Meet My Character: Clara Amsell


Welcome to the hop!

No, it's not a fifties-themed dance. It's a blog hop--a kind of virtual field trip in which authors introduce you to a character from their work. But you can dance if you want to!
First of all, I'd like to thank the talented Rysa Walker for inviting me to participate. Rysa was the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award grand prize winner in 2013, and she has been extremely kind and helpful to me since I won the 2014 ABNA Young Adult category. Her YA book Timebound is a fun and thrilling read--and the sequel Time's Edge will be available in October. Rysa's "Meet the Character" blog entry ( and more about her & her books) can be found here:

Twitter: @RysaWalker

And Clara!

1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or historic? 
Seventeen-year-old Clara Amsell is purely fictional.
2) When and where is the story set?
The story takes place in the 1870's. It begins in the mountains of Pennsylvania, but the main characters journey through a few other states as well. Although the setting is realistic, the story contains elements of magic and myth: mermaids, a pet dragon, and enchanted tea, for example.

3) What should we know about him/her?
Clara and her sister Maren are the adopted daughters of Auntie Verity, a half-faerie healer woman. Clara is devoted to her sister and loves her life on the mountain. She is on the cusp of adulthood, and a bit unsure of herself; her belief that she will most likely become a stork someday does not help. To complicate matters further, she is developing romantic feelings for her best friend O'Neill--who up until now has been like a brother to her.

4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?
When Clara discovers that Maren is growing scales, she realizes that her sister is becoming a mermaid and must be taken to the sea before she dies. She must decide whether to accept her sister's fate or to fight it; she must choose between what she wants and what Maren needs. More conflict comes when Clara, Maren, and O'Neill become entangled with a strange family of traveling performers...and I will say no more about that lest I give away too much!

5) What is the personal goal of the character?
Her goal is to save her sister's life.

6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?
When I entered the ABNA contest, the title of the book was Seashell, Stork and Apple Tree. After the book was chosen as the winner of the Young Adult Fiction category, it was renamed The Mermaid's Sister. You can read a review from Publishers Weekly here:

7) When can we expect the book to be published?
Skyscape will publish the book February 24, 2015. It is available for pre-order in paperback, e-book, and audiobook formats at

And now, to continue the blog hop, I nominate Roberta Brosius and Amy C. Blake, two gifted ladies I've met at writers' conferences over the last year.

Roberta Brosius is the author of the contemporary YA novel Surviving MeeMaw. She is hard at work writing two more books for the series: Surviving Jamaica and Surviving Graduation.

Find Surviving MeeMaw here:

Follow Roberta on Facebook at

And be sure to look for her "Meet My Character" piece next week on her blog at

My second nominee is Amy C. Blake. Her YA suspense novel Whitewashed will be published February 15, 2015, by Mantle Rock Publishing.
You can find her on Facebook at

Check out Amy's website and her version of "Meet My Character" soon at


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