Urban Fantasy Critters: My Favorite Merman

I’m cross-posting from the Write in the Shadows blog, where all week we’ve been talking about our favorite paranormal critters…and I’m pretty much part of the vampire club. I was trying to explain to someone a few days ago why vampires are sexy and zombies are gross. But you all agree with me–you know you do.

So rather than wax poetic about sexy, brooding vampires ad nauseum, I decided to talk about the paranormal critters I have most enjoyed writing about. I have a vampire manuscript making the rounds right now, but my New Orleans series that will come out in omg2012 has quite the plethora of pretes (aka preternatural beings):

* Wizards of different magical types and skill levels;
* The “historical undead,” which are powered by the magic of memory–the really famous ones take corporeal form;
* Werewolves, specifically Louisiana Loups-Garou;
* Voodoo gods;
* Water creatures–nixes, nymphs, and naiads;
* Satyrs;
* Elves;
* Merpeople.

The fun things for me have been 1) adapting the mythologies for more commonly found pretes like wizards and werewolves and vampires to give them a different twist; and 2) developing my own mythologies for some of the less-common pretes such as mers and elves. (Okay, if you’re a traditional fantasy reader you see lots of elves, but not so much in urban fantasy.)

My current favorite among the critters are the mers. In my world, merpeople are aquatic shapeshifters that were among the French-speaking Acadians tossed out out of Nova Scotia in the 18th century. They made their way to Louisiana eventually, and “Acadians” got bastardized (as Southerners will do) to “Cajuns.”

So my mer characters are Cajun shrimpers who live in the parishes of Southeast Louisiana–LaFourche, Plaquemines and St. Bernard. I’ve had fun blending the Cajun culture with my own twist on the mer culture. My mermen are a bit on the short side, compact and muscular, tight with a buck, prone to siring twins and triplets, a tad arrogant, and a bit gruff at times. They’re also loyal and like the ladies.
So forget this:

Think this:

So, if have to ignore vampires and werewolves, who are your favorite critters?

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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and suspense. As Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, Belle Chasse, Frenchmen Street (March 2018). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance; ILLUMINATION); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the Wilds of the Bayou series (Wild Man's Curse; Black Diamond).

8 thoughts on “Urban Fantasy Critters: My Favorite Merman

  1. Do shapeshifters count with the werewolves? If not, I love shapeshifters, no matter their alternate form. If they do count as werewolves, I like faeries (macho, sexy ones). 🙂

  2. Oh yeah, that second picture is MUCH better! Yeah, I’m hooked on vampires…but starting to dig immortals. Mostly because of Gena Showalters Lords of the Underworld series. Plus, I’ve written a couple books about immortals….ones who aren’t demons or anything like that.

    Love angels, too….

  3. Ooh, I lurve your version of merfolk. I can’t wait for your book to come out and I’m bummed it’s been pushed back to 2012.

    I’m a shifter girl. I like just about any flavor of shifter.

    Oh, and the PX on base actually had The Native Star so I picked it up on your recommendation. I’m taking it with me on my trip to Austria to read on the bus. Can’t wait.

  4. Definitely shifters. I have a great idea for a shifter story. Gah, I wish there were more hours in a day so I can write and edit and work on all of my story ideas.

  5. LOL, Nicole, I hear you–seems like I have way more ideas than time.

    Angie–I hope you like The Native Star. I loved it–let me know what you think. Also jealous about going to Austria. I’ve been twice (Innsbruck, Salzburg etc., but not Vienna yet)–it’s so beautiful.

    Lynn, haven’t read the Showalter books but they’re on my “list”–I’m liking immortals too and am anxious to read the new JR Ward series.

    Leigh, macho sexy fairies are never a bad thing 🙂 and James–gnomes! I love it. Tell me some evil little gnome books to read. I remember them being nasty things in Harry Potter!

  6. Trolls, anyone? Okay, not. But hey, maybe there is some subspecies, horribly misunderstood…
    BTW, your merman is the spitting image of my muse, who happens to like to sit on the edge of my bathtub while I soak.

  7. It was certainly interesting for me to read the blog. Thanks for it. I like such themes and anything connected to this matter. I would like to read a bit more on that blog soon.

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