Friday, September 27, 2013

Blog Tour: Sea Queen's Daughter by Ellis Drake

Today I'm excited to have a great up new author on my blog, Ellis Drake.  In the last year I've had the chance to read four other novellas by Ellis and really enjoyed the range of mysteries and stories that she's written.  In her newest, The Sea Queen's Daughter, she takes on a great adaptation of the fairytale of The Little Mermaid.

Here's a short summary of the tale:  On a barge anchored in the middle of the Adriatic, Marco Lorendan meets a mysterious and beautiful woman. His fascination for her is sealed when she saves him from drowning and then disappears into the sea. Is she dead, or simply lost? Marco is determined to find out.

Living beneath the waters of the lagoon, Serena can change into whatever form she chooses, but cannot change her fate: to die in an ancient ritual that goes back to the founding of Venice. Serena wants to live in the human world with Marco, but will she save herself if it means the destruction of Venice?

Here is my Q&A with Ellis today here at One Literature Nut:

I know that Venice is famous for its glass work.  Since you had Serena craft her mask into this masterful glass piece, first, did you do that on purpose?  Also, being the artist that you are, were you picturing anything in particular with it?

In the opening scene, I wanted everything about Serena to be strange and magical, so naturally the mask she wore had to be of a unique, fanciful material. Glass was an obvious choice because of its associations with Venice and because glass masks didn't exist—they would be too heavy to wear all the time. Most masks were made of paper and were very light, because you literally could not go out in public without a mask during Carnevale, which by the 18th century went on for six months out of the year. So the more common masks like the bauta had to be comfortable, relatively cheap, and disposable. Of course, Serena's supernatural so she doesn't have a problem with wearing an impractical glass mask.

As for what the mask looked like, I vaguely modeled it off an Ancient Mesopotamian statue that some scholars believe represents the Sumerian moon goddess, Inanna.

Is the legend behind this story an actual legend? I'm just curious where it came from.

The legend about the founding of Venice and the reason behind the Doge's annual Marriage of the Sea is something I made up so I could include the Ascension Day ceremony in the story. In actuality, the Marriage of the Sea started as a celebration of a military victory—or so they say.

Are you planning to set another story in Venice?

You never know! I'd love to write about Giacomo Casanova, one of the most fascinating people in history. Venice has such a rich culture and complex history that the possibilities for stories set there are endless.

Thank you so much to Ellis for dropping in today!  Please check out The Sea Queen's Daughter and drop by her site at to learn about her other novellas and writing. 


  1. Replies
    1. I know! It was a really engaging read. I hope others will dive in and read more by this fun author! ;)

  2. Thanks for having me today, Becky!

    1. No problem! I can't wait to read more by you. I'll have to feature more of your novellas here on my blog. :)