In Wave Singers, the world Merry deals with is entirely different from that of every other book because she starts in the human realm, on Earth as you and I know it. In fact, the inspiration for Merry’s home town on the south coast of the UK was Brighton. Once she is transported to another realm, Merry finds herself in Thera, the land and sea realm of the Mer situated to the west of Pangaea.
Thera is named for a city of Ancient Greece, which had a seaport and popular religious cults on the island of Santorini. It was also the location of the volcano that may (or may not) have extinguished the Minoan civilisation of Crete, believed by some to be Plato’s inspiration for Atlantis.
The Mer choose to live either on land, or underwater or a mixture of both as they can easily switch between land-legs and fins. On land they occupy basic camps, enjoying the feeling of the sun. When underwater, they have beautiful, shining white towers moulded from the corals they live around, the tallest of which soar above the surface of the water.
There are several Mer cities that govern the various regions of Thera and report to Thalassis, the capital and residence of the ruler of Thera. Each capital has several smaller settlements surrounding it, with residents working on tradable products and produce such as fresh fish and pearls. The Mer are also intrinsically creative and craft works of art that are highly prized on the mainland of Pangaea, especially by the Titaians.
You can learn even more about Mer lifestyles by catching a copy of Regent: A Wave Singers novella.
I based the Mer lifestyle and visual descriptions based on trips to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the relaxed lifestyle of New Zealand. The formal scenes in Regent: A Wave Singers novella were reminiscent of the French court in the 18th century, an inspiration that will continue to flow through the society of Fire Dancer.