Skip to content

maybe a mermaid

Maybe a Mermaid cover art
Amazon Best of the Month Badge

Eleven-year-old Anthoni Gillis has always wanted a True Blue Friend. It’s been hard to find one while bouncing from town to town, helping her mother sell Beauty and the Bee cosmetic products to keep them both afloat. This summer at Thunder Lake will be different though. Anthoni has a plan-a foolproof checklist for making lifelong friends! There won’t be any maybes this time. But as she grows entangled in local rumors about the Boulay Mermaid, Anthoni must decide if she’ll “stick to the plan,” like always, or dive into a summer full of extraordinary possibilities. Cameron’s energetic and heartfelt debut raises timeless questions about truth, lies, and the hope that grows between them.

“This impressive debut ultimately settles in realism with a refreshingly mischievous wink. An offbeat, earnest novel for those who believe in magic, and those who wish they did.” ―Booklist

“[A] debut novel that captures both the hopes and disillusionments of growing up . . . readers dive not only into Anthoni’s maturation, but into her resiliency.” ―Kirkus Reviews

Anthoni is an engaging heroine whose fears, desires, curiosity, and agency offer much for young readers to relate to, even when, or perhaps especially when, those qualities lead to social mistakes.” ―Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books



If you use my Indie-Bound, Bookshop, or Powell’s link, I receive a small referral commission; if you use my AmazonSmile link, .5% will be donated to Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program

behind the scenes

I made up everything that happens in Maybe a Mermaid, but some things are based on real life…

Historical Showboat Lounge photo


I grew up near a famous resort with a boat-shaped building: The Showboat Lounge. Vaudeville actors and movie stars used to stay and perform here.

Josie's dad waterskiing photo


Anthoni’s mom can ski like a superhero. Guess what? So can my dad! As a kid, he was on the Plum Ski-ters water ski team (“skeeters” = mosquitoes in Wisconsin)

Josie's brother on a saucer photo


Wondering what a saucer looks like in real life? It’s a flat, round, piece of wood you can lay, kneel, or stand on. My brother used to show off and do 360s.

Stack of Josie's comics


Like Anthoni, I love X-Men too. My favorite characters are Magneto, Rogue, and Wolverine. But my latest comic-book obsession is Ms. Marvel!

Let's Keep In Touch!

Sign up for my quarterly newsletter to learn about giveaways, events, sneak peaks of new projects, book recommendations, and more!