ROGUE WAVE Blog Tour: Jennifer Donnelly Talks Mermaid Fashion

Posted 01/06/2015 by alicemarvels in Author Guest Post


We are so excited to welcome Jennifer Donnelly to the blog today on her “Don’t Go ROGUE With Spoilers” blog tour! This week Jennifer will be stopping by five blogs to celebrate the release of Rogue Wave, book two in the Waterfire Saga, which comes out today! We were huge fans of Serafina, Neela and their mermaid friends in book one, Deep Blue, and it was so much fun reuniting with them in Rogue Wave.

Today Jennifer discusses the gorgeous fashion of the Waterfire Saga (some of which is exhibited on the lovely covers) – check it out!


Mermaid Fashion in the Waterfire Saga

Deep Blue and Rogue Wave Waterfire Saga by Jennifer Donnelly

Can I just tell you? Clamshell bikini tops are not at all my thing. And the mermaids of the Waterfire Saga wouldn’t be caught dead in them either.  They have places to be and things to do. They have lives, people! And bikini tops just don’t work in a palace, or a classroom, or the ostrokon.

Serafina and her friends are creatures of the water. Their bodies reflect their marine environments. Astrid, from the Arctic realm of Ondalina, has the cool black and white markings of an orca. Ava, from the Amazon river, has the graceful body of a river ray. And Neela, a bioluminescent, glows with blue light whenever she’s feeling emotional.

Environment also influences each mermaid’s style. When the Waterfire Saga begins, Sera wears regal sea-silk gowns, as befits the ruler of the oldest mer realm. Astrid wears seal-fur vests. Ling is partial to red. Practical Becca favors things that pack well and don’t show silt. Ava loves fuchsia. Baby, her pet piranha, has a matching leash and collar. And Neela, from a realm that places a lot of importance on appearance, wears a lot of pink.

When Sera’s realm is attacked, however, everything changes. Sera and Neela have to flee for their lives, and their clothing choices reflect their dark new realities. When Rogue Wave opens, Sera has traded her gowns for the military garb of the Blackfin Resistance. The war without has led to a war within, and she has cast off others’ expectations of what a princess should be and has embraced her inner designer. She now favors black, preferably slashed and pinned back together with fish hooks. Her ability to make convincing disguises helps the mermaids avoid capture.

A huuuuge source of inspiration for the Waterfire books was the work of a man I think Neela would admire: the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen. I saw his collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Walking through the dark jewel-box rooms that showcased his amazing gowns—some made of feathers or shells, others decorated with bird skulls or antlers—was like walking through a seriously grim fairy tale.

Many of the gowns my mermaids wear pay homage to McQueen. Magdalena, a river witch, wears snake skeletons twining up her arms—an accessory I think he would’ve especially liked. Vraja, the leader of the Iele, is fond of feathers, teeth, and skulls as adornment. She also likes to wear amber rings with swiveling human eyeballs in them instead of precious stones—maybe not the prettiest accessories ever made, but they are quite useful. They help her see who’s approaching her cave. Thalassa, Sera’s songcasting teacher, a diva to her core, wears crimson, with a cape made of mussel shells and a cluster of red anemones in her hair.

Like Neela, I found my own inner fashion designer as the Waterfire story progressed, and I have to say, I love the way the mermaids use clothing as self-expression, and as a reflection of who they are at any given moment. I’d love to hear what some of your favorite outfits and adornments are, and why!


Rogue Wave by Jennifer Donnelly

In this exciting sequel to DEEP BLUE, the mermaids are on an exceedingly important and dangerous quest. Their journey is testing their skills and their friendships, forcing them to grow and take on new challenges, and will alter their lives forever.

Serafina, Neela, Ling, Ava, Becca, and Astrid, six mermaids from realms scattered throughout the seas and freshwaters, were summoned by the leader of the river witches to learn an incredible truth: the mermaids are direct descendants of the Six Who Ruled–powerful mages who once governed the lost empire of Atlantis. The ancient evil that destroyed Atlantis is stirring again, and only the mermaids can defeat it. To do so, they need to find magical talismans that belonged to the Six.

Serafina believes her talisman was buried with an old shipwreck. While researching its location, she is almost discovered by a death rider patrol led by someone familiar. . . . The pain of seeing him turned traitor is devastating.

Neela travels to Matali to warn her parents of the grave threat facing their world. But they find her story outlandish; a sign that she needs to be confined to her chamber for rest and recovery. She escapes and travels to Kandina, where her talisman is in the possession of fearsome razormouth dragons.

As they hunt for their talismans, both Serafina and Neela find reserves of courage and cunning they didn’t know they possessed. They face down danger and death, only to endure a game-changing betrayal, as shocking as a rogue wave.

Available in stores today! Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Indiebound | iBooks

Read an excerpt here!


Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly

Deep in the ocean, in a world not so different from our own, live the merpeople. Their communities are spread throughout the oceans, seas, and freshwaters all over the globe.

When Serafina, a mermaid of the Mediterranean Sea, awakens on the morning of her betrothal, her biggest worry should be winning the love of handsome Prince Mahdi. And yet Sera finds herself haunted by strange dreams that foretell the return of an ancient evil. Her dark premonitions are confirmed when an assassin’s arrow poisons Sera’s mother. Now, Serafina must embark on a quest to find the assassin’s master and prevent a war between the Mer nations.

Led only by her shadowy dreams, Sera searches for five other mermaid heroines who are scattered across the six seas. Together, they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood and uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world’s very existence.

Available now: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Indiebound | iBooks

Read an excerpt here!


ABOUT Jennifer Donnelly:

Jennifer Donnelly author of The Waterfire Saga

Jennifer Donnelly is an award-winning author of both adult and young adult books, including Deep Blue, the first book in the Waterfire Saga. For adults she has written a trilogy of best-selling books that includes The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose, and The Wild Rose. Her first young adult novel, A Northern Light, received many accolades, among them the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Carnegie Medal in the UK, and a Michael L. Printz Honor. Her second young adult novel, Revolution, was named a Best Book of 2010 by Kirkus Reviews and School Library Journal, and the audiobook received a 2011 American Library Association Odyssey Honor. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley.

Catch up with Jennifer online: Website | Facebook | Twitter | WaterFire Saga Site



Rogue Wave “Don’t Go Rogue With Spoilers” Blog Tour:

Don’t miss the rest of the Rogue Wave blog tour fun!




    Do you know we can have a look at each of the six mermaids on as illustrations of the “mermaid quiz” ?
    I’m assuming you’ve already seen them, Jennifer. What do you think ok them ? Is that what you had in mind ?


    Great guest post..I loved hearing about the different outfits..and yeah clam shells thank you


    These covers are GORGEOUS!!!!! I love that they’re in dresses and not clamshell bras 😉 I’m not a dress girl myself (hello, sweatpants), but if I was a mermaid I think I might sing a different tune. Sweatpants wouldn’t be as comfortable in water as they are out of it, so I think lightweight, flowing dresses would be perfect.


    Cotton — in sweatpants or anything else — is so NOT mer fashion!! Way too heavy and fades quickly in saltwater. Think sea silk, scales, pearls, shells (NOT clamshell bras, which is just a terragog cliche!). Agree the covers do a great job showing off mer style … I love both of them!

    As for the online quiz at, so fun!! I’m Astrid … which kinda surprised me! Who are you?


      I got Becca, which is awesome! I thought I’d be Neela or Sera. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your guest post Jennifer!


    I love the covers and it is nice to know that there is a tie into the story. I love that the mermaids in this series aren’t into wearing clam shell bikinis!


    What a fascinating topic! Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂


    I’ve been unsure about this series because I’m not the biggest fan of mermaids. But I gotta say, I’m much more intrigued now!


    Such pretty covers! Want


    These are so pretty! I just didn’t understand how they didn’t get tangled up in their gowns. However, since they are magical creatures I guess it makes sense. What I really loved is having all the different mermaids based on creatures of the sea. That was so creative.


    Oh definitely, so not a fan of the clamshell-bikini type of fashion that is typically seen in stereotyped mermaids. Glad that Jennifer decided not to go that route and instead branch out a bit with her choices!


    I still haven’t read the sequel so I won’t read the post so I don’t bump into any spoiler. Anyhow I must add that that cover for Rouge Wave is so pretty! *_*


    These covers ARE gorgeous. The colors! The sea! MERMAIDS. And I love that Jennifer went a different route with mermaid fashion in her series. I love their outfits!


    I can’t decide what cover I love the most, so gorgeous. Being a fan of all things Mermaid related I’ve picked up book one and hope to read it before my daughter snags it! Thanks for sharing the wonderful post on Mermaid Fashion : )

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