Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Interview with Sara Ella for Coral


by Sara Ella
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: November 12th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings, Mermaids, Fairy Tales
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Multiple award-winning young adult author Sara Ella reimagines The Little Mermaid in a powerful and unexpected way.

Sixteen-year-old mermaid Coral has always been different, standing out from her stoic sisters in a society where blending in is key. Worse yet, she fears she has been afflicted with the dreaded Disease. Said to be carried by humans, the Disease imposes emotions on its victims, causing them to commit unspeakable acts. The growing illness inside her, while terrifying, fascinates her very core. Where others see danger, Coral sees life. Could it be the colorless merfolk who are truly ill?

Above the sea, seventeen-year-old Brooke Jordan has nothing left to give. A homeless girl abandoned and forgotten, the only thing Brooke can rely on is the ocean. Her aching feet find refuge within the cool and comforting waves, while her broken heart grows harder with each passing day. When Brooke's and Coral’s worlds collide, everything alters in an instant. From learning to stand alone, to discovering the strength it takes to rely on another, the girls find that living requires taking that first painful breath. Each must make sacrifices, and when it comes to finding true love? Let’s just say the boys in their lives must learn to swim if they’re ever going to survive the storms.

Battling the odds against them, the girls will do whatever it takes to survive. But what must end for love and life to finally begin?

Taking a new twist on Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved fairy tale, this modern-day story explores mental health from several perspectives, questioning what it means to be human in a world where humanity often seems lost.

Can you briefly describe CORAL and its characters?

The novel is a twist on Hans Christian Andersen’s original The Little Mermaid. The book explores mental health topics including anxiety, depression, and suicide from multiple perspectives. Readers can expect some nods to the Disney version, but this is not a traditional happily ever after tale.

Coral is a mermaid who lives with her two sisters and their father the Sea King. Their underwater society is one that shuns emotion. The Disease, said to be carried by humans, is their greatest fear. Even worse, those with the Disease are always taken by the mysterious Red Tide. When her oldest sister falls ill, Coral will do anything to save her.

Brooke is a human girl who has nothing left to give. Depression and anxiety have left her feeling isolated and forgotten. We begin her story at Fathoms Ranch—a new group therapy home that promises a second chance at life. It isn’t until Brooke meets a young girl named Hope that she begins to believe life might be worth living after all.

Merrick has spent his life living in his controlling father’s shadow. When his younger sister’s suicide attempt sends Merrick to his breaking point, escape becomes the only option. If he can find their mom, Merrick believes everything will be made right again.

Who would you say is your favourite character from the story and why?

The characters in Coral all have a part of me in them. I believe most authors would say that’s true of their characters. I relate to Brooke’s anxiety, to Coral’s battle to understand her own emotions, and especially to Merrick’s desire to fix everything. In the end, I would probably say I relate to Brooke the most. But as far as favourites go? That would have to be good old Nigel Grimsby -- everyone needs a friend like Grim in their lives.

How did the story occur to you? Did you find inspiration anywhere?

Disney and fairy tales always lend the most inspiration. I always knew I wanted to write a story inspired by The Little Mermaid. However, I hoped to approach it in a way that didn’t involve the dreaded “insta-love” scenario that makes many readers cringe nowadays.

I listened to The Disney Story Origins Podcast (Episodes 06a and b) as I began my research. The original version of this tale is heartbreaking. I was most inspired by the line, “But a mermaid has no tears, and therefore she suffers so much more.” As I neared the end of the first draft I realized the heart behind the novel was missing. When I finally recognized the story needed to focus on mental health, Coral came to life in a way I never anticipated.

If you could choose one song to describe your book, which one would it be?

“You’re Worth It” by Cimorelli.

Winter is here and we love to find out your favourite cosy spot to read. What drink and place do you think will go with your book to have a perfect book date?

Definitely a tea or coffee shop (by the beach, if you’re able) with something warm to drink. I recommend Savoy’s “Miracle Mermaid Tea” for this one. Don’t forget to have a scone with it!

Can you recommend your readers any other books in case they are left hungry for more once they finish CORAL?

“The Siren” by Kiera Cass never disappoints if you’re wanting another ocean-themed tale. That will forever remain one of my all-time favorite reads. If you’re looking for something more mental health-focused, “By Your Side” by Kasie West was on point in regards to what it’s like for someone who suffers from anxiety.

What would you say is the most difficult part of writing a book?

Having the courage to scrap everything and rewrite if it’s what’s best for the story. In Coral’s case, it was.

What’s next for you?

I’m taking a pause to focus on my family right now. Of course, I’m still writing. I will always write. My next idea is brewing and I can’t wait to share it when I’m ready. If you follow me on Instagram @saraellawrites, you’ll see some hints as to what I am hoping to write next.

Once upon a time, Sara Ella dreamed she would marry a prince and live in a Disney castle. Today, she spends her days throwing living room dance parties for her two princesses, raising her little prince to be a king, and conquering realms of her own imaginings. Oh, and her husband is definitely more swoon-worthy than any Prince Charming.

Sara’s UNBLEMISHED trilogy has received high praise and multiple awards, but none as rewarding as the love and support she receives from her readers every day. Her new story CORAL, a reimagining of THE LITTLE MERMAID, releases in the fall of 2019.

When she’s not on deadline, Sara Ella can most often be found fangirling on Twitter, Instagram, or her YouTube channel. She may or may not be obsessed with #Bookstagram, and she has a serious condition known as “Coffee Snob-itis.” She believes “Happily Ever After is Never Far Away.”

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🐚 G I V E A W A Y 🐚 . . Happy Friday, beautiful bookish people! I am definitely ready for the weekend. And you? . I loved the Little Mermaid as a kid and any chance I get to read a retelling novel? I am in! We have had the pleasure to host a tour on @theffbc tours for #Coral by @saraellawrites. This modern twist of the well-known fairy tale is about Coral and Brooke and their powerful journey, to rely on love to survive and to make sacrifices. The feels this book brought... I highly recommend it! . . Since it is almost Christmas, thanks to @tnzfiction, @harpercollinsus and @saraellawrites, we have the opportunity to offer you the chance to win 1 finished copy of CORAL by Sara Ella (see details below to enter the #giveaway). . . ENTRIES FOR THE GIVEAWAY: ▪︎Follow @theffbc & @whatmakespatri ▪︎Follow the author @naomihughesya ▪︎Follow the publishing house @pagestreetkids ▪︎Comment (to let us know you are participating!): Would you like to be a mermaid for 1 day and why/why not? . . EXTRA ENTRIES FOR THE GIVEAWAY: ▪︎Tag a friend (each friend will be an extra entry). ▪︎Share on your stories about the giveaway (remember to tag me @whatmakespatri and @theffbc) ▪︎Follow @michellesulk & @artsyreadergirl ▪︎Follow any other FFBC team member participating in the tour (let us know on the comment section who did you follow). Check everyone's Instagram handles below: @acourtofcoffeeandbooksblog @popthebutterfly @MorganVegaWrite @anewlookonbooks @sometimesleelynnreads @adventurous.bookworm @kagunderman @confessionsofayareader @wishfulendings @Love2dazzle @l.m.durand @voluptuousbdiva @poisonbooknerd @amysbooketlist . GIVEAWAY IS OPEN TO ALL US RESIDENTS ONLY. ENDS ON NOVEMBER 28th 2019. Winner will be announced on @theffbc. . #blogtour #bookstagram #bookporn #instabooks #booksofinstagram #bookphotography #booklover #yalit #booksofinstagram #bookgiveaway #bookish #booknerdigans #bookstagramfeature #bookaesthetic #bookworm #bookcommunity #booksbooksbooks #epicreads #youngadult #bookstagrammer #bookgram #yabookstagram #ireadya #booksbooksbooks #bookphoto #igreaders #instareads #saraellamermaid #coralmermaidbook #saraella
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