Mermicorn Magic Despite Mayhem

In Which We Talk About Mermaid Addiction and Good News During a Pandemic

I have literally been training my whole life for this moment. It started when I saw The Little Mermaid, my very first movie in a theater, and fell in love with the water and King Triton’s pecs. It continued with every single swim sesh where I’d jump in as a mullet-and-water-wings-sporting toddler and lock my ankles together to create a mermaid “fin” and pretend to be a resident of Atlantis. My robsession with mer-people was so high my dad had to physically hold me back by my shirt when we went to the lake so he could put me in a life vest because I would run down the dock and just jump in, not giving a Flotsam that I didn’t know how to swim. That mermaid addiction (mer-diction) went all the way up to my adulthood where I bought myself a mermaid fin so I could read by the pool living my best mer-life (see a photo of that fun here). And now, after decades of mer-antics, I can announce the series that I’ve been waiting my whole life to write:

MERMICORN ISLAND! It’s got mermaid-unicorn hybrids, it’s got zany antics, it’s got magic and under-the-sea silliness. It’s so silly that it feels a little wonky announcing it during a time when so much is out of whack. But thinking up adventures for Lucky (that’s our lead) and his pals has really helped me get through this discombobulating time, and you can bet your bottom sand dollar that I’m writing my scales off to make this a fun and whimsical escape for all of us with no mermicorns or sea creatures getting affected by a sinister virus. And if they did, there’s a magic seashell for that, I’m sure of it.

A little tidbit about this project: this is actually a work-for-hire series. I am so thankful to my editor for coming up with the core idea of a mermicorn having magic adventures and reaching out to my agent to say, “I think Jason June would know what to do with this. Can he send me some sample pages?” Somehow she knew that mermaids are constantly swimming in my heart and unicorns are galloping through my soul because when I got sent this idea I had that whole “clouds parting, sunbeams shining, sirens singing” moment of everything clicking into place. Further down the road (no wait…further down the current? I’m trying to stick with a theme here), I plan to share some nuggets about work-for-hire for writers who are curious about that. So stay tuned, er…hang ten?

Escapist Reads

Need some books to read to get your head out of this world and into some fantastic realms? I’m currently reading Christina Soontornvat’s A WISH IN THE DARK and the sci-fi and fantasy short story collection edited by Patrice Caldwell, A PHOENIX FIRST MUST BURN. I can’t recommend both enough!

In A WISH IN THE DARK, we’re getting a retelling of Les Mis set in a gorgeous fantasy-version of Thailand and it’s giving me all the feels. I have such a literary crush on Father Cham who is so kind and compassionate during a time when I feel we need more of that in the world.

In A PHOENIX FIRST MUST BURN, each story is written by and centers Black women and gender nonconforming individuals. These stories are so epic and I’m in awe of the world-building of all these authors who are creating such lush worlds in so few pages. Also, Patrice Caldwell used to be an editor, is now an agent, and is also a writer, and she has a great newsletter giving insight into all sorts of publishing matters with her trifecta perspective. Check it out here! Her post about giving yourself the time to not write while we get used to the new normal of Corona Quarantining was especially helpful for me.

Have Yourself a Hoot

Need something to help pass the time while you’re at home? You can snag yourself a Whobert Whover Story Hour Kit and have an at-home mystery featuring the characters from my and Jess Pauwels’s picture book, WHOBERT WHOVER, OWL DETECTIVE (written under my old, less fabulous/confident name). The kit was magnificently designed by Kirsten Cappy at Curious City, and you can download it for free by clicking this link here.

That’s all for now, Junebugs. Sending you all the mermicorn magic I can muster!


Jason June