Hélène Boudreau writes fiction and non-fiction for children and young adults from her land-locked home in Ontario, Canada, though she grew up on an island surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. She has never spotted a mermaid in the wild but believes they are just as plausible as sea horses, flying fish or electric eels. Her debut middle grade novel, Acadian Star, was nominated for the 2009–2010 Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award. You can visit her at: www.heleneboudreau.com
Do you use myspace, facebook, twitter, or other social networking sites? If so, how do we find you on those sites?
www.twitter.com/HeleneBoudreau Facebook professional page: www.facebook.com/pages/Helene-Boudreau/8591876811
What books are you currently reading?
THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX by Mary Pearson THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE by JK Rowling
What are your favorite books?
HOLES by Louis Sachar BRIDGE TO TERIBITHIA by Katherine Paterson HATCHET by Gary Paulsen THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX by Kate DiCamillo JOHNNY KELLOCK DIED TODAY by Hadley Dyer A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L’Engle FEED by MT Anderson ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART TIME INDIAN by Sherman Alexie THE GRAVEYARD BOOK by Neil Gaiman
What books would you recommend to your readers?
STUPID CUPID by Rhonda Stapleton THE SAMANTHA GRANGER EXPERIMENT by Kari Lee Townsend
Any message to your readers?
From dressing room disasters, to drugstore dramas, to embarassing run-ins with her secret crush, I hope Jade has you giggling as much as I did while I was writing this book!
What is your book about? Please provide a description.
First zit. First crush. First…mermaid’s tail? Jade feels like enough of a freak-of-nature when she gets her first period at almost fifteen. She doesn’t need to have it happen at the mall while trying on that XL tankini she never wanted to buy in the first place. And she really doesn’t need to run into Luke Martin in the Feminine Hygiene Products aisle while her dad Googles ‘menstruation’ on his Blackberry. But ‘freak-of-nature’ takes on a whole new meaning when raging hormones and bath salts bring on another metamorphosis—complete with scales and a tail. And when Jade learns she’s inherited her mermaid tendencies from her late mother’s side of the family, it raises the question; if Mom was once a mermaid, did she really drown that day last summer? Jade is determined to find out. Though, how does a plus-sized, aqua-phobic mer-girl go about doing that, exactly…especially when Luke from aisle six seems to be the only person who might be able to help?
How long have you been at work on this book?
I began writing this book in the fall of 2007 as part of National Novel Writing Month.
How did the idea originate?
I grew up in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada near an ocean-to-fresh-water-lake boat lock system, much like the kind depicted in the book. The setting for the book is very loosely based on this area in St. Peter's, Nova Scotia. I'm from a family of eight kids and we couldn't afford vacations so as a treat, my dad would take his fishing boat and sail us all across the bay from our town to St. Peter's to go through the locks and into the Bras D'Or Lakes. I remember that the ocean had purple jellyfish and the fresh water lake had white jellyfish. As we crossed through the locks from the ocean to the lake, however, some of the purple jellyfish would always get swept along with us, to be imprisoned in their new fresh-water home. That's how I came up with the idea of salt water mermaids being trapped behind locks in a mer-made fresh water prison.
Did the book entail any unusual writing habits or places?
I often write on my treadmill desk so a good part of this manuscript was written while walking. You can view it here: http://www.heleneboudreau.com/?p=631