Today is the day that Water: Selkies, Sirens and Sea Monsters hits the shelves. This is the fourth and final installment in this anthology series which, of course, conjurs up a whole bunch of feelings. It occurred me that my feelings about the end of the series was one of the things I mentioned in my Introduction to the anthology so I’ve decided to ‘introduce’ you to this anthology similarly to how I did Arcana — by sharing the Introduction that I wrote for it here in its entirety.
‘In its entirety’ makes it sound really long LOL But don’t worry, it’s relatively short 😉
I’m not sure if I’m ready for this to be over, to be honest. I always procrastinate when it comes time to write an Introduction because I struggle with them (which may be why they always end up more like an ‘Editor’s Note’ than an ‘Introduction’), but for this one the procrastination levels were epic. And I think, in part, it’s because this is the fourth and final book for this anthology series. And I’m going to be quite sad to see it end.
But it’s ending on a really high note.
I’m biased, of course, and not just because I’m the editor, but also because water is without question my absolute favourite element. When I was very young if I was being fussy or annoying my mother used to fill up the kitchen sink and plonk me down in it and let me splash and play. It never failed to calm me down. And that relationship with water remains to this day, all these many years later. The sharp smell of chlorinated water always makes me smile, as does the scent of the ocean. And both call to me.
That connection to the water makes me understand the yearning of selkies and the beckoning power of sirens.
When the publisher and I decided to put a selkie in mid-transformation on the cover, I don’t think either of us realized how perfect a cover that would be for this collection, but it is. Perfect, I mean. Not because there is a preponderance of selkie stories here – there aren’t. Really, there are only a few pure selkie stories and poems. But there are a lot of transformational ones.
Which really fits with the water theme. Even single drops of water, over time, can erode away stone—shifting and transforming it—and large bodies of water take no time at all to change landscapes. Or people.
Water shifts to take the shape of whatever contains it, so how can it be surprising that those things it contains also transform?
In some of these stories water is the siren, the shapeshifter, the monster. In others it’s less a character and more a setting. Or a force. Or a mystery.
What kind of wonders might oceans and swamps, lakes and rivers contain? What kind of creatures? What kind of magic?
The stories and poems in this collection don’t have all the answers to that question, but they do pose a variety of intriguing possibilities.
Or ask your local library to bring it in