Author Interview: Anne Greenwood Brown

Posted on 04/23/2012 in Author Interview / 10 Comments

Please help me welcome Anne Greenwood Brown, author of the young adult debut novel, Lies Beneath, to The Bawdy Book Blog today!  

About Anne Greenwood Brown ANNE GREENWOOD BROWN grew up sailing the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior, leaning over the rail and wondering, with a lake that big, that ancient, what amazing thing might flash by. Now she knows.



~You say that Calder spoke to you one day, demanding you write his story. What exactly did he say? Did he use his sneaky mer-charms on you to get his way? Oooh, you’re in a mood, aren’t you! : ) What happened was that I was writing a contemporary novel set on Lake Superior. One of the characters worked on the ferry boat, and I started dreaming about him diving off the rail of the ferry. Lake Superior is freezing cold, so this would be a stupid thing to do. Still, night after night, I kept dreaming that he was diving. Then one night he dove and burst out with this amazing tail! I woke up and heard the first line of the novel in my head: “I hadn’t killed anyone all winter, and I have to say I felt pretty good about that.” I got up, made a huge pot of coffee, took a deep breath, and started writing the story that wanted to be told.

~You’ve explained Calder’s and Maris’ names and how you came up with them. What’s the story behind Pavati (my personal favorite name in the book) and Tallulah? The thing that fascinates me about merfolk is that there are mer-legends in nearly every culture around the world that have lasted since ancient times, so I tried to tap into a few different cultures with their names. Calder (pronounced KAHL-der) is a Celtic name that means a stream running away from a larger body of water, which worked for him because of his desire to break away from the family unit. Maris is Latin for “of the sea,” (and it sounds like you read my blog so you know this was actually a Plan B name for her!) Pavati and Tallulah are both Native American names. Pavati means “clear water,” which is ironic because I think her motivations are the most complex of the three mermaids and not fully understood in the first book. Tallulah means “leaping water,” which is basically what she does at the end.

~What thought or sentiment from Lies Beneath would you copy and stick into a million fortune cookies? “Forgiveness is something you do for yourself.” That, or “No Coward Soul Is Mine.”

~If you could live as one of your characters for one week, who would it be and why? Yikes! Um…probably Pavati. She’s dark and exotic and pretty creepy in a seductive way. Very unlike me! So that’s why she’d be fun–a little bit of escape from reality. Plus she’s fast!

~I’m always curious how much research goes into paranormal books. How much went into Lies Beneath? Not a ton; not like I would for a historical novel. But I did do research on character names (as I mentioned above), and I researched the physiological stages of hypothermia and drowning. I also did some research on mermaid legends and pulled a little bit from lots of different places; for example, what I call “rejuvenation” is a nod to a legend about Alexander the Great’s sister. Their ability to sense moods is inspired by the Chinese legend that mermaids smell like happiness. Their ability to walk on land comes from the Arabian story of “Djullanar the Sea-girl,” who did not have a fish tail, and could walk on land, but could also breathe under water and interbreed with human men to perpetuate her race. Finally, Calder’s evolutionary path of leaving his predatory, animal nature behind and becoming more human is a reflection of the Milesian philosopher Anaximander, who thought that people had evolved from a water creature.

~Describe Lies Beneath in a tweet, 140 characters or less: An evolution story about a predatory creature who learns how to forgive, and how to love, and how to be a man.

~What was the last book you purchased? John Green’s THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. *sob*

~What part of the writing process is the easiest for you? And what is the hardest? Easiest: Dialogue. Hands down. I swear once I get to know my characters, it’s like they’re talking in my head and I’m transcribing what they say. Hardest: Probably capturing sorrow. It’s a hardcore emotion.

~If you could have a casual, fireside chat with any author, from any generation, who would you choose and why? I think that would have to be Lucy Maud Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables). I’d love to talk to her about writing such a huge character ARC, taking Anne from a little girl, through her teen years, into adulthood. Plus I wanted to be Anne growing up (I had the name right, the hair, and I started out as an English teacher…).

~If you didn’t have writing, what could you see yourself doing? What would you LOVE to do if you were not doing this? Acting. Or maybe being a travel agent.

Fun Stuff! (Um, I thought we were already doing the fun stuff!)


  • Food – Beef Stroganoff
  • EBook >=) – Does that little face mean I’m not supposed to plug LIES BENEATH? Oh, okay, then how about MISS TWIGGLEY’S TREE by Dorothea Warren Fox
  • TV Show – Modern Family
  • Movie – Pride & Prejudice
  • Sports team – Ick. No.


  • Paperbook or ebook? – Paperback
  • Werewolves or vampires? – Vampires
  • Facebook or Twitter? – Twitter (@AnneGBrown)
  • Morning person or night owl? – Morning
  • “Pop” or “Soda?” – Pop


Connect with Anne Greenwood Brown Facebook | Goodreads | Website | Twitter

Purchase/Pre-order Link Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Book Depository

Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother’s death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family’s homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock’s daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistable good looks and charm on ususpecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there’s more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.


And check out the book trailer for Lies Beneath below!


Does that trailer rock OR WHAT?!

Thank you, Anne, for stopping by and answering a few questions, it was great having you!

UPDATE 4/25/2012:

Click HERE to listen to an audio teaser of Lies Beneath!

The following two tabs change content below.
Jennifer is both a book nerd and professional photographer. That means she lives in the fantasy world all the time, whether of her making, or someone else's. She collects books like the Duggar family collects kids, and began waiting for her Hogwarts letter at the tender age of 33.


Subscribe to our mailing list

Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to our email newsletter and be notified when we post something new.

* Required field

10 responses to “Author Interview: Anne Greenwood Brown

  1. Teaser Tuesday (42): Unraveling | The Bawdy Book Blog

    […] Author Interview: Anne Greenwood Brown […]

  2. Teaser Tuesday (43): INSURGENT | The Bawdy Book Blog

    […] Author Interview with Anne Greenwood Brown of Lies Beneath! Tagged with: Insurgent • Teaser Tuesdays  About The Author […]

  3. Follower Friday (45): Breaking Up w/ Characters | The Bawdy Book Blog

    […] Condone A Thief? A Message To Kristi’s Loyal Fans Review – Bumped by Megan McCafferty Interview w/ Anne Greenwood Brown, author of Lies Beneath! Unraveling Teaser […]

Leave a Reply