (Granted, I wasn’t a daughter of a sea king with a heavy mantle weighing on me…)

 3. Did you always want to write. or were you brought to writing by a completely different path?
I have always loved to write. For me, there is a constant creative drive, whether it’s writing, illustrating, painting, or designing. I have degrees in graphic design and creative writing. When I was younger I wrote and illustrated a lot of stories and poetry. Once I was older, I focused on graphic design for more than ten years. But over time the desire to write began to resurface again. So I decided to just go for it! Writing offers different fulfillment creatively. I love being able to still take part in the visual arts while exploring what stories are floating around in my head, as well.

 4. Do you have any set writing routine or rituals, or do you work as inspiration strikes?
I think it’s a bit of both. Sometimes I have a day where I feel like I HAVE to sit down and just write as much as possible. Those days I feel like I am hard-wired into a steady flow of inspiration. Other days I have to set goals. When I am writing I definitely have my playlists that I listen to on repeat. And I like to have a box of Junior Mints on hand to keep up the writing energy, of course!

 5. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Oh gosh. I have to admit I loved writing so many scenes in this book. My main character, Aeva goes on quite a journey throughout the story. So there are a lot of beautiful Icelandic settings that I was able to delve into. The underwater caves were wonderful to write. I also really enjoyed the shift in the book when Aeva makes her way to land, and I could describe what that would be like for the first time. Iceland is a raw and wild place. It is just being born compared to the rest of the Earth. So to have Aeva’s first encounter with the Earth as a human happen in Iceland seemed magical to me. I had to experience what it was like for Aeva to wake up for the first time as a human. Learning the words of objects, the feel of wood and grass beneath her feet, the way that saltwater now burned her body. I had to discover it as I went along, which was really thrilling.

6. Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a different theme or idea you’d love to work with? 
 Definitely Aeva’s best friend Sissel. Sissel is a unique mermaid because she is a “Seer,” and has special abilities to see things in her mind’s eye. Sissel has a complicated and detailed back-story that was originally included in the novel. But it was adding unnecessary distraction to my plot, and seemed to slow things down. But it would make a great prequel or novella!

7. What do you do when you are not writing?
I have three children (my youngest is just over a month old). So I am very busy staying at home with my spirited kiddos every day. I am also a graphic designer, which means I have to balance all of my motherly and creative pursuits. In my pockets of spare time, I like to watch movies (I could watch the new version of Pride and Prejudice on repeat forever), go exploring in our small mountain town, and of course I love to read!

8. Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
I am so happy to share Fire of the Sea with you! I’ve been swimming through Aeva’s world now for almost three years before the dream became a reality. One of my favorite aspects of writing is sharing the final experience of the story. So thank you for taking part in that!

Excerpt from Fire of the Sea by Lyndsay Johnson Chapter Two: The Call:

  In the deepening blue, what appeared to be an enormous jellyfish was descending slowly and steadily. A white plume the size of a ship’s sail, with long trailing tentacles, hung in the agitated water. Part of it still clung to the surface.
  I moved closer. Reaching out, my fingers felt the edges of the ghostly form. Fabric. I’d read of its tight weave used in human clothing. I’d never seen so much of it, much less touched it.
White strings were attached to the fabric, tangling down into the depths. My gold hair whirled in front of my face as I paused to make sense of what hovered before me. As I whipped my head around for clarity, I saw him.
  Snared at the center of the mass was a young man. A human. What I had first thought to be a jellyfish was something else entirely. The human was attached to the now collapsing net of fabric and rope by a bundle strapped to his back and shoulders. He sank deeper and deeper in a slow-motion descent, as the last of the fabric slipped below the surface. His head was bowed, but his body wasn’t completely limp. He struggled sluggishly. Was he giving up? Why didn’t he remove the pack?
  It took me a moment to tear myself away from my fascination. I managed to remember that humans couldn’t hold air in their lungs underwater for very long. They would lose strength in the sea, not gain it. He was drowning.

About the Author:
Lyndsay grew up in the wide expanses of Texas, where the only thing stronger than the accents was the state pride. An over-active imagination, tale-telling father, and encouraging librarian mother lead to her love of all things creative.

When it comes to books on her bedside table, young adult lit has always been a favorite (Blue Balliett, Libba Bray, and Stephenie Meyer, to name a few.) But it was actually an old, yellowing copy of Scandinavian Folk and Fairy Tales that planted a particularly relentless seed. Shapeshifters and sea nymphs began forming the seed of an idea that would eventually grow into Lyndsay’s debut novel, Fire of the Sea.

When she is not writing, you can find Lyndsay spending time with her family in the Rocky Mountains of Utah. She enjoys sitting in dark theaters, trying new gluten-free recipes, watching breaking storms over the peaks out her window, and secret naps.

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