Anne Greenwood Brown has just released her debut Young Adult novel, LIES BENEATH (Random House/Delacorte). LIES BENEATH is categorized as a YA paranormal romance, but Anne calls it an “evolution story” about a cold-blooded creature, who learns how to forgive and how to love, and ultimately becomes a man.
Here’s more about it:
Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock, the man they blame for their mother’s death. The sisters charge Calder with the task of getting close to the man by first getting close to his daughter Lily. Easy enough. Calder has had lots of practice using his irresistible good looks and charm on ususpecting girls. Only this time he screws everything up by falling in love—just as Lily starts to suspect there’s more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.
How awesome does that sound? Wow, Anne-we’re very intrigued! Now since we’ve been talking this week at the Ball about Fathers, Anne offered to share her thoughts on the subject.
This week on the Debutante Ball they’re talking dads, and I’m happy to be invited to weigh in on the subject.
My dad will turn 70 in January. Just last week, in a moment of quiet reflection, he asked me, “On a scale from 1-10, what kind of dad have I been?”
I didn’t give it a lot of thought. “Nine,” I said.
His eyebrows shot up. “What? Why not a ten?”
“Well, there were those pants you wore to my 9th grade band concert,” I ticked off demerit number one on my fingers, “and then you asked my 10th grade boyfriend what his intentions were which wouldn’t have been horrible if I hadn’t been standing right there!”
Mom chimed in. “Quite frankly, you should be happy with 9. I thought she’d say 6. Those pants were really horrible.”
The truth is, for years I was embarrassed by most everything Dad did. I justify myself by thinking (hoping) that most teens butt heads with one parent more than the other. Looking back, I’ll hazard a guess and say it’s the parent whom they are most like.
My dad was the dreamer. He didn’t think the rules (or even the laws of physics) applied to him. He saw the forest (but never the trees). He liked to make people laugh (even if they were laughing at him). As I said, he had a penchant for embarrassing pants. He didn’t deserve my disapproval because (confession time) I was no different.
It’s just that I so, so desperately wanted to be!
I wanted to be sensible and sophisticated and intellectual. Instead, just like Dad, I imagined things and tried to make them real. This personality “flaw,” included such ludicrous ideas as the sincere belief that I could fly. (Which resulted in a poorly planned launch from the top of a long stairwell and a disappointing crash at the bottom, resulting in a less than flattering Kindergarten class photo.) Note to self, gravity is a rule that will not be broken.
Still, dad and I kept looking for rules to break. “Don’t ask permission,” he’d say. “Ask for forgiveness.”
I don’t think, without Dad’s example, I would be the writer I am today. Without rule breaking, without asking the great “What if,” I wonder what level of creativity would be missing in my life. For example, Dad took me sailing on Lake Superior every summer growing up. He’d shout out the water depths, “Eighty fathoms, eighty-three, ninety-one! Don’t you wish you knew what was going on down there?”
“Yes. Yes, I do!”
Without that sense of wonderment, I’m fairly sure I would have never written Lies Beneath and broken so many so-called YA rules (a male pov? parents who actually play a role in the plot? freshwater mermaids?). For better or worse, I am who I am because of my dad.
I can see that clearly now.
Thanks so much, Anne. Now, while we dab at our eyes, check out the very chilling trailer for LIES BENEATH:
Anne is also giving away a signed copy of LIES BENEATH to one lucky visitor (and she will ship internationally!). Just leave a comment to be entered to win!