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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Twilight Thursday

Thanks so much for having me as a guest today at Moonlight, Lace and Mayhem!

One of the best things about writing is that it allows me to indulge my love of research. I can get lost in backstory, especially if the history of a place and its people intrigues me. Historicals obviously require such meticulous detail, but I believe contemporaries require equal research. Especially when mixed with fantasy, like my novel Surfacing.

Weeki Wachee has a long history, although I’d never heard of it before researching mermaids. Weeki Wachee Springs is home to the world-famous mermaid show, where women have performed underwater since 1947. These amazing performers must train at a mermaid camp before hiring on for the physically rigorous shows. Interestingly, Weeki Wachee’s history has musical ties, too – Elvis visited back in the day. He has a voice to make any mermaid fall in love.

A fun story to write, Surfacing introduced me to the widespread lore of mermaids. Countries from all over the world have their own legends, from ancient times to supposed sightings as late as the 1950s. So it’s easy to see how some might become obsessed with the mers. Especially a disgruntled Weeki Wachee employee who wants to find an authentic mermaid to make a fortune.

But Surfacing isn’t about a Weeki Wachee mermaid. Not of the human variety, at least. The tiny town and its unusual residents came up in my research, and I thought it would be a fun place to have a real mermaid surface. Because mermaids love handsome guys who can sing, this particular mermaid is drawn to a down-and-out indie rock musician who comes to Weeki Wachee, where his grandfather lives.

Because AJ, the hero, is a musician, the story allowed me to include some references to music I find inspiring, or amazing. I can’t remember a time when music didn’t influence my life. I can’t imagine existing without it. Although I can’t listen to music while actually writing, I crave new music and old – for inspiration, for release, as an affirmation that others share the same feelings I do. Like great stories, music reminds us we’re all in this together. It can move us, pick us up out of the doldrums, make us forget our troubles. If you need proof, watch this live Jeff Buckley video, “Lover, You Should Have Come Over.”

And sometimes, great music can inspire lasting love. Here’s the blurb for Surfacing:
AJ Dillon is trouble. The former lead singer of an indie band has no home, no money and no future. His grandfather is the only relative willing to take another chance on him. AJ arrives in Weeki Wachee, Florida, with his guitar, a few clothes and a bad attitude. The only good thing about Weeki Wachee is the ocean -- the one place AJ feels at home.
Grandpa lines up a job for AJ at Weeki Wachee Springs, where beautiful women perform as mermaids. Grandpa says real mermaids exist, but AJ doesn’t believe – until he meets Cassiopeia. She helps his passion for music resurfaces. But greedy Chaz finds out about her, and threatens to kill them if AJ doesn't go along with his plan to make a fortune with a real mermaid show. Can AJ save Cassie, even if it means losing her?

An excerpt is on my web site at You can read the first chapter at Whiskey Creek Press:

Cate Masters writes fantasy/dark fantasy, historical, contemporary and speculative fiction, described by reviewers as “so compelling, I did not want to put it down,” “such romantic tales that really touch your soul,” “filled with action scenes which made it a riveting story,” and “the author weaves a great tale with a creative way of using words that makes the story refreshing to read.” The proud mom of three adult children, she currently lives in central Pennsylvania with her husband, Lily the dog, their dictator-like cat, Chairman Maiow, and dozens of characters inhabiting her imagination. Visit Cate online at, Or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.
Cate loves to hear from readers. Email her at:

8 Moonbeams (comments):

Gracen Miller said...

Hey, Cate! It's a pleasure to have you here with us today. I have an Encylopedia of Creatures and I was fascinated by the mermaid lore...some lores said they were creatures that lured seamen to violent deaths. I wrote a blog post on it. I'll see if I can find it and post it in the comment section.

Best of success with your new book, Surfacing!


Gracen Miller said...

The blog was about "Selkies", but they're a close relative to "Mermaids".

Here's the link:

Cate Masters said...

Thanks so much Gracen! Can't wait to check out your post. I'd also love to find a copy of that encyclopedia! Mermaids are fascinating. I'd love to do more research, maybe more stories. :)

Cate Masters said...

I started a fun series on my blog called Casting Call, if you care to check out who I imagined as H/H in Surfacing:
It also goes into a little mermaid legend

Gracen Miller said...

I'll have to check out your section on Mermaids. I think they're fascinating creatures and who knew their lore wasn't always like the sweet Ariel! lol It is very interesting how the lores differ from place to place.

Helen Hardt said...

Hi Cate! Like you, I rarely listen to music while writing, but I've often used inspiring music in my work. In my upcoming release, Pianist Envy, I built a scene around an interesting work that my son performed on the piano called Ritual Fire Dance. It really helped the scene come alive!

Great post!

Cate Masters said...

You always have the best titles Helen! Pianist Envy - I love that! The Ritual Fire Dance sounds pretty intriguing too.

Womens Health in North Carolina said...

Hey, Cate! It's a pleasure to have you here with us today. I have an Encylopedia of Creatures and I was fascinated by the mermaid lore...some lores said they were creatures that lured seamen to violent deaths. I wrote a blog post on it. I'll see if I can find it and post it in the comment section.Best of success with your new book, Surfacing!~huggles~Gracen