Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Interview with Sarah Henning for Sea Witch Rising

Sea Witch Rising (Sea Witch #2)

by Sarah Henning
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: August 6th 2019
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Retellings
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“The Little Mermaid” takes a twisted turn in this thrilling sequel to villainess origin story Sea Witch, as the forces of land and sea clash in an epic battle for freedom, redemption, and true love. 

Runa will not let her twin sister die. Alia traded her voice to the Sea Witch for a shot at happiness with a prince who doesn’t love her. And his rejection will literally kill her—unless Runa intervenes.

Under the sea, Evie craves her own freedom—but liberation from her role as Sea Witch will require an exchange she may not be willing to make. With their hearts’ desires at odds, what will Runa and Evie be willing to sacrifice to save their worlds? 

Told from alternating perspectives, this epic fairy tale retelling is a romantic and heart-wrenching story about the complications of sisterhood, the uncompromising nature of magic, and the cost of redemption.

Can you briefly describe SEA WITCH series and their main characters and what’s going to happen in SEA WITCH RISING?

SEA WITCH is an origin story for the sea witch as she is in Hans Christian Anderson’s original tale. It’s set in an alternate 1860s Denmark when Anderson would’ve been alive and follows the life of Evie, a secret witch as she grapples with the many faces of love while aiding a mermaid who has made a dangerous bargain.

SEA WITCH RISING picks up after the epilogue of SEA WITCH, fifty years in the future at the opening of World War I. It is told in alternating points-of-view by the sea witch and Runa, the twin sister of a mermaid who begged for and won the sea witch’s magical help to “go above” on the pretence of true love.

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

It’s so hard to play favourites but if I have to pick it would be Nik. He’s just such a cinnamon roll. I know so many of my readers love him too and that gives me great joy—and for those of you who loved him in the first one, don’t you worry, his fingerprints appear all over SEA WITCH RISING.

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

I really set out to make SEA WITCH RISING a book about the people left behind. Who picks up the pieces when the main character leaves on an epic journey? In traditional tellings of THE LITTLE MERMAID, the sisters do try to get the little mermaid back, but there’s no real context given to the how and why of their actions? What were they thinking? What did they sacrifice? What were the consequences we don’t see? Every tale has a ripple effect and in this case those ripples run head-on with real history and Denmark’s understated-but-important role in World War I. 

Denmark was technically neutral during the war but Germany used its proximity to coerce Danish seamen into planting mines in the pinch-point waterways around Denmark as a threat to Allied ships. Additionally, young Danish men were conscripted into the German army and many gave their lives for something they didn’t believe in or benefit from.

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

This is going to sound silly because of the title but I really think Katy Perry’s “Rise” is super applicable to the arcs of each of the main characters.

If your book was going to be made into a movie, who would play your characters?

I’ve often pointed to Alicia Vikander for Evie and she’d be perfect in SEA WITCH RISING too. As for Runa, I really think Kaitlyn Dever who played Amy in BOOKSMART would be perfect for Runa.

Summer is here and we love to go out and enjoy the sun. What drink and place do you think will go with your book to have a perfect book date?

A trip to the beach with an umbrella chair and a bottle Prosecco or fancy sparkling water would be for SEA WITCH RISING.

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

I highly recommend THE BONE HOUSES by Emily Lloyd-Jones. It’s out in September and is the perfect concoction of fairy tales, zombie-style horror, and dry wit.

What’s next for you?

I have a YA contemporary called THROW LIKE A GIRL coming out on June 7th, 2020, and then the first in a new fantasy duology is scheduled for summer 2020 called THE PRINCESS WILL SAVE YOU. The second book will be out in summer 2021.

Sarah Henning is a recovering journalist who has worked for the Palm Beach Post, Kansas City Star and Associated Press, among others. While in South Florida, Sarah lived and worked through five hurricanes, which gave her an extreme respect for the ocean. When not writing, she runs ultramarathons, hits the playground with her two kids and hangs out with her husband Justin, who doubles as her long-suffering IT department. Sarah lives in Lawrence, Kansas, which, despite being extremely far from the beach, happens to be pretty cool.

July 16th

July 17th

NovelKnight - Interview
The Reading Corner for All - Review + Favourite Quotes + Dream Cast
Jrsbookreviews - Review

July 18th

Luchia Houghton Blog - Review + Favourite Quotes
The Reading Chemist - Review + Favourite Quotes
L.M. Durand - Review + Favourite Quotes

July 19th

Moonlight Rendezvous - Review + Favourite Quotes
Utopia State of Mind - Review + Favourite Quotes
Dazzled by Books - Review + Playlist

July 20th

The Book Nut - Review + Playlist
Morgan Vega - Review + Favourite Quotes + Playlist

July 21st

Kait Plus Books - Interview
Frayed Books - Review
Bookish_Kali - Review + Favourite Quotes
Bookishly Nerdy - Review + Favourite Quotes

July 22nd

The Reading Life - Guest Post
Book Rambler - Review


  1. I enjoy retellings and haven't read one like this premise promises. I enjoy YA fantasy the most.

  2. The "Sea Witch" series sounds phenomenal - and DEFINITELY in my TBR. I adore fairytale retellings, especially twisty ones, so these sound great