What made you want to write about Selkies, and what makes Skin different from other Selkie stories?
I’d love to have a deep, intensely personal story to answer this question, but sadly my answer is far from it. I’m really not sure where the selkies came from. Prince Edward Island is incredibly beautiful—windswept and lonely red sand beaches with absolutely nothing beyond for thousands of miles, quaint villages, lobster suppers in old wooden churches…I could envision a story set there, and I wanted to write a magical creature story…and well, vampires, werewolves and angels were all taken. Selkies are a relatively unexplored magical creature—half-human, half-seal creatures that lure unsuspecting humans to a watery grave—and what better place to plop them down than a beautiful beach in eastern Canada?
Plus, seals are really cute.
As for how Skin differs from other selkie books…I actually have never read another selkie story. Have you? I watched a movie once about selkies, but it was very vague, and nothing like Skin. I did do a few searches as I was writing, but when I went searching all I found were books with covers featuring half-naked women that didn’t look anything like what I imagined as a selkie. I envisioned a strong, mysterious, dark-eyed guy with curly hair, and a confused dark-eyed girl in an average North American high school. I thought they’d look like everyone else when they took off their skins, except for being attractive. (Really, if you’re going to be a magical creature, attraction is pretty important.) I envisioned that they’d take off their skins in a transformation that boggled the mind but looked natural.
I guess if you’ve read one, you’ll have to read Skin to make your own comparisons. :)
And what's that? Why yes, we do get a sneak peek...
The moon is so bright outside it’s casting shadows in my room, bathing everything in grey, dim light. I walk to the window, touch the photo still pinned to the wall, and look out at the beach. My hand falls, and my thumb slides to Dad’s ring, twisting it around and around and around.
It’s as if there’s a huge, lunar spotlight in the night sky, shining on the waves and blowing grasses. I have an urge to go out and walk in the waves. I can almost hear voices in the crash of the water—comforting voices—but Mom would have a hissy-fit if she found out I’d gone to the ocean alone. I sit down and sip my water, watching.
There’s someone walking along the beach, and I’m sure it’s Sam. His hair and the smooth way he walks—that lithe, almost animal stalk could only be him. Whether it’s real or a trick of the light, I think he might be naked. He’s carrying something in his arms— maybe it’s his clothes—but he walks into the waves with whatever it is like he’s going for a moonlight swim. He goes deeper and deeper until I only see the blink of his head. That too disappears beneath the waves.
I don’t see him resurface.
With a name like Ocean, you’d think moving to Prince Edward Island would be simple. But since seventeen year old Ocean crossed that huge bridge to the land of red sand, her life has been far from normal—it’s been downright dangerous. Trouble seems to follow her everywhere, and she’s got the bruises to prove it.
And then there’s her mysterious neighbour, Sam...who seems to know more about her history than she does herself. When Ocean finally steps into the salty waves with Sam, she realizes that her life has been based on a lie, and that she is missing something...something she never knew existed.
About Brenda Corey Dunne:
Brenda Corey Dunne grew up in rural New Brunswick, Canada. She originally trained as a physiotherapist and worked several years as an officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force before meeting her Air Force pilot husband and taking her release. She has two other published novels, Dependent (2014) and Treasure in the Flame (2012).
Brenda is represented by Frances Black of Literary Counsel. She currently resides on the Pacific Coast of Canada, but home is wherever the RCAF sends her hubby, and she’ll be moving to the Washington, DC area in the summer of 2016. When not writing, working or taxiing her three children she can be found either in the garden or on the beach with a book in one hand and a very, very large coffee in the other.
You can find her on her blog, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Instagram.