Sunday, 22 July 2012

Author Interview: Amber Garr - The Syrenka Series

I'm pleased to welcome Ms Amber Garr, author of The Syrenka Series, to my blog today for an interview! If you haven't read my reviews, here they are: #1 Promises, #2 Betrayal  and #3 Arise! Let's welcome Amber!

Hi Amber, welcome to Michelle Chew Writes today! Can you tell us a little bit about The Syrenka Series?
Thanks for having me! The Syrenka Series focuses on a hidden society of mermaids, selkies, and water sprites.  At the center of the story is Eviana, a teenage mermaid being forced into clan politics and responsibilities before she’s had much of a chance to grow up.  There’s an arranged marriage, an opportunity for her to run away, and a battle to protect humans that she must deal with.  Throughout the series you will see her mature, accept some of her responsibilities, and become the leader her parent’s always envisioned.  Of course there is also a little bit of a love triangle (square?) that resolves itself by the end of Arise.

Where did you get the inspiration to write the series?
The first chapter of Promises was originally a short story.  I enjoyed the selkie folklore and thought it might be interesting to write a “forbidden” love between a selkie and a mermaid.  But once I had that story written, the rest of it filled my head and one short story turned into an entire trilogy!

Were there any challenges you faced while writing the series?
I wanted to make sure that the series deserved three books and that the overarching plot lines were interesting, relevant, and would bring the readers back for more.  I would imagine that’s always a challenge!  I wrote Promises and Betrayal in about one month each (first draft), but Arise took a little more time because I had to focus on writing my dissertation.  So finding the time to write was a bit tough throughout the series, but a welcomed relief when I could immerse myself.  I also want to add that one of the scariest aspects was deciding to actually publish it!  What if no one bought it? What if all the reviews were bad?  It was such an experiment in learning how well I could really handle it all.  But so far, I have to say that I’m very glad I did it.

Of the many characters in your series, who are your favorite characters? Why?
I enjoyed writing Eviana (the main character) because I liked watching her mature and come into her own person.  I’d also have to say that I love Abhainn (the water sprite).  He wasn’t supposed to be a regular, but he was just too cool not to include in Eviana’s story.  Plus, I love his accent!

Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I have to have the major scenes outlined.  It’s not a perfectly planned outline, but I’m one of those people that have to write everything down (even in my day job).  Once the story is outlined, I just sit down and write!

Where is your favorite writing spot?
Most of the books have been written at my kitchen table. It keeps me in the same area as my husband (by the TV) so I don’t feel like I’m totally ignoring him every night!

What do you do when you are not writing?
Promoting, marketing, checking my sales records obsessively! At least that’s what it feels like some days. But really, I teach (and dance) at a local dance studio, co-chair a statewide youth writers program, and read at least a chapter every night. Oh, and watch True Blood!

Now that The Syrenka Series has been completed, will there be any upcoming projects that you can share with us?
Yes!  I am working on final edits (hopefully) of the first book I wrote, Touching Evil, so that I can consider publishing that.  I also have an adult novel in the works that I’d like to come back to at some point. And just recently, I started a new YA book that would be a standalone and doesn’t involve mermaids, vampires, or werewolves but still has a paranormal twist!  If only I could find more time in the day.

Thanks Amber for stopping by my blog today. If you haven't read The Syrenka Series, you totally should and you can get them here:

About the author: Amber Garr
Amber Garr spends her days conducting scientific experiments and wondering if her next door neighbor is secretly a vampire.  Born in Pennsylvania, she lives in Florida with her husband and their furry kids.  Her childhood imaginary friend was a witch, Halloween is sacred, and she is certain that she has a supernatural sense of smell.  She writes both adult and young adult urban fantasies and when not obsessing over the unknown, she can be found dancing, reading, or enjoying a good movie.


  1. Michelle - you are awesome! Thank you so much for dedicating the weekend to The Syrenka Series!!