Gail E. Haley oral history interview 9, 2007 May 25
Gail Haley, an author and illustrator of children's literature born in Charlotte, North Carolina, recounts her career during the late 1980s and early 1990s. In this ninth of sixteen interviews, Ms. Haley recalls her work on A Sea Tale (1990). Ms. Haley relates how her creation of A Sea Tale was motivated by an evening when she heard a voice telling, but not completing, a compelling story. Ms. Haley decided to finish it and began workshopping the story with students of various ages before producing the final version of the tale. Additionally, Ms. Haley discusses various inspirations for the text and compares it to other stories of mermaids including Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid. Ms. Haley continues with a description of the techniques used in creating the illustrations, which included linoleum cuts, white ink, rubber stamps, and color separation. She also relates some of the challenges encountered with these styles, such as the difficulty of aligning colors with white ink and the use of border lines to prevent color bleeding. While discussing her technique, Ms. Haley recounts how snorkeling and visiting aquariums inspired her underwater illustrations. Other themes in this interview include stories Ms. Haley would still like to tell, Jungian themes in A Sea Tale, mermaids, and materialism in the modern world.