THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE QUEEN
Nerissa Marin hides among teens in her human form, waiting for the day she can claim her birthright—the undersea kingdom stolen from her the day her father was murdered. Blending in is her best weapon—until her father's betrayer confronts Nerissa and challenges her to a battle to the death on Nerissa's upcoming birthday—the day she comes of age.
Amid danger and the heartbreak of her missing mother, falling for a human boy is the last thing Nerissa should do. But Lo Seavon breaches her defenses and somehow becomes the only person she can count on to help her desperate search for her mother, a prisoner of Nerissa's mortal enemy. Is Lo the linchpin that might win Nerissa back her crown? Or will this mortal boy become the weakness that destroys her?
--The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.
An alien ocean princess must decide whether to fight for her undersea throne or abandon her people and hide in the human world forever.
--How did you get the idea for the story?
I was at a writing retreat with my critique partners, and one of the opening scenes between Nerissa and Lo just popped into my head. I remember writing the dialogue and grinning to myself—I love when that happens, when an idea becomes kinetic and takes on a life of its own. I loved the dynamic between the two characters and even though I’d been playing around with an ocean-themed novel for a while, I wanted it to be something different and not what you’d expect. That led to the birth of the Aquarathi, which I hope will take people by surprise. Most of my novels are character-driven so it’s no surprise that this one was, too.
--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with?
I’d love to have dinner with Ehmora. Even though she’s the big bad, I think there’s a piece of her that just wants to protect her people from humans, no matter the cost. She’s powerful and she’s very intelligent. I’d like to get inside of her mind for ten minutes (and come out alive).
--Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates?
I do!I have two novels coming out in the next few months. THE ALMOST GIRL will be out from Strange Chemistry on January 7th 2014. It’s about a girl from a parallel dimension. ALPHA GODDESS will be out from Sky Pony Press on March 4th 2014.That one is based on East Indian mythology and is about a reincarnated Indian goddess. Lastly, the sequel for WATERFELL will be out next August, which I’m very excited about!
--What book(s) is your book’s “cousin”? (Similar kind of read, set-up or style)
For WATERFELL, I would probably have to say The Iron Queen style-wise. Julie Kagawa is an author whose novels are so compelling because of her detailed world-building and multi-layered characters. I’d like to think that my books are like that – leaning toward being more complex and less formulaic, with relationships that make you think or don’t fit the norm.
--If a fairy godmother told you could be put into the world of your favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why?
I would pick Harry Potter, hands down. Rowling’s world is so richly imagined that just being in it for twenty-four hours would be an experience to savor. And of course, there’s all the butterbeer, and who could say no to that?
--Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on your playlist- songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote?
Yes, I create a playlist for every book that I write. I usually pick out the songs beforehand when I have a budding idea for a story, but it’s a work in progress as the story progresses. The theme song that I had on repeat for WATERFELL was Lights by Ellie Goulding.
--Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?
Free time? What’s that and where can I get some? With three very active children nine and under, any free time at my disposal tends to get swallowed up by various sport and extra-curricular activities. That said, if I manage to find a sliver time to myself, I enjoy reading, watching movies and spending time (unrelated to chauffeuring) with my family.
--What is one thing you would tell your 15 year old self?
Don’t listen to the bullies, both the outside ones and the inside ones. Stop feeling like no one will ever look at you, past your braces and big nose. You’ll get rid of the braces and your nose will fit your face. In the future, smart is the new beautiful, and trust me, you have a brilliant future waiting for you.
--Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers?
Honestly, just a heartfelt thank-you for buying not just my books, but books in general, and for spreading the word and all the book love. Thanks for being such amazing fans and supporters! I wouldn’t be here without you.
Biography of Amalie Howard
A rising star among young adult writers, Amalie Howard developed a loyal following after releasing her debut book, “Bloodspell,” in 2011. Now, she is returning with five new books that are sure to excite her devoted fans and catch the attention of new readers.
A bookworm from the beginning, Howard grew up on a small island in the Caribbean with her nose buried in books. When she was just 13 years old, her poem “The Candle” was published in a University of Warwick journal, marking a sign of great things to come. Howard immersed herself into other cultures, globetrotting through 22 countries in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. After moving to the United States, she earned a bachelor’s degree in international studies and French from Colby College in Maine. She also holds a certificate in French literature from the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, France. Traveling around the world, Howard has lent talents as a research assistant, marketing representative, freelance writer, teen speaker, blogger and global sales executive.
Howard is a recipient of a Royal Commonwealth Society award, an international youth writing competition. She is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
Howard’s first book, “Bloodspell” (June 2011, Langdon Street Press) earned rave reviews and was named a Seventeen Magazine Summer Beach Read. Readers will hear more from Howard as she releases a pair of two-book series, “Waterfell” (November 2013, Harlequin TEEN) and “The Almost Girl” (January 2014, Strange Chemistry), as well as “Alpha Goddess” (March 2014, Skyhorse/Sky Pony Press) over the next two years.
Howard lives in New York with her husband, three children and one willful feline that she is convinced may have been a witch’s cat in a past life.