Jessica Steele-Sanders, here! I can’t tell you how excited my husband Chris and I are to finally share “Rescue Sirens” with all of you. Like Chris, I’ve always been fascinated by mermaids. I mean, who isn’t? Mermaids are awesome. From the time I was a little girl growing up in Florida, I’ve been drawn to the ocean, and, to me, mermaids represent all the beauty, power, and mystery of the sea. They’re irresistible.
Especially Chris’s mermaids. Seen scattered throughout his six sketchbooks in his trademark style, Chris’s take on mermaids is the perfect blend of fantasy and realism; I love that his mermaids’ tails draw inspiration from real-life sea creatures, since that’s how I used to draw mermaids, myself, and I think it makes the most sense. The question was, what could we do with Chris’s mermaids beyond those drawings? In 2013, we saw one of his sketches memorialized as a beautiful sculpture by our talented friend Anders Ehrenborg, but I wanted something more.
People say to write what you know. I know water. Before I moved to California, my jobs in Florida had almost always revolved around getting wet: I helped care for and train dolphins, went diving with sharks for a living, taught marine conservation programs, and spent a summer working as a lifeguard. I got to wondering… what if mermaids worked as lifeguards? Well, then, you’d call them “Rescue Sirens”!
Once I stopped laughing at my own joke, more questions bubbled to the surface. What if these mermaids worked as lifeguards because they were sworn to an ancient vow to protect humans? What if living topside for a time was a requirement for all mermaids as soon as they came of age? What if they had to keep their identities a secret from the humans they lived amongst? I was intrigued and delighted by the possibilities. The more I thought about it, the more things fit together. Far from being silly, it started looking like a world.
I thought up a detailed backstory, rooted in mermaid tales dating back over three thousand years — from Assyria, Turkey, Ancient Greece, and every community near a coastline. I described my mermaids’ anatomy and physiology based on the marine life that I know and love so well, their culture’s mythology, and the “rules” governing their world. I then began writing a short story-within-a-story that laid the groundwork for these mermaids, which I showed to Chris. He loved it, and, with a few tweaks from him, that initial pitch became the prologue for our first book, “Rescue Sirens: The Search for the Atavist.”
I’d never written a novel before, so Chris and I jumped into the deep end of the pool together. After I built the outline, we split the work fifty/fifty, dividing up chapters and then going back over one another’s work; it went so much faster that way than if either of us had tried to write it alone, and our respective writing styles complement one another well. I highly recommend working with a writing partner, and Chris is the best. He’s known for directing Academy Award-nominated animated films and for his incredibly appealing artwork, most recognizably featured in “Lilo & Stitch,” but a lot of people don’t realize that he also co-wrote “Lilo & Stitch,” “How to Train Your Dragon,” and “The Croods.” Chris’s writing is full of quirky but relatable characters, humor, and heart, and I don’t hesitate to say that all the best parts of the first “Rescue Sirens” book are his! His imagination is truly impressive, and I consider myself the luckiest woman in the world to get to work with him. If you’ve enjoyed any of Chris’s animated films, you’ll find the same sensibilities in “Rescue Sirens: The Search for the Atavist.”
On the artwork end of things, Chris and I were privileged to have an awesome collaboration with Genevieve Tsai, who drew all seven of our book’s gorgeous black-and-white interior illustrations. While Chris and I wrote the manuscript, Genevieve and I exchanged lengthy, lively emails about the images we wanted to feature in the book, and her insight was invaluable. Genevieve “got” “Rescue Sirens” instantly and completely, and working with her was a genuine pleasure. I really can’t say enough good things about her, both as a person and as an artist. The creativity that she brings to the table never failed to blow us both away, and I get such a thrill thinking about people picking up the book and meeting these characters for the first time through Genevieve’s drawings, which are simultaneously cute, dynamic, smart, detailed, and full of joy. Chris and I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect illustrator. She nailed it.
We were really fortunate to work with Edgar Delgado, as well, who we knew from “Ultraduck” and from his coloring work on a variety of projects for Marvel and others; I think I first saw his colors in J. Scott Campbell’s “WildSiderz” comic book, and I was downright giddy when Edgar said yes to coloring Chris’s work on “Rescue Sirens.” Edgar took Chris’s linework for the girls in both their human and mermaid forms and gave them all a life and dimensionality that’s striking — and he did so in record time, with the clock ticking! You’ll see his colors on the front and back covers of the book as well as inside in the gallery/sketchbook section. For the “Rescue Sirens” poster, we’re also deeply grateful to skilled illustrator Teresa Martinez, who drew a version of Miami Beach’s Ocean Drive that’s even more fun than the real thing! When we picked up the books from the printer on Tuesday, we saw the proof for the one-sheet poster that we’ve having made for San Diego Comic-Con, and you guys are going to go crazy. Chris’s drawing of the girls, colored by Edgar with Teresa’s background, looks cool at any size, but it’s truly impressive at 27"x40"!
With the first full day of SDCC just one week away, Chris and I are currently in last-minute prep mode. We can’t wait! Over the next few days, we want to share with you more of what you can expect to find when you come see us at booth #4616.
In addition to the hardcover edition of “Rescue Sirens: The Search for the Atavist” ($20.00) and the 27"x40" poster ($5.00), we’ll be offering some rad “Rescue Sirens”-themed freebies (while supplies last!): 1" buttons, temporary tattoos, and a special gift for the first thirty people to buy “Rescue Sirens: The Search for the Atavist” every day of the convention. We’ll also have a new limited edition 13"x19" fine art print showcasing a drawing of one of the Rescue Sirens, Nim, stunningly watercolored by Chris. This numbered print is hand-signed by both Chris and yours truly, and it features an embossed “Rescue Sirens” stamp to prove its authenticity. Add to that more of our open edition 11"x17" prints, all six softcover sketchbooks, Ogo plushes, and – yes! – more of the Club Coconut resin figurines from last year.
If you can’t make it to SDCC, don’t worry – we have plans to offer “Rescue Sirens: The Search for the Atavist” and a few other items for sale online later this summer, after our usual break to recover and rebuild following the wonderful madness that is our yearly pilgrimage to San Diego. =) There will also be an opportunity to get your hands on some of the merchandise that’s usually an appearance-only exclusive (like prints), so stay tuned for more information as the month goes on.
Nicki, I am endlessly thankful to have such an amazing beta!
Emma locked her office door
behind her and slumped down in her swivel chair with a grunt. Her shift wasn’t
even close to being over, and she was already exhausted. She pulled her
phone from its place in her pocket and frowned when she saw she had a voice
message from Killian. Usually, if she didn’t answer immediately, he would
bombard her inbox with silly texts and knock knock jokes until she finally
answered. She checked just in case, and, sure enough, no new texts from him.
Emma held the phone to her
ear as she played the message aloud: Emma, come over quick. It’s an
Sailors carry a man from an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the Red Lions of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 15 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson after completing a rescue-at-sea mission.
Do you want to save pilots of downed aircraft, people aboard stranded or capsized vessels at sea, or even hikers and mountain climbers in danger on land? That’s the duty of a Navy Aviation Rescue Swimmer.
Actually, other addictions mimic our natural appetites but it still remains that the craving aspect of eating, especially foods high in fat, salt and sugar is just about like the addiction to other substances. The reason these “foods” are addicting is that in our early days as human beings salt (at least in the interior away from the sea), fat (except when prey animals were fattened for the winter) and sugar (except in late summer when fruit and berries were in season or the rare find of a beehive) were extremely rare.
So, when we could get them we ate as much as we possibly could. Well these days we can get these foods anytime anywhere. Snack food and fast food sellers rely on this quirk of evolution to sell us foods which are high in these things but low in actual nutrition. Since these calories are empty and don’t give us the nutrition we need we continually crave more and more. Neat little scam eh?
Most physical addictions can be broken in three to seven days which is why drug and alcohol detox centers usually keep patients for that period of time. Food addiction is the same. If we do a low sugar juice fast for three days then the craving for these foods will be broken. Then the only thing left is the psychological craving which can be controlled through mindfulness meditation and other focusing techniques. This craving can last anywhere from two weeks to a few months.
Break this cycle and stick with it and eat healthy for a lifetime with no struggle.
Have you ever been to the sea, where clembs come from??
both left sea and right sea but i recognize neither as legitimate. the one true sea is the ice dark thousand-eyed wrathful lak superior which you know about because we share it and because gordon lightfoot is your prophet of canad
AN: I’m fighting writers block atm. It’s 1:1. This is a Captain Charming Friday Contribution. As always big thanks to my ever patient beta captain-k-jones.
There are days where he wonders, how did he ever get so lucky.
Days spent swaying in the swing while listening to the waves of the sea from the porch of their cottage. When the gentle wind brings the salty smell of his former mistress making the air more fresh, more appealing.
When he can play with her golden locks and watch her eyes shine while she talks mundane matters with her mother. Her strawberry shampoo filling his nostrils, a happy smile making his heart beat faster. Her slender hand absentmindedly holding his hook.
When Henry runs with the little prince down the beach. The wind bringing their joyous laughter to his ears and a smile to his face.
When his mind is free of all burdens, the painful memories gone, and a glass of rum in his hand.
He feels the urge to sing to heavens or thank whatever gods that are watching over him for allowing him to have these quiet moments before the next disaster strikes.
He often looks at David during these days and shares a silent look with him. Knowing that the prince knows his thoughts without him uttering a word. He also knows the importance of these quiet moments. Moments where they can enjoy somewhat of a normal life.
Killian always salutes him with his rum then. A gesture that is never left without a response from his mate, be it a raised glass or an eyebrow (the prince still tries to mock his habit).
Funny that they started as enemies on the opposite sides of barricades when now they share this unexplainable bond. Friendship is one name to call it, but it goes deeper than that. Despite David’s pretending that Killian’s courtship of his daughter does not exist.
They are more similar than either of them would ever admit. Brothers in arms, protectors of the most precious princess in all the realms. Although they are both aware they would not hear an end of it if one of them would call Emma Swan a precious princess.
Greece’s dramatic decision to hold a referendum on its debt
took some European leaders by surprise. A Reuters Special Report details the
bargaining that led to the young Greek prime minister’s decision to ask his
Voting “Yes” in Sunday’s referendum would mean
Greece suffers at least two years of recession, argues Reuters Breakingviews
columnist Hugo Dixon. Voting “No” would bring financial havoc in the short run
followed by the return of the drachma, hyperinflation and deep-seated economic
U.S. Department of Justice is investigating whether U.S. airlines worked
together illegally to keep airfares high by signaling plans to limit flights.
Airlines contacted have been asked to provide data that includes “available
seat miles on a regional and system wide basis” back to January 2010.
China’s airstrip on Fiery Cross Reef could
be operational earlier than expected. New satellite pictures show that Beijing
has almost finished building a 3,000-meter-long (10,000-foot) airstrip on one
of its artificial islands in the disputed Spratly archipelago of the South