Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Guest author: ROS BAXTER

I'm thrilled to welcome Aussie author Ros Baxter to my blog today.

Take it away, Ros!

The tail so far…
Sorry about the tail thing, but when you’ve written a mermaid mystery, it’s hard to resist the pun (even when your mermaids don’t have tails). 
Quick snapshot of Fish Out of Water:

A mermaid from a secret underwater kingdom.  Living incognito in a small, dry frontier town.  Working as a cop; dating a solider-of-fortune (on and off); counting the days til her thirtieth birthday when time runs out (a clairvoyant told her 30 is the end of the road unless she can “change the course of destiny and save the world entire”).  Enter a mysterious dead blonde on Main Street.  A visit home to the deep sea for the first time in thirteen years. A smokin’ hot merman with secrets of his own.  And a ten thousand year old prophesy that seems to have her name written all over it.

Since penning my quirky mermaid mystery, the question I keep getting asked is: why a mermaid?   Was it watching too much Ariel with my four year old? Taking my Splash intravenously at ten? Well yeah, maybe.  But the answer is also both simpler and more complicated.
Firstly, there’s something endlessly romantic about mermaids.  From sirens to selkies they conjure magic, myth and mystery.  And it only got better as I started to research.  Like finding out about the Mariana Trench – the deepest place of the ocean floor, seven miles down and so dark and dangerous only four descents have ever been made. And about the Norse legends of Aegir, God of the Boundless Seas and his nine daughters, the billow maidens. And how whales make those songs.
Secondly, I love a good old fashioned juxtaposition.  A mermaid on the land.  An otherworldly creature of light and beauty kicking ass, packing heat and dating the wrong men. A tough girl with an over-developed protective instinct and secrets that make her vulnerable.
Third, it was her.  She just knocked on the door one day, pointed her glock at me and demanded I writer her story.  From her first line, I was hooked. Here’s a little taste of what she had to tell me.

Mermaids don’t wear nicotine patches.  They don’t drink Southern Comfort from a hip flask, inhale twinkies or watch Dr Phil.  Mermaids don’t pack heat.  And mermaids definitely don’t get their hearts broken by tattooed guys who look like pirates.  In fact, mermaids have always been kinda down on pirates... but that’s another story.  The cardinal rule is this: mermaids don’t live in bone-dry frontier towns. Ever. 
But here’s the thing.  Me, I don’t leave home without my patches, hip flask and Glock.  My last moment of true moderation was back in kindergarten, when I stopped myself from using my awesome strength to rip Jamie Kennedy’s pecker off when he waved it at Julie Casey in the bathroom and made her cry.  And don’t even start me on my penchant for pirates. 
But I am, in fact, a mermaid. So go figure.
Well, technically, Mom’s folks call themselves Aegirans, and they don’t sprout tails, but they’re the closest thing to mermaids under the sea.  And, as much as it used to hurt, I’m what they call a dirt-dweller, seeing as Mom was a runaway, Dad’s Sicilian and we live on The Land. 
But not for long.  You see, I’ve only got three weeks to live.  Give or take. 

So, I’m wondering, what mythical creatures captured your heart at a tender age?  I’ve got a free copy of my mermaid mystery for the most interesting tale…


Ros Baxter has been writing since she was eight and penned a whimsical series of short stories about a race of tiny people who lived on a rainbow. While they were a hit in the playground, a few things intervened – including a career in social policy and four noisy children.
Ros started writing again in earnest three years ago. In that time, Ros has secured a two-book deal with Harper Collins Australia, published Sister Pact (a romantic comedy co-written with her sister Ali) and Fish Out of Water (Escape Publishing on 1 April), been a contributing author to the e-anthology URL Love, and finaled in the STALI competition.
Ros writes fresh, funny, genre-busting fiction.  She digs feisty heroines, good friends, quirky families, heroes to make you sigh and tingle, and a dash of fantasy from time to time.
Ros also runs a successful business consulting to government and the private sector.  She teaches professional writing skills and has authored a writing guide, Clarity.
Ros lives in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband Blair, four small but very opinionated children, a neurotic dog and nine billion germs.
You can email Ros at rosbaxterink@gmail.com or find her at www.facebook.com/RosBaxterInk, on twitter @RosBaxter, or www.rosbaxterink.com.

“It’s  Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum meets Splash in a sexy, smart-talking debut about a mermaid in a desert, a city under water, and the secret that no-one is supposed to uncover.”
Fish out of Water
Dirtwater's straight-talking Deputy Sheriff has a lot on her plate: a nicotine addiction that's a serious liability for a mermaid, a solider-of-fortune ex who's hooked on her Mom's brownies, a gorgeous, naked stranger in her shower, and a mysterious dead blonde with a fish tattoo on Main Street.
Oh, and one other thing.
She's scheduled to die on her thirtieth birthday - in three weeks - unless she can 'change the course of destiny and save the world entire'. Throw in a Mom who's the local Mayor and a Dad who's been locked in the county jail for twelve years, and that's all the trouble she needs without her mermaid roots coming back to haunt her.
Rania's heading home to Aegira for a family wedding but she's starting to have a sinking feeling that's got nothing to do with hydroporting seven miles under the sea and everything to do with some weird connections that seem to be emerging between her, the dead blonde, her Mom's shady past and a ten thousand year old prophesy. Now if she can just steal a corpse, get a crazy Aegirian priest off her case, work out who the hell's trying to kill her and stop sleeping with the fishes, she might be able to unravel the prophesy, the mystery of the missing choirgirls and the secrets hidden in her Mom's past. And maybe even save her own ass while she's at it.

Buy Fish Out of Water.
Find out more at www.rosbaxterink.com

Thanks for stopping by, Ros.
I wish you many sales to go with those tails! ;)


Serena Clarke said...

Wow, I LOVE the sound of this. Totally original! Plus a completely *gorgeous* cover. I just bought it and I'm so looking forward to reading it! :-) P.S. Ros, how on earth do you find the time?!

ros baxter said...

Hi Serena - thanks so much for stopping by and I'm so excited you bought my book. Thank you! I hope you really enjoy it. As to how I find the time,my Mum used to always say busy get more done. maybe she was right?? Have a great day and thanks again. :)

lily malone said...

Brilliant, brilliant excerpt Ros! I saw you talking about Fish Out Of Water on Juliet Madison's blog. I just love how your voice comes through here.
Mythical creatures for me at a young age came mostly from the Narnia books. I loved dryads. I especially loved centaurs... It took me years of banging my head against the back of my wardrobe to realize I just couldn't get through!
Huge wishes of luck for your mermaid!

Lily M