Siren. It was one of my favorite YA reads so far and Tricia agreed to stop by Darkly Reading and answer some questions. She is also giving away a copy of her book! So please check out the interview and follow the details below to enter the giveaway (US only) and make sure to wish Tricia a happy release day while you're here!
Tricia: Siren tells the story of 17-year-old Vanessa Sands, a self-proclaimed scaredy-cat who's used to hiding behind her fearless older sister, Justine—until Justine jumps off a cliff and that's no longer an option. While everyone else thinks Justine's death is a tragic accident, Vanessa knows better and returns to the scene of the crime to figure out what happened. Along the way she finds romance and faces some of her greatest fears...including one that will change her life forever.
I'd been wanting to do something different from my younger books, so when the idea occurred to me, I ran with it. And the idea came about because of my somewhat recent fear of all creatures of the deep!
Siren takes place in Winter Harbor, Maine - Is there such a place and if not did you base the town on a real place off the coast of Maine?
Winter Harbor is a real town, and I chose it after learning that it earned its name because the harbor never freezes, not even in the middle of winter. That, as you know, plays a key role in the story! But you won't find Betty's Chowder House or the Lighthouse Resort there—they were inspired by other New England places I've visited over the years.
Siren touches on alot of great themes for summer vacation - traditional ones like summer vacation boyfriends, townies versus vacationers, summer jobs and some non-traditional themes like murder, paranormal seductresses, and unusual weather patterns- did you have some experience with these as a teenager (either traditional or non-traditional)?
I've lived near water most of my life and spent many childhood summers at the beach, and my family and I also used to rent a cabin once a year in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. Those experiences combined helped with the setting and tone of the book. And I live on eastern Long Island now, which definitely sees its share of townies and vacationers. Thankfully, I don't have any personal experience with murder, paranormal seductresses, or unusual weather patterns...at least not yet!
Vanessa is such a great character, fearful of alot of things though strong and true to her family and friends, whereas Justine is what I think alot of girls want to be - fearless and beautiful. Why did you decide to make these two very different girls into sisters?
I wanted to play with the idea that you may never know someone as well as you think. Vanessa idolizes Justine for being all the things she wishes she were, but she'll eventually learn that Justine acted the way she did for a very specific reason...and that they were much more alike than Vanessa realized.
I was checking out your blog - Maggie Musings & More and it features alot of oddities from the sea - any favorite or book idea inspiring oddities you would like to share?
The Montauk Monster is a recent favorite. It washed onshore two summers ago and no one ever decided what it really was; it could've once been a dog or raccoon, but that wasn't definitively confirmed. This suggests to me that maybe there are OTHER mysterious creatures lurking beneath the surface that we don't know about...which is as intriguing as it is scary!
Vanessa has a very specific favorite breakfast food - do you have a favorite vacation or breakfast food? How much are your characters based on your or people you know? Do you see any celebrities fitting with your characters?
When my family and I vacationed in NH, my brother would make amazing breakfasts (pancakes, eggs, bacon—the works!), and we'd all eat together by the lake. That's definitely a favorite pasttime!
The only character who's somewhat based on a real person is Vanessa, who has some of the same fears I do. And I think Dakota Fanning would do a fabulous job playing her! :)
Although many questions were answered by the end of Siren there were definitely a few about Vanessa's future that aren't tied up - do you have more books planned for Vanessa's story?
There are currently two more books planned. The sequel will be out next summer, and the third book will be out Summer 2012!
Thanks Tricia for stopping by Darkly Reading!
Thank you for having me!
Where to find Tricia:
To enter to win a copy of Siren from Tricia Rayburn (US only) please leave a comment with any questions you have for Tricia or any oddities of the sea stories or summer vacation tales you would like to share. You also need to follow Tricia on twitter to be entered so be sure to leave your twitter name as well in the comments. The contest is open till July 18th.