Inspirational Finds aka Searching for Mermaids by Adrienne Vaughan

This week I’m joined by Adrienne Vaughan for a fascinating insight into the world of an author.

Being an author is definitely one of the best jobs in the world!


Because we just sit at our desks making things up. Great, when ideas flow and the muse rests serenely on your shoulder, fingers flying across the keyboard as the screen fills with lyrical prose, scintillating dialogue and the best side-splitting gags ever written. Happens all the time, every day without fail, it’s so easy!

Of course, that’s a big fat fib! Which is why, as soon as a story starts formulating in whichever part my scrambled brain that miracle occurs, I start collecting things. Things, that when I first started on this journey, I didn’t realise were remotely related to what I was doing at all.

For instance, my debut novel The Hollow Heart ( is set on a remote Irish isle and one of the characters is a wonderfully eccentric postmistress called Miss Kathleen MacReady. In her head, Kathleen lives in a far more glamourous era and is a true romantic. Before long I had gathered MacReady evening gloves, brocade shoes studded with rhinestones and a decapitated head which now sits on my dressing table modelling my favourite hat. I just had to gaze at her belongings and whatever she wanted to say next popped into my head. (Ooo I wish you’d given me a photo of those! Mx)

Fast forward to my latest novel, That Summer at the Seahorse Hotel ( and I’m now the proud owner of herds of seahorses in all sorts of guises plus I can swan about in a vintage Japanese red kimono, identical to the one found on the secret staircase in the book! It’s fascinating how having these little prompts scattered about help keep me focused on my story while walking and talking with the characters in my head.

My new novel is more challenging. It’s called The Shell Sisters and luckily my sister Reta and I are avid shell collectors, so I have lots to inspire me. And as the story touches on one of our most sacred myths − Mermaids − there are plenty to be found to add to my collection, from jolly little fun ones to some very grandiose artistic interpretations indeed.  

Just part of my collection includes this divine Little Mermaid bronze who magically appeared in a local charity shop recently, Mary the Mermaid swam over from Ireland the Christmas before last, (hadn’t even started writing the book then) and the beautiful mermaid doll was caught peering at me from behind a bookcase in a nearby antique centre. She now plays a big part in the new novel, and why not, just fabulous, isn’t she? (Lovely. Mx)

But it’s the real thing I’m having a problem with. Google all you like, they’re so difficult to track down and then I worry, when I do acquire a fully grown, live mermaid, will she be happy in the bath, the dogs’ paddling pool or do we need a special tank? (😱 Mx)

You see, even if an author has everything to hand to write that perfect scene, a reason to procrastinate can be weaved out of thin air, or mermaid hair, if only I could find one!

About That Summer at the Seahorse Hotel

Seahorse Cover - thumbnail

Mia Flanagan has never been told who her father is and aged ten, stopped asking.

Haunted by this, she remains a dutiful daughter who would never do anything to bring scandal or shame on her beautiful and famously single mother.

So when Archie Fitzgerald, one of Hollywood’s favourite actors, decides to leave Mia his Irish estate, she asks herself – is he her father after all?

That Summer at the Seahorse Hotel is a tale of passion, jealousy and betrayal – and the ghost of a secret love that binds this colourful cast yet still threatens, after all these years, to tear each of them apart.

To buy the book you can use the following links:-

Amazon UK

Amazon US

(And I don’t know about you but I’m itching to buy the book having read this post! Mx)

About Adrienne Vaughan

Adrienne Vaughan - Looking for mermaids

Adrienne Vaughan is a journalist and author. A writer from an early age, it was no surprise she grew up to be a journalist and after studying at the Dublin College of Journalism dived headfirst into her career. She has worked in magazines and newspapers for many years.

To date, she has written four highly acclaimed novels, the latest That Summer at the Seahorse Hotel published by The Paris Press, together with an award-winning collection of poetry and short stories, Fur Coat & No Knickers. Her short story Dodo’s Portrait was short-listed for the Colm Toibin Award at the Wexford Literary Festival in 2018.

A member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, she edited the membership magazine Romance Matters for seven years and launched the RNA Industry Awards which are hosted annually in London.

A member of the Chartered Institute of Journalism and the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, Adrienne also has a degree in business leadership and management.

Currently working on her latest novel, which her agent is expecting next month, she divides her time between Ireland and rural Leicestershire where she lives with her husband, two cocker spaniels and a rescue cat called Agatha Christie – ‘So named because we never know who she’s going to kill next!’ 

Although being a writer is the day job, Adrienne freely admits she still harbours a burning ambition to be a Bond girl.

To keep in touch with Adrienne, you can use the following links:-

Twitter: @adrienneauthor



Thank you for such an interesting insight, Adrienne. I can really see you as a Bond girl 😄💕 Mx


Thank you for visiting my blog – Morton S. Gray – Author. I hope you enjoyed this post. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Christmas at Borteen Bay is available now as both an eBook and audio download – Amazon Kindle, Audio, Apple iBooks, Kobo and Choc Lit for other buying options.

The Truth Lies Buried is available now from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKobo, Apple iBooks. This will be available as a paperback and audiobook.

The Girl on the Beach published by Choc Lit is available as a paperback and from all eBook platforms – Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play.



By Morton S. Gray

Author of romantic suspense novels.


  1. Lovely post, Adrienne. I’m a shell lover too – the beauty and mystery of them. The stories they could tell, eh?! It’s great to have a reminder of your fab novels and I’m looking forward to reading all about the Shell Sisters. Xx

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Oh brilliant! I LOVE shells and have collected a few over the years, both near home and abroad 🙂 Mermaids are fascinating and I am looking forward to reading your new story, Adrienne! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks so much for hosting me on your wonderful blog, Morton! Great job with my feature … I can almost smell the sea!
    And thanks a million for your lovely comments, Briggers. I’ve been doing some shell research and I didn’t know that shells are grouped in ‘families’ Considering the new novel is about a family of three sisters, I thought that worked perfectly! X

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Reblogged this on New Romantics Press and commented:
    Woo Hoo. Adrienne is working hard on finishing her WIP and is featured on this blog today. I for one can’t wait to read it as I know to will be romantic, mystical and full of all the Adrienne Vaughan ‘touches’ we love and admire. Watch this space for more information.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Great blog post Adrienne and Morton. I can’t wait for the release of this novel as Adrienne and I have been sharing extracts and helping each other via the phone with our WIP’s. I love the idea of mermaids and – on a practical note – I think artefacts are easier to find than seahorses. LOL.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for commenting Lynn, glad you enjoyed the blog. It’s a really fun part of the job, my husband gave me a pearl necklace with a silver seahorse clasp a while ago, that’s now in the novel too! X

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a gorgeous bronze mermaid! And I love that collecting physical items helps get you in the writing zone, Adrienne. I often use photographs as prompts but creating a collection sounds loads more fun… : )

    Liked by 2 people

  7. A great post, Adrienne, with your vibrant personality just shining through. To know there’s soon to be another Adrienne Vaughan novel is a red letter day for me. I’ve absolutely loved your earlier ones and can’t wait to read The Shell Sisters – a fabulous title by the way.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. The best! I was in the garden editing when my husband put her latest book – just delivered – beside me. I heard her lovely rasping voice, ‘Just get on with it, darling’ ! X


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