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Readers are always asking me about my inspiration for House of Aegea:   What made me start writing?  How did I come up with my Mermaids?  What was my inspiration for the world of Aegea?

Well, it was many things really.

I have always been fascinated by water.  From a very early age, I loved reading sea-themed stories of myth and legend, especially ones that involved Mermaids.  And since no one has ever been able to absolutely prove that Mermaids do or do not exist, they remain a fascination and a mystery.

But really, who doesn’t love Mermaids?

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If you are one of those people who love being in and under the water, the idea of beautiful mercreatures swimming around in undiscovered parts of the ocean is an exciting and tantalizing idea.  And partnered with our fascination is the possibility of the quintessential love story between a human and a Mermaid.  In current literature, relationships between a creature of magic and a human are called paranormal romances.  And like most fans of fantasy and Sci-Fi, these types of romances tend to be my favorite.

But it was Disney’s The Little Mermaid that really started me on this journey.  When it came out, I remember thinking how cool it would be to see a live-action movie about Mermaids.  And then Ron Howard created Splash, which I loved.  But then I started thinking how cool it would be if there was a Mermaid movie with a seriously darker edge targeted toward adults.

So I decided… maybe I should be the one to write a seriously darker Mermaid movie specifically for grown-ups.

House of Aegea originally started out as a movie script titled Delphine.  But after a year of research and writing, I lost my flashdrive with absolutely EVERYTHING on it!  And yes, that experience was as horrible as it sounds.  But the universe truly works in mysterious ways.  In the middle of my melt down, my younger sister suggested that I start Delphine over as a novel instead of a script.  However, the thought of writing a novel seemed like such a monumental undertaking, I just couldn’t fathom it.

So I began writing again, and this time I found that since I was no longer hindered by the parameters of a script, the words just seemed to flow.   A year later I decided the story needed more magic and fantasy and that’s when things really took off.  As the story grew in scope and started involving, the title morphed from Delphine into House of Aegea.

Inspiration literally came from everywhere.  Even now, it amazes me how all the random ideas, images and conversations I’d had over the years all came together and coalesced into what is now House of Aegea.  I always knew that the setting for my book would be in a place similar to the Mediterranean because I am enchanted with that part of the world (even though I have yet to visit it).  When I was working at Microsoft, my manager showed me a video of divers studying the Humboldt Squid.  As I watched the video, I knew immediately that I had found my villain.  When I saw a particularly interesting picture of Tilda Swinton, the amazing English actress, an image of her as Lady Siobhan popped into my head and I was able to fully visualize my Archeteuthi.

Although some only think of Mermaids as vampires of the deep, I had never really thought of my Mermaids as evil.  So it took me quite a while to come up with the idea of the Ravichandra, the Dark Sirens in my novel.  But I realize now why horror stories are so popular…there are no boundaries with dark minds and writing evil is a lot of fun!

But I have to say, Delphine and her family are still my favorites.  Creating a whole world of Mermaids who could blend into modern society was an exciting concept.  Does that pretty girl sitting next to you in a restaurant have a secret?  What if you found out your best friend spent half their life in the ocean?  And what about the deeper concepts:  Where do mermaids come from?  Was it evolution or were they created?  Are they magic?

All of these questions and more were answered when I completed my first book in the series.  As I begin work on my sequel, I’m already researching for my next wave of ideas:  what will be my new human/sea creature hybrids?   When and how will my next wave of villains crop up?  What will be the center of the storm? Who will bite the dust in Book 2?

I can’t wait to find out.

Feel free to contact me with any thoughts, comments or suggestions via twitter, Facebook or dlanham@houseofaegea.com.

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