Beautiful Books: The Siren and the Skyship (NaNo 2017)

It’s almost NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, dontcha know), so that means it’s time foooor…

Beautiful Books!

Yes indeed, Sky and Cait have thoughtfully put together a questionnaire to fill out regarding our NaNo novels! (Or any kind of novel, really.) So check out the linkup and join in if you like, and read on for a look at the novel I’m planning to write this November! 🙂

1. What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

I’m not sure exactly what sparked the idea… it just sort of happened.

June 26, 2015: I wrote in my then-writer’s-journal (I keep a new one every year) about a steampunk fantasy Little Mermaid story with the roles switched (mer character a guy, prince character a princess/skyship-captain). The title arrived a couple weeks later, and a week or two after that, I met the side character whose subplot tied everything together, along with an explosion of other characters and details, turning into a novel I was dying to write.

It’s expanded somewhat since then, but the main story idea is all from June-July two years ago, and I’ve been excited to write it ever since!

2. Describe what your novel is about!

I don’t mind if I do! It’s a YA Steampunk-Fantasy retelling of The Little Mermaid… ish.

Here, have a burb. *tosses summary at you*

The Siren and the Skyship

by Deborah O’Carroll

(NaNo 2017 Novel)

It’s just another mission on a voyage through the clouds for Her Royal Highness Princess Tasmania Peckham-Archley, Captain of the HRSS Star-Dreamer. Until she is saved from a fall from her skyship by an unseen rescuer, and an odd young man comes into her life with sky-blue eyes and cloud-white hair.

Auren never chose to be a cloud-siren prince; he would rather steer a skyship alongside the young woman he loves—who happens to be a princess and a captain. But to become human he must make a trade. Who needs a voice, anyway?

All Rook wanted was to serve in the skynavy, but everything he holds dear is taken from him. Fighting to forge a new life for himself, he carries the most dangerous secret of all—one the Sorcerer of the Mist will be happy to take off his hands.

When assassins strike close to home and send Princess Tasmania’s world spiraling into disarray, she will need all her friends at her side to face cloud-city ambassadors, spies, more assassins, sky pirates, the Sorcerer of the Mist (who keeps collecting things that don’t belong to him), and oh—maybe a little love.

These cloud voyages may turn out more interesting than the Star-Dreamer’s crew anticipated.

3. What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!

Clouds. Skyships. Steampunk. Tea. Love.

(All images from Pinterest and belong to their respective owners)

4. Introduce us to each of your characters!

(All images from Pinterest and belong to their respective owners)

Meet Princess Tasmania, captain of the skyship Star-Dreamer; Auren, the invisible/insubstantial wind-spirit-type Cloud Siren who wants to be human (okay, so he will be very early on…); and Rook, the former skynavyman whose father was a skyship admiral and whose mother was the daughter of a pirate king and an assassin.

Rook keeps threatening to steal the show because he’s awesome, but I keep trying to remind him that this is a LITTLE MERMAID RETELLING and he’s neither main character from that story. (Tasmania and Auren are awesome too, but, well… Rook…)

Anyway, consequently, I don’t know who’s the real MC, so I’m currently calling all three of them Main Characters and letting them fight it out. We’ll see what happens. XD

(All images from Pinterest and belong to their respective owners)

Other characters include: Noya (Tasmania’s best friend/right-hand gal), Xasper (a street-thief-turned-cabin-boy who may or may not be WHOOPS SPOILERS), an assassin lady, a couple of cool pirates (and some scary ones), various quirky/eccentric/epic crew-members on Tasmania’s ship, several villains, and Tasmania’s awesome brothers. The side characters are nearly as vivid in my mind as the main ones and I’M SO EXCITED TO WRITE THEM ALL. ❤

5. How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)

Getting ready for the hectic adventure that is NaNoWriMo, and prepping to write a book, are two separate (but in this case related) things. NaNo prep I usually do all or most of the stuff in this post: 30 Things To Do For NaNo Prep.

When I plot a novel, I like to have a summary, a rough outline, and a chapter-by-chapter list if possible, as well as names for characters, maybe some inspirational pictures, and just… well… to feel READY.

I also set up a pin board thing each NaNo. This is my current one (subject to change) and includes inspiring quotes by friends, NaNo stuff, inspirational pictures, and links to my Scrivener and folder.

This year I’m currently trying something new, which is having a dedicated journal just for writing down ideas for this story. I haven’t done much with it yet, so I’m not sure how helpful it will be, but so far I’ve jotted down some thoughts I’ve had over the last two weeks, which was handy. I’m hoping, soon, to really buckle down and write out a lot of my brainstorm ideas, and sort through old notes I have, and then see if I can organize (perhaps with Scrivener’s help) something out of the jumble that will hopefully end up resembling a plot outline… Hey, at least I have three weeks in which to do so, right?? *eye twitch*

6. What are you most looking forward to about this novel?

ALL OF IT. Okay, so I’m really excited to do a Little-Mermaid-ish story; I’m suuuper excited about the skyships and this world, and just the FEEL of it; I’m in love with these characters and can’t wait to write their stories. 🙂

7. List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

  • It’s in a fantasy world, which largely consists of floating cities in the clouds (Princess Tasmania is from the palace at the top of one of these), lots of rocky pillars thrusting up into the clouds and mist, farms and forests on the land below, and lots of ravines with cliffs plunging down into the misty unknown (nobody goes down there because it’s Not Safe), with wooden slat bridges and/or rope nets strung across the ravines and between pillars in some places.
  • There is no ocean in this world. (Oh, look. The Little Mermaid without the SEA. XD It’s all in the sky, peoples.)
  • A lot of the story (theoretically) takes place on skyships (a mix between our seagoing ships of the 18th century and STEAMPUNKERY), because skyships are awesome.

8. What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?

Auren wants to marry Tasmania, and, well, there’s a lot standing in the way of that, which will include the trading-away-his-voice thing. (How can you ask somebody to marry you when you can’t, you know, ask?) So, that is to say, the Sorcerer of the Mist is in his way, and he’ll have to do something about that if he wants his happily ever after…

Princess Tasmania’s ultimate goal is order and keeping those she loves (and her ship) safe. Standing in her way is… pretty much everything in the book. XD Assassins and pirates and plots and all the things. But mostly her goal is getting rid of the threat against her and her family and friends, and definitely standing in her way is the Sorcerer of the Mist…

Rook just wants a normal life in the skynavy, and a family to love wouldn’t be amiss. His family being… pretty much dead… is therefore awkward, and so is himself being presumed dead and therefore kind of out of the navy. Then his major problems are a captain with a vendetta against him, oh, and awkwardly ending up without a memory… Yeah… So — surprise — it’s the Sorcerer of the Mist’s fault again… (This guy’s behind a lot; he’s a very busy fellow. XD)

9 How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

Whaaaat? And ruin the surprise?? (*cough* Which is another way of saying: I have no clue as of yet, since I haven’t written it. XD)

10 What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?

So I don’t really pre-plan themes? But I think I’d like a strong theme of love and also friendship and loyalty. *shrug* What can I say, it’s a YA romance-y-ish novel, and I want all the characters to learn to be friends too. XD

I’d like the reader to feel like they just read a swashbuckling, EPIC, fun (and hopefully amusing?), possibly feelsy story, one worth spending all that time reading (and all the time I anticipate I’ll spend writing it. XD). I want them to feel like they just read a GOOD book, and to close it with a smile. 🙂 (And possibly hug it, but you know, that might be asking too much. :P)

~ ~ ~

So there you have a look at the novel I’m planning to write for NaNo! I’m also featuring it for #WIPjoy over on Twitter, so if you’re curious for more tidbits, you can peruse those throughout October.

I’m also thinking about posting some NaNo tips here on my blog next week, maybe, so stay tuned for that…

Who else is doing NaNo?? You can find me on the site as Celtic Forest Dweller if you need another writing buddy, and, yes, I do have a Pinterest board for this novel (which is currently messy and in need of organizing, but for what it’s worth, there you are. XD).

Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed. ^_^


33 thoughts on “Beautiful Books: The Siren and the Skyship (NaNo 2017)

  1. BEAUTIFUL BOOKS POST FOR S&S. YAYAYAYAYAY!!!!!! I. LOVE. THIS. STORY. SO. MUCH. To the point that I was excitedly telling my sister about it and she was like, “That sounds so cool!” and I’m just like, “I KNOW RIGHT????” IT’S JUST GONNA BE THE BEST. And this post made me even MORE excited!!!

    I may or may not be sitting here drooling over your collage and pinterest board. IT’S ALL SO PWETTY. <33333333

    Alllllll the characters sound so epic! Tasmania sounds too fun. (You can NEVER go wrong with skyship captains.) Auren sounds totally precious (BUT HE CAN'T ASK THE WOMAN HE LOVES TO MARRY HIM *sobs*). And ROOOOOOK. His mother was a daughter of a pirate king and assassin????? O_O Like…whoa. THIS GUY SOUNDS SO EPIC. I can see why he's trying to steal the show. xD But I think they're ALL going to be amazing. I'm suuuuper intrigued by all these side characters too. o___o JUST ALL THE AWESOME CHARACTERS.

    AND THE WORLD SOUNDS AMAZING TOO. FLOATING CITIES?????? AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! THAT SOUNDS LIKE THE BESSSSSSSST. I'M ALREADY IN LOVE. And it's the coolest thing how you're doing a Little Mermaid retelling with NO ocean. How unique is that??? 😀

    UGH. THIS STORY JUST SOUNDS THE BEST. I want it to already be written SO I CAN READS IT, PRECIOUSSSS. A steampunk fairytale retelling with feelsy, epic, and amusing things? That's literally all my favorite stuff rolled into one! I'm like 300000% sure I WOULD hug it after reading it!


    (P.S. If you got a notification of me unfollowing and then following your blog, I apologize. I accidentally hit the unfollow button. o.o Hazards of using the touch screen on my laptop. Lol.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • AAAHH LAURI THANK YOU SO MUUUCH!!! ^_^ I’m just sitting here grinning at your comment! 😀 Awk, so cool your sister likes it too! And I’m kinda in love with the aesthetic myself. XD

      YES. Tasmania will hopefully be cool… I’m really bad at writing girls though. XD (POOR AUREN. *evil author laugh* I mean… ahem.) Erm, yes, Rook is stealing the show through his awesomeness, of course. 😉 I’m so glad they intrigue you! Thanks!!! It’s a strange cast because there’s only three or four MAIN ones, but all the side ones want screentime too and I’m like WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO. XD But I think it’ll be fun. 🙂

      I think the floating cities stay in the same place if that makes sense, buuut yes. XD And no ocean just because it didn’t FEEL like there was one? I don’t even know if it makes sense but I’m going with it. 😛

      UGH THANK YOU. You’re such an encouragement and I’m SO glad you like the sound of it! YOU MAKE MY DAY! I so hope you’ll like it one day when I (hopefully) finish it! Thank youuuu! *hugs you*

      (Ahaha, that’s so funny! I noticed that and figured it was something like that. XD Ah, touchscreens… :P)


  2. Everything I hear about this book makes me fall in love with it more. Seriously. It’s shaping up to be the kind of book that I read and then happy-sigh over and then throw at all my friends in hopes that they’ll read it too (and then reread again five months later because who CARES about your TBR when there’s SKYSHIPS and CLOUD SIRENS and ROOK?).

    Ok, but I think I’m probably going to fall in fangirl-love with Rook. He just sounds (and looks) fabulous. I mean, all the characters sound pretty awesome- I’m quite curious about Xasper? (Question, is his name meant to sound like it’s short for “exasperate”?) And Tasmania sounds awesome; you really can’t go wrong with princess-skyship captains (ooohhh what color hair does she have? ’cause once you finish the book, I could totally rework my steampunk cosplay to cosplay as her!), and I’m sure Auren will be lovely and adklsfjdlfjdlk.

    Also, sorcerer with a habit of collecting things sounds properly creepy and scary. I like. And your journal is gorgeous.

    Final note- I’M ON YOUR BULLETIN BOARD! I feel so special now. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • EEP. SARAH. THANK YOU. I… I… don’t even know what to say but but– *huggles your comment and you* I so hope you’ll like it if I finish it sometime! 😀

      YESSSS, this makes me happy! *rubs hands together with gleeful laugh* I’m kind of in fangirl-love with Rook too sooo it’s all in a day’s work. XD (Yes, Xasper is supposed to be like that. It was actually Jasper and then was nicknamed Xasper at the orphanage because of being exasperating. XD He’s like eight I think, with black hair, though I haven’t found a pic of him…) I hope Tasmania will be cool… *is bad at writing girls sometimes* (Her hair is curly and red like in the pic. ^_^ *is gobsmacked that anybody would even think about cosplaying as one of my characters* o.o) Thank youuu!


      Yepper! You are indeed! 🙂 Your confidence in my finishing it inspired me SO MUCH so thank you. ^_^ I had to pin it on there to remind me that I CAN finish stuff. Hopefully. *nods* THANKS! ❤


      • You’re welcome! And I’m quite certain that I will.

        Hehe, everyone’s going to end up in fangirl-love with Rook, aren’t they? I suppose that’s just the kind of character he is. XD Xasper sounds so fun, and the nickname story makes me grin. (And thanks- in this case, it’s partially because she sounds cool and partially because I like the idea of being a princess skyship captain. So.)

        Memories? O_o

        Awwwww. Thank YOU!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I love love this!! Steampunk + little mermaid? Everythingggg about this sounds amazingggg!!! I love retellings and I can tell that this is going to be a good one!! Good luck writing it, hope it all goes well! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my goodness Deborah darling!! Hurry up and write this baby book ’cause I want to read it! Seriously though, it sounds fabulous. And all those adorable characters and just gah!! I’m actually not the biggest fan of The Little Mermaid story, as I’m terrified of the sea (and of drowning….) and just alot of nope, but your remix of the story sounds simply enchanting!! Much love to you

    Blessings – Aspen

    Liked by 1 person

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