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Sue Johnston

August 19, 2023 at 07:06 PM UTC

Lovely! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts! I really enjoyed your version of the Little Mermaid!
Sue Johnston


August 18, 2023 at 01:33 AM UTC

“I gave her a way to communicate because otherwise that would have been incredibly boring” 😂🤣😂

And here you host wrote the King’s Captive, where for nearly the whole book Chloe couldn’t communicate 🙄 And it was anything but boring! But yeah, totally loved the scene where she desperately tried to communicate the Donut shop, and failed miserably.

I guess, I want to applaud you for growing as a writer, for tackling more difficult scenarios now than you did previously. Your work has improved! And my enjoyment has increased 😁😁😁

Loved reading your thoughts on the Danish Folktale!


August 18, 2023 at 01:34 AM UTC

Ack! Just wrote, not host wrote! Darn auto-miscorrect!

The Little Mermaid: my version

Welcome back to Kitty’s Attic! Earlier this summer I was performing a cleanup of my old blog posts and I found a few that I had left in draft status for some reason but never published them?!? So here is another “Kitty’s Attic” blog post – I hope you enjoy it!


I’m assuming by now most of you have had a chance to read The Little Selkie. If you haven’t, beware! I have spoilers in this post. For today’s post, I’m going to discuss the differences between my Little Selkie and Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid.

The biggest and most obvious difference is that I made Dylan a selkie instead of a mermaid. I made the swap for several reasons. First of all, I’ve been dying to write a selkie story ever since I first read about them while doing research for My Life at the MBRC. Secondly, I wanted to draw a clear line in the sand, so people would know not to expect an exact replica of the little mermaid story. This isn’t something I usually do, but I wanted to give Dylan a lot of space from the original little mermaid—who is, quite frankly, a stalker, and not strong enough to face down a wicked sea witch.

I also put my own spin on selkie lore. Traditionally, selkies don’t have enchanted voices—that’s something Dylan inherited from her mermaid counterpart. Also, selkies always have seal bodies. However, when I did the research for harbor seals, I found they wouldn’t have the kind of impulsive, playful personality that I designed for Dylan. So I decided to make her a sea lion, which would not only explain her temperament, but it would also give her an extra layer of confidence. Dylan wasn’t wowed or frightened by all the humans even though she was different from everyone, because she has always been different.


Possibly the two biggest differences, though, were that I gave Dylan a way to communicate–because otherwise the story would have been incredibly boring–and that Dylan is on land because of the sea witch, not because of a guy. (I can’t imagine that change came as a shock to any of you, knowing me and the heroines I write.) There’s also the happy ending, but again you can expect that with me as the author.

My version of the sea witch was more reminiscent of Disney’s Ursula than Andersen’s sea witch because she is truely evil, as opposed to Andersen’s sea witch, who is merely creepy. Angelique stepped in as the magic user who sealed Dylan’s voice, which was more understandable since Dylan was pitted against the sea witch early on, and because Angelique has been forced to do a lot of sealing/breaking magic over the last few years.

I also chose to depart from the Dutch roots of the little mermaid, and instead swapped it for Ireland. Selkies are a part of Irish/Scottish folklore, and as a lot of my countries have echos of mainland European countries, I decided it was time to try something different. Everything from the food to the dances to the Ringsted obsession with the color saffron is reminiscent of Irish traditions and customs.

And I ended the blog post there?? Hope you enjoyed this episode of Kitty’s Attic, and thanks for reading!

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