Before Johanna Harness’ tell-all debut launched her into the spotlight as Amazon’s #1 best seller of mermaid paranormal cozy thrillers, she contented herself traveling with carnivals and circuses. For a mere fifty cents, children would walk behind the curtain and stare at the fishy author, swishing around in her tank, cheeks sucked in, lips puckered out.
“This is stupid,” the kids yelled. “It’s a big, stupid fish. We’ve been robbed!”
Heartbroken, Johanna would hover by her keyboard, type “I #amwriting” to her twitter friends, and plunge into another scene.
Mermaid wranglers usually managed to keep afloat, even in a bad economy, but times were tough. Johanna saw her friends’ tanks on the market and her own water circling the drain. Before she knew what was happening, she found herself in a plastic bag. A toddler with enormous eyes shook her, shouting, “Fishy-fishy-fishy-fishy-fishy-fishy-fisheeeeeeeeee!” She prayed for the day she’d quit spiraling and float belly-up.
That day never came.
She swam circles around her new little tank. Months passed while she waited for that keyboard to reappear. Ceramic dog, bonsai plant, underwater castle, shrub, ceramic dog, bonsai plant, underwater castle, shrub, ceramic dog. . .
Then the carnival people knocked at the door.
“Fish inspectors,” they said. “We need to inspect your fish.”
“Mommmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!” the oldest yelled. “Fish Inspector! Fish inspector fish inspector fish inspector!”
Littlest pulled Johanna off the shelf, water sloshing and splashing. The girl handed the tank to the carny. “Hee-ya-go,” she said. “Bye fishee.”
As the carnies flew through the streets, they explained. Johanna had to get back to her keyboard. Mermaid Bombshell was on fire at Amazon and they had this sweet gig lined up at Gem State Writers.
“You’re a blogger, baby. A blogger!”