Q&A with Betsy Cornwell, Author of TIDES—Plus Giveaway

I revealed the cover for Betsy Cornwell’s debut, TIDES, last year. Today, I’m thrilled to have her here again for an interview, along with a giveaway to celebrate her debut’s paperback release! Read on for our exclusive Q&A, then enter to win one signed paperback of TIDES!


IceyBooks: Describe your debut, TIDES, in 5-7 words.

Betsy Cornwell:Selkies, secrets, and one loving, weird family.

IceyBooks: Many novels are inspired by one sentence or question, was there one that sparked TIDES?

Betsy Cornwell
The idea for TIDES started with a place (the Isles of Shoals, where I worked as a steamship-replica historical tour guide!), but the first line of the prologue was with me from the beginning:

The color at the bottom is so deep, there are few who would call it blue.

IceyBooks: Do you have a favorite line that was removed from the original draft of TIDES?

Betsy Cornwell: Ooh, I have lots! TIDES is told from multiple points of view, and the villain’s perspective was eventually cut from the final draft. I miss his creepy voice, though! I’ve actually posted an entire lost chapter from his perspective here: http://theroseandchestnut.com/2014/03/13/long-lost-tides-chapter-hopes-skin/

My favorite line from that chapter is probably this one: “An image rose in his mind of the girl vivisected, her skin hanging off her flesh like a limp red dress.”

Ah, creepy villain. You are so creepy.

IceyBooks: Say TIDES is being adapted to a movie – who would portray your main character?

Betsy Cornwell: Niall Horan, baby. He has the slightly adorkable dreaminess necessary to play my eighteen-year-old hero, Noah. Plus, I love Irish guys (just ask my Galway-native husband)!

(I don’t know if Niall can act, but at least a lot of teens would see the movie . . . )

IceyBooks: Give us the three…Movies you can’t wait to see:

Betsy Cornwell:
I absolutely can’t wait to see Song of the Sea, the new animated movie from the studio that made The Secret of Kells. Their animation style is breathtaking, and Song of the Sea is all about selkies, so it seems to be tailor-made out of things I love. I’m also impatient to see The Grand Budapest Hotel because I’m a big Wes Anderson fan, and finally, The Maiden And The Princess (directed by Ali Scher, a college classmate of mine) has been on my radar for a long time.

IceyBooks: Random facts about you:

Betsy Cornwell:
And finally, I am taller than the average American man, I own two dairy goats named Nanny and Ninny (and have mad cheesemaking skills, you should try my chevre) and I am attempting to become quadrilingual (I’ve got English, French, and some German, and I’m working on my Irish).

IceyBooks: Books you can’t wait to read:

Betsy Cornwell:
SO. MANY. BOOKS. I’m going to have to go with 1. whatever Margaret Atwood writes next 2. A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L’Engle (my next gift-to-myself book, whenever that will be!) and 3. A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas, a retelling of Sleeping Beauty that’s coming out in 2015.

About the Author

Betsy Cornwell wrote her first novel, TIDES, as a student at Smith College. After graduating from Smith and getting an MFA from Notre Dame, she moved to Ireland to live with the fairies. She has two more novels coming in 2015: COMPASS, a companion novel to TIDES, and MECHANICA: The Inventor Princess, a steampunk retelling of Cinderella.

You can read two of her stories for free online: “Autopsy” and “Shapes,” as well as her Teen Ink column archives. Thanks for visiting!

Find Betsy on her Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Add TIDES to Goodreads

Thanks to Betsy, we’ve got 1 paperback copy of TIDES up for grabs!
Just fill out the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.



  1. Reply

    Carla Bosch

    April 1, 2014

    I haven’t read Tides but I really really want to, I love mermaid stories, I think they’re fascinating! Thanks for the post and giveaway :)

  2. Reply


    April 1, 2014

    I found your blog on twitter a few days ago, you have a great blog! And I haven’t read Tides yet, but i love mermaid stories! Especially in the summer.

  3. Reply

    Chelsea Hunter

    April 1, 2014

    I have not yet read Tides, but I really want to.

  4. Reply

    Judy Cox

    April 1, 2014

    I have not read Tides, but I would enjoy reading. It looks like a very good book that I would enjoy. I love mermaid or fantasy books.

  5. Reply

    Angel (Spare Reads)

    April 1, 2014

    Oooo this cover looks really cool and I have never read anything about Selkies :D Fingers crossed for the giveaway!

  6. Reply


    April 1, 2014

    I literally just beyond accidentally landed on this site today and saw the cover of your book and that was enough for me…and I wasn’t looking for a book..ha! Now I’m following, twittering and goodreading away…hope I win a copy, it looks terrific! good luck with your work…nice to find you, June
    ps. I’m here to follow the blog by the way…thx!

  7. Reply


    April 1, 2014

    Love the cover! Sounds really good!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  8. Reply

    tawney bland

    April 1, 2014

    oF COURSE I have! i can’t wait for Compass!! And the wait is torturous. Ack! Plus her steampunk Cinderella retelling!I just love anything fairytale and fantasy!

  9. Reply

    Nurmawati Djuhawan

    April 2, 2014

    howdy betsy,
    i put or book on my TBR list..sounds a great book..
    thx u for hjosting today ^^

  10. Reply

    Jc Loh

    April 2, 2014

    Betsy living amongst fairies in Ireland? Get me that book already!!

  11. Reply


    April 2, 2014

    I read Tides last year and really enjoyed it! Thanks for the interview and I’m glad to see a companion book coming next year, will be watching for that.

  12. Reply


    April 2, 2014

    Thanks for the interview. I’m looking forward to reading Tides now.

  13. Reply

    Alice Kaltman

    April 2, 2014

    I can attest to the fact that TIDES is an awesome book and Betsy is a fabulous, water-savvy, sweetheart of a writer. Selkies, love, loss, redemption and a very unconventional cast of characters makes TIDES a gem of a book. I can’t wait to read more from this young whippersnapper!

  14. Reply

    Maria Medeiros

    April 2, 2014

    I haven’t read it but would love to!

  15. Reply


    April 2, 2014

    I really want to read this book. I’m just starting to get into mermaid books and this one sounds amazing!

  16. Reply


    April 3, 2014

    Haven’t read it; sounds interesting

  17. Reply

    Rocky Cerebebellum

    April 3, 2014

    I read the hardcover edition and loved it. I think that Lo, Noah’s sister, is a leading lady, not a supporting actress. So I nominate Miranda Cosgrove to play Lo in the movie.

    • Reply

      Betsy Cornwell

      April 3, 2014

      Ooh, she would be great! Thanks!

  18. Reply

    Rocky Cerebebellum

    April 3, 2014

  19. Reply

    Rocky Cerebebellum

    April 3, 2014

    Miranda Swims With Dolphins For Oceana

  20. Reply

    La La in the LiBrArY

    April 3, 2014

    Mermaids = FABULOUS!!

  21. Reply

    Mary Preston

    April 3, 2014

    I’m looking forward to reading TIDES. Loving the cover too.

  22. Reply

    Teresa Santos

    April 5, 2014

    I would love to read this book. The mythology surrounding selkies has always been a favourite. I can’t fathom why there aren’t any more stories about them.

  23. Reply

    Rain Jeys

    April 5, 2014

    I love selkies so I definitely need to read this one!

  24. Reply

    Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

    April 7, 2014

    I love the selkie myths. I’ve been wanting to read Tides since it came out, but sadly, my library didn’t have it, and other books kept getting in the way. Glad to hear it’s now in paperback, so I’ll be able to get a copy. :)

  25. Reply

    Karin Shaim

    April 9, 2014

    I haven’t read this book yet, but it sounds very interesting!

  26. Reply


    April 9, 2014

    I really would love to read it, I would never ignore a book about bisexual mermaids. Unfortunately I spent too much these last few months so my if I want to read it any time soon I’d need to win. Seems to be such a great story (‐^▽^‐)

  27. Reply

    Hope Tweeddale

    April 10, 2014

    I’ve not watched it but I would absolutely love to!! So excited:)

  28. Reply

    Keara Christine

    April 11, 2014

    I’m so excited at the prospect of winning a copy! If I don’t win I might just have to buy the book anyway. I love selkies. ^_^

  29. Reply


    April 11, 2014

    I have not read Tides in-fact I have never read any mermaid story but this one sound amazing :)

  30. Reply

    Kate I.

    April 15, 2014

    I’ve not yet read TIDES but certainly would like to … because *selkies*! One of Betsy’s 2015 releases, MECHANICA, is also of great interest based on the description. As she said: So. Many. Books!

  31. Reply

    La La in the LiBrArY

    April 16, 2014

    When will the winner be announced?