Castle Talk: "When Fire Loves Water" Author on the Allure of Mermaids

This episode we're chatting with J. Suzanne Frank, author of the new book When Fire Loves Water Part 1 The Siren.

Castle Talk: J. Suzanne Frank on "When Fire Loves Water" and the Hidden Allure of Mermaids

Frank says in her biography:

Suzanne Frank is formerly a lot of things: among them, a journalist, a freelance writer, an editor, and a writing teacher. Her passion for history has taken her to Egypt, Greece, Israel and throughout Europe. But she's always returned to Texas, where generations of her family roots are. She's also always returned to the water. While she hasn't managed (yet) to become a mermaid, it was her #3 childhood goal. Visit her at

The new book is the first in a trilogy that pits a reimagined mermaid society against an elemental/fire-user race that coincides with our own. The hero is a determined girl who still bears the wounds of a volcanic eruption that took much of her foot when she was a child.

I asked Frank about why she had been fascinated by mermaids and she said the legend has been with us for countless centuries, but that girls particularly have been unusually drawn to the idea of lush, underwater kingdoms. (Also, she added, "don't underestimate the pretty.") The idea of a girl who becomes a mermaid was almost a given, but whereas popular shows like H20: Just Add Water allow their characters to jump back and forth in form by getting in and out of the water, When Fire Loves Water sets up a permanent transformation.  In the book's early pages, the heroine dies to be reborn as a mermaid. It's a singular invention of the book, making mermaids something like benevolent water vampires.

We talked about writing, process, and what's next: the first book in the series comes out on Water Day, 3/22/20 — and you can get the first three chapters free at


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Jason Henderson is the host of the Castle of Horror and Castle Talk Podcasts, the editor of the Castle of Horror Anthology series, and the author of Quest for the Nautilus: Young Captain Nemo from Macmillan Children's Books.

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About Jason Henderson

Jason Henderson, author of the Young Captain Nemo (Macmillan Children's) and Alex Van Helsing (HarperTeen) series, earned his BA from University of Dallas in 1993 and his JD from Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law in Washington, D.C., in 1996. His popular podcasts “Castle Talk” and “Castle of Horror” feature interviews and discussion panels made up of best-selling writers and artists from all genres. Henderson lives in Colorado with his wife and two daughters.
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