Author Spotlight: Ginna Moran

I don’t hide the fact that I’m a big fan of mermaids in movies, television, and literature. After all, I write YA mermaid fiction. So I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting mermaid stories, and today, I have the pleasure of featuring a new mermaid series by an author I recently discovered.

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Ginna Moran is the author of an array of both paranormal and contemporary young adult novels including the Demon WithinFalling into Fame, and Spark of Life series.

She started writing poetry as a teenager in a spiral notebook that she still has tucked away on her desk today. Her love of writing grew after she graduated high school and she completed her first unpublished manuscript at age eighteen.

When she realized her love of writing was her life’s passion, she studied literature at Mira Costa College in Northern San Diego. Besides writing young adult novels, she was senior editor, content manager, and image coordinator for Crescent House Publishing Inc. for four years.

Aside from Ginna’s professional life, she enjoys binge watching television shows, playing pretend with her daughter, and cuddling with her dogs. Some of her favorite things include chocolate, anything that glitters, cheesy jokes, and organizing her bookshelf.

Hello, Ginna! Tell us all sorts of stuff about you and your book!

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What is your book about?

My Spark of Life series follows eighteen-year-old Ava Adair’s journey to fight for the life she wants after transforming into a mermaid when Carter Stevens saves her from drowning on what was supposed to be the vacation of a lifetime.

 

How did you come up with the story?

Ava’s story in Diving Under came to me when I experienced a few life-shaking tragedies that made me feel like my world was spinning out of my control. So, I decided to take the idea and make it much cooler and fun by adding a hot merman, a sudden mermaid transformation, luxury yachts, galas, and a cruise to San Francisco in it. It was the imaginary vacation I needed and a lot of fun to write.

 

Apart from them being super cool, why did you choose to write about mermaids & mermen?

Growing up in Southern California, I’ve always been a beach and ocean lover, though I have a fear of the water not unlike Ava’s. Even with this fear, I find something special about the vast unknown of the ocean and the beauty in all the creatures. I love the idea that there are mermaids, living among the waves, so full of magic and heart. I wanted to bring that idea to life in my books and wrote the series during the few years I spent living in the middle of Texas away from the beaches I loved.

 

Which character(s) do you most identify with and why?

This is a tough question, because I feel like I identify with parts of all of my characters—Ava’s need to control everything in her life and the anxiety that ensues when nothing is in her control. Carter’s devotion and desire to make others, especially Ava, happy over himself. The light-hearted, friendly attitudes of Ava’s friends, but especially Giselle’s hope. Lastly, Luna, a mermaid introduced in Treading Water, the second book in the Spark of Life series, is loyal to a fault, and I can identify with that.

 

What is your writing process like?

I’m what people call a pantser, which means I sit and write with very little planning. I had a small list of rules for my mermaids, based on a variety of books, TV shows/movies, and professional mermaids I follow on Instagram, and the idea of how interesting it would be for someone with a fear of the ocean to suddenly be transformed into a mermaid, and that’s all I knew.

It’s after I get a first draft written that I go back and fill in the muscles, fat, and skin to the bones I put together for my books. I mostly write series straight through and go back as the story progresses to change and add as needed. The most important part of my writing process is that I don’t hesitate to delete, which I do a lot.

 

What do you snack on while you write?

I currently have a Ghirardelli milk chocolate caramel bar on my desk. It’s more of a reward for meeting my writing goals than a snack. I mostly just drink coffee while I write.

 

What are some of your favorite books? Who are some of your favorite authors?

There are so many great books and authors out there that it’s hard to narrow them down. I enjoyed Chasing Forever Down by Nikki Godwin, White Raven by J.L. Weil, Everblue (another mermaid series) by Brenda Pandos, Grounded by Heather Young-Nichols, Blues Harp Green by Nicole Schubert, The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia, and basically anything by Kelley Armstrong or Alyson Noel. The list goes on and on and is always growing.

 

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I enjoy drawing and watercolor painting, photo manipulation, tending to roses, running, gazing at the ocean, city lights, and sunsets/moonsets. I love going to museums, visiting big cities, and occasionally dancing when no one’s looking. I’m a part time sunset chaser when I can be, and dream of traveling the world to see the sun set everywhere.

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Thanks for dropping by, Ginna!

You can connect with Ginna in all sorts of online places:

Facebook   Twitter   Instagram   Amazon   Bookbub   Goodreads

The book series is Spark of Life, and the first book is Diving Under.

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It’s available at Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble

Eight years after her older sister was swept out to sea, eighteen-year-old Ava Adair still swears off the ocean. It takes a promise of the best vacation of her life aboard the Ocean Jewel with her friends to get her even within reach of the waves. When she steps aboard the luxury yacht to sail the California coastline, the last thing she expects is to gain the attention of gorgeous Carter Stevens, the yacht’s deckhand, who becomes the perfect distraction against her fear of the open water.

On the yacht, a freak accident involving Carter reveals a secret he’s been hiding from Ava. She discovers that he’s a merman and by saving her, he changed her life. One misstep could reveal the new secret they share and ruin the life on land she’s desperate to maintain. Torn between a future on land with her family and a new life at sea, Ava must decide—is her former life worth fighting for, or can she accept that she belongs to the ocean?


Excerpt:

Carter yanks me deeper into the ocean, not giving me the chance to even think. He swims with a grace I’ll never manage to have, his body shimmering and morphing into a form more fitted for the sea. Through hazy eyes, I watch the spark in his chest pulse through him, binding his legs together until a shimmering, teal tail appears, matching the color of his eyes. The scales gleam as if they’re made of gemstones. My fingers reach down without my mind’s consent and brush along their smooth and slippery texture, like a fishtail but with the strength and toughness of the skin of a dolphin.

My vision shadows the longer we’re underwater, my lungs threatening to burst from the lack of oxygen. Fear laces around my heart, squeezing me in its icy grip when I realize I’m far too deep in the water to ever make it back to the surface for another gasp of air. I kick my legs, still unchanged, and I know I’ll die if the transformation doesn’t happen soon. I’ll be the only mermaid ever to drown.

Thrashing, I struggle to break the grip Carter has on me. As I pull away, he only holds me tighter, his handsome face too blurry to tell what expression he’s giving me.

My heart hammers against my ribs, threatening to explode from my chest. Something is wrong. Nothing is happening. No more tingling sensation, no cramps, nothing. And no air to breathe. What if Carter was wrong, and he didn’t use his one chance to transform me into a mermaid?

Just when I’m about to lose myself to the panic consuming me, Carter releases my hand to only cup my face between his palms. His face lingers so close to mine that his eyes shine clearly in the strangely glowing water.

“Just breathe, Ava. You must breathe.” He mouths through the water, though his voice doesn’t reach me.

Everything tells me not to breathe. Because if I breathe in, water will fill my lungs and I’ll drown.

“Breathe,” he mouths again.


 

Read my review of Diving Under HERE.

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