From books to movies to blogs to gatherings, mermaids are making a big splash in popular culture this summer.
Video trailers for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, out May 20, feature sexy mermaids who play a key role in Captain Jack Sparrow's latest adventure.
Publishers are releasing a school of mermaid novels. And MerCon 2011, the first mermaid convention, will be held at the Mirage Resort and Casino in Las Vegas Aug. 12-13.
Even Stephenie Meyer, who made her fame and fortune writing about vampires, told USA TODAY in March that she's writing about mermaids. (And, yes, she was wearing a silver mermaid necklace when she said it.)
"Publishers and readers are looking for the next big thing in the paranormal genre," says Mandy Hubbard, whose young-adult novel Ripple, about a seemingly normal teen who must hide that she's a mermaid (Razorbill, $16.99), is out July 21. "We've already done vampires and werewolves and angels. Mermaids feel a little more fresh and interesting."
Other titles rearing their heads:
•Dreamland Social Club by Tara Altebrando (Dutton, $16.99, in stores). A girl learns of her mother's dreams about wanting to be be a mermaid.
•Fins Are Forever by Tera Lynn Childs (Katherine Tegen Books, $16.99, June 28). A teen wants to give up her royal mermaid status to become human.
•Lost Voicesby Sarah Porter (Harcourt, $16.99, July 4). A girl is transformed into a mermaid.
Carolyn Turgeon, whose Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale, was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid, is one of a growing number of women jumping fin first into the mermaid life.
She'll be at MerCon, but first, she'll attend Sirens of the Deep Mermaid Camp at Weeki Wachee Springs in Florida, where she and other mermaid wannabes will be fitted for tails and learn to swim like mermaids.