Marilyn Peake

Marilyn Peake

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
May 9, 2008

Q.    Who is Marilyn Peake?

A.    I'm a wife, mother of two wonderful children, and a writer. As a writer, I'm an "out of the mist" type, meaning my stories develop as I write them. I usually have a general outline in my head, including a possible ending, but the story takes its real shape as I write it.

Q.    How did you come about the storyline for THE FISHERMAN’S SON?

A.    It came about step-by-step. After deciding that I would write a trilogy of children's fantasy adventure novels in which THE FISHERMAN'S SON is the first book, I decided next that the main character would be a twelve-year-old boy. I wanted him to discover a secret treasure, and decided that he would find an ancient city beneath the ocean with the help of a magical dolphin.

Q.    How did you come about Wiley’s character?

A.    As I started writing THE FISHERMAN'S SON, I created Wiley O'Mara, a twelve-year-old boy, as the main character. I pictured the setting for his home as an impoverished island, somewhat like Ireland, at the beginning of the nineteenth century. I wanted Wiley to be brave and good, a real hero worthy of being entrusted with an important mission. As I developed his character, I also created many obstacles that he would need to overcome in order to succeed.

Q.    How did you come about the idea of the golden cup?

A.    As I wrote the scene in which the magical woman Lucinda appeared to Wiley, I pictured her as very similar to a fairy godmother. Wiley had been on a very difficult journey through a forbidden forest, and I decided that Lucinda would lead him to a magical lake and give him a golden goblet, so that he could dip it into the water and take a drink. I wanted the goblet to have multiple layers of meanings and to be inscribed with special words, so I decided that there would be pictures of two dolphins on it, and between those two pictures, the following message: "Drink deeply by land or sea. Earth comes only once." I then decided that Wiley's quest would begin when he went down to the ocean in summer and showed the goblet to a magical dolphin guide named Elden. Lucinda tells Wiley that that is what he must do.

Q.    What was the name of the island where Wiley lived?

A.    I don't name the island in THE FISHERMAN'S SON because I wanted the exact place to be elusive. Later in the series, in THE CITY OF THE GOLDEN SUN, I do name two important cities on the island when part of it was knocked to the bottom of the ocean by a meteor in ancient times - a time to which Wiley must travel in order to save six boys protected there by a magical air bubble.

Q.    Is there a sequel to THE FISHERMAN’S SON?

A.    Yes, THE FISHERMAN'S SON is the first book in a trilogy. The next two books are: THE CITY OF THE GOLDEN SUN and RETURN OF THE GOLDEN AGE.

Q.    Do you visit schools to read your stories to students?

A.    I've done that several times, and have enjoyed it very much. In addition to reading from my books, I show pictures of ocean fish and mammals, ancient Greece and Rome, and other research that I used in order to add details to THE FISHERMAN'S SON that are both interesting and educational.

Q. How long have you been writing?

A.    I started writing as a young child, and more seriously in high school. In high school, I wrote short stories and poetry, and wrote articles for several local newspapers. I started writing novels about 19 years ago, and had my first book published in 2003. That first book is THE FISHERMAN'S SON.

Q. Are your currently working on another book?

A.    Yes, I'm currently writing an adult science fiction novel.

Q.    Is there a message that you would like readers to receive from reading THE FISHERMAN’S SON?

A.    The main message of THE FISHERMAN'S SON is that no matter how difficult one's circumstances, everyone can rise above those situations and become a hero if they do the right thing and believe in themselves.