Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Author Interview with Lisa Papademetriou

Hi everyone! I’m part of Teen Book Scene’s Siren’s Storm Tour. Today, I have Lisa with me for an interview. For a little background and character overview before reading Siren’s Storm, you may want to read Lisa’s answers. :) (I was supposed to post this an hour ago – but I fell asleep! So sorry! It’s 12:30am here.)

What or who inspired you to write Siren’s Storm?

Two things inspired this book. The first is a dream I had, in which I saw a number of small children treading water in a river. They were singing, with their heads above water. But every now and then, one of them would put his face in the water, as if he was looking for something. And I realized, in my dream, that those children were waiting for something horrible.

The second thing that happened was that my cousin was killed in a surfing accident. His body was lost at sea for several days before it was recovered. He is very much like the character of Tim--the handsome, charming brother lost in a boating accident in Siren’s Storm.

In Greek mythology, sirens are bird women but in other folklores, they are mermaid-like. What are your sirens like? How are they different from the usual sirens in mythology and folklore?

My sirens are like both birds and fish. They are warrior women--wild women of the sea--who can live beneath the water. They don’t have fins, but do have gills. They can’t fly, but it sometimes seems as if they can, because they can jump amazing distances. They look like normal women on land, except for their surreal beauty, so they manage to pass for human. Also, they are almost immortal--the only thing that can kill them is fire.

What is your favorite part to write, beginning, middle or end? Why?

My favorite part to write is the end, because that’s where all of the action--ideally--comes together to its natural conclusion. It’s the destination you’ve been heading for throughout the process. The hardest thing for me to write is the beginning. I often write something junky--just to get into the novel--and then delete it later.

Can you describe Siren’s Storm in 4 words?

Haunting, poetic, (occasionally) funny.

Can you tell us more about Will and Gretchen?

Will and Gretchen have been friends their whole lives. Gretchen lives in New York for most of the year, and spends summers in the old farmhouse beside Will’s family farm. Gretchen is glamorous and artistic, Will is introverted and practical--together, they are in balance. They are both reeling from the death of Will’s brother, Tim. In a way, Tim’s death has left them clinging to each other the way that shipwreck survivors seek any floating flotsam. They hardly feel comfortable with anyone else because no one else is going through what they are going through, and this makes them very protective of each other. Gretchen has been struggling with her romantic feelings for Will for a long time, afraid to risk humiliation and the loss of their friendship by confessing the truth to him. Will, on the other hand, is so used to seeing Gretchen as a friend that he isn’t quite aware that the nature of his love for her is changing. 

Out of all the seasons, why did you choose summer as the setting of your novel?

I didn’t intend to set the book during the summer--I actually wanted to set it during hurricane season, which happens to fall (mostly) in the summer. I knew, too, that I wanted the action to take place roughly a year after Tim disappeared in a boating accident--again, a summer activity. And I knew that I wanted to have Gretchen be from New York City, and the only time she would be in Walfang is during the summer months.

What are you working on now?

I’m writing a sequel to Siren’s Storm, called Fury’s Fire, which will be available next year.

Thank you for dropping by, Lisa!


  1. I am so much more intrigued to read Siren's Storm now, having learnt more about it! I love when authors put their own twist on creatures and stories from mythology, so I'm eager to meet her version of the sirens. Great interview, I can't wait to read this!

  2. I'm reading Siren's Storm right now. Thanks for the author interview, I'm always interested to read authors' thoughts. ;)