Saturday, 11 February 2017

Mal the Mischievous Mermaid

Welcome to the shadowy and not-so-shadowy space behind Sally's books. If you're not familiar with this blog, scroll down to see what it's all about.

Mal the Mischievous Mermaid (Post 42)

 Post 6, Flax the Feral Fairy, introduced the author Tiffany Mandrake, and the world of the Little Horrors. Tiffany, as well as authoring the series, lives in a creepy cosy cottage near Hags Abademy of Badness. Her name is consciously a mix of frilliness and the unchancy.

Having established the Abademy and the three water hags who run it, and who, incidentally, existed in acrostic poems before being introduced to the series, I had to come up with the next would-be pupil and picked a mermaid. Mermaids have a mixed reputation in fiction anyway, so having a bad merchild wasn't too much of a stretch. Originally, I intended the title to be Mal the Malicious Mermaid, but it was felt Mischievous would be a bit more child-friendly, so the book became Mal the Mischievous Mermaid (2009). Mal's full name is Mal de Mer, which famously translates as seasickness in French, a little joke most reading children probably didn't get.

Just as Flax was accompanied on her quest for a scholarship by the cranky little Dog Fae, so Mal needed a companion. Impressed by the chilly gaze and aggressive nature of seagulls touting for chips on the beach, I chose to give her a Gull Fae; a gull fairy capable of spending extended time under water. Mal's efforts include stealing a fang from a kraken and messing up a talent quest, not to speak of perfecting the art of tip-tailing.

Flax the Feral Fairy and Mal the Mischievous Mermaid were both translated into French, under the series title Les Petites Pestes. Flax became Axelle, la fee rebelle, while Mal, whose original name was French, became Mylene, la petite Sirene. It is a peculiar feeling to see my own books in another language of which I understand just a handful of words and phrases, especially when the characters are all renamed.


About the Blog

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. This preamble will be pasted to the top of each post, so feel free to skip it in future.

The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. 


  1. Another fascinating behind the scenes story here, Sally, thank you!It's so special to have your words translated into another language and finding a new audience!

  2. It's odd though. I'd love to know how close the translation is to the original but my French is rudimentary at best.


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