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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Guest Post: Sheila Nielson (Author of Forbidden Sea)

I want to thank Sheila Nielson for taking time out to visit my blog and share with readers why she thinks mermaids are so fascinating.

Sheila never did figure out what she wanted to be when she grew up. She graduated from college with a BFA in illustration, has worked as a children's librarian for over twelve and a half years, and would eventually like to be a full-time author. Why pick one career when you can have many? Sheila lives with her two pets, a goffin cockatoo and a tiny toy poodle. She was born and raised in Californa but has come to also love her adopted home in Utah where she currently resides. FORBIDDEN SEA is in stores now!

Why do we find mermaids so fascinating?

The answer to this question is not as simple as it might seem on the surface.

I nearly drowned once when I was young. I remember looking down through the murky green water as I started to go under and realized that I could see no bottom beneath my feet. The lake was so deep, everything below me was hidden from sight. What was down there, far below where my human eyes could not see? Thankfully, I did not end up drowning that day, so I never found out the water’s darkest secrets, but I’ve often wondered if maybe that experience is one of the reasons I’ve always found large bodies of water to be so frightfully fascinating. The world we know ends at the edge of the sea. It is a place we, who breathe the air, are forbidden to go by the very nature of what we are. It is filled with mysteries we know very little about. There could be anything down there—even mermaids. The world of merfolk is an alien but magical place, something most of us can only imagine. We catch glimpses of its haunting beauty in a visit to an aquarium or as we swim in the shallower parts of the ocean, but even then we are but temporary visitors who must eventually return to our world of air—or pay the ultimate price, like I nearly did.

Mermaids are not beholden to such rules. The ocean accepts and embraces them as one of her own. Merfolk may swim down into the sea’s greatest depths and casually discover all her miraculous secrets for themselves. As we read stories about mermaids, we are carried safely with these mythical creatures, fathoms below, to comfortably breathe the icy sea in our lungs and lay eyes on that which is normally forbidden to us. What is more alluring to us mere mortals than the forbidden? There is nothing on the land as majestic and mysterious as whales, nor anything as delicately beautiful as the tiny perfection of a translucent sea horse. What about the ghostlike shipwrecks that once belonged to our world above, but are now beyond our reach forever? The sea has claimed these ships and they will be hers irrevocably until the end of time. Only a mermaid may pay a visit to their empty halls and know the joy of dancing within those splendid rooms once again. If only we could join them there!

Mermaids know all the mysteries of the ocean. By reading about merfolk, we too may come to know the forbidden sea. If you are anything like Adrianne, the main character in my novel, once you have tasted even a small part of it, you may be hesitant to return to the real world again afterward.

Why do we find mermaids so fascinating? I think the real question is, how could we possibly resist them?

Thanks for stopping by Sheila!

Pub. Date: July 2010
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Format: Hardcover, 304pp
Age Range: 12 and up
When Adrianne comes face-to-face with the mermaid of Windwaithe Island, of whom she has heard terrible stories all her life, she is convinced the mermaid means to take her younger sister. Adrianne, fierce-willed and courageous, is determined to protect her sister from the mermaid, and her family from starvation. However, the mermaid continues to haunt Adrianne in her dreams and with her song.

Yet, when the islanders find out about Adrianne's encounters with the mermaid she is scorned, for this small and superstitious community believes the mermaid will bring devastation to the island if Adrianne does not give herself to the sea.

A powerful and lyrical story of one girl who must choose between having everything and having those she loves.

Want to know more about  FORBIDDEN SEA? Take a sneak peek inside the book here.

 For more information about Sheila Nielson and her books, please visit her site here.


  1. Thanks for posting Sheila. I agree with you, mermaids are hard to resist. Your book sounds great. Can't wait to read it.

  2. I almost drowned when I was younger and now I have mild panic attacks if the water is covering my chest because it feels like I can't breathe. Glad you could turn her experience into something more pleasant lol. I love mermaids!


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