The fairytale of the young mermaid who wants to become a human has entranced generations of children and led to countless retellings.
Now the latest version of The Little Mermaid will give Hans Christian Andersen's 1837 story a twist like no other – by placing a romance between two men centre stage.
Ian Eagleton's Nen and the Lonely Fisherman is the story of a 'merman' who finds a 'special connection' with fisherman Ernest. It follows the themes and plot of the original, including a sea storm in which Nen must try to save Ernest.
The author, a teacher and education consultant from Essex, said he wrote the book to 'celebrate the many ways in which we can find happiness and love'.
The synopsis reads: 'A modern adaptation of the classic 'Little Mermaid' tale, Nen and the Lonely Fisherman tells the story of a merman's search for true love.
'Nen sends a song of hope across the sea while a lonely, caring young fisherman named Ernest hopes to find warmth in his heart.
'As the two meet, they feel a special connection, much to the dismay of Nen's father, Pelagios, who creates a wild sea storm to protect his son and the ocean. Can Nen save Ernest?'
Eagleton said: 'As a child I always wanted to see myself in a fairy tale and was fascinated and inspired by the story of the Little Mermaid - it is a magical story that has always stayed with me,' he told the publication.
The best known adaptation of Anderson's tale is Disney's 1989 big screen animation while a new live-action version is scheduled for release later this year
'I wrote Nen and the Lonely Fisherman as a way to celebrate the many ways in which we find happiness and love.
'I can't wait for everyone to meet Nen and Ernest and dive into their enchanting world, which James has brought to life beautifully.
'I hope that the book helps children, and adults, understand that we are all deserving and worthy of a happy ever after.'
Mayhew praised Owlet Press for 'having the courage and vision to create this magical and ground-breaking book, celebrating acceptance and love.'
The best known adaptation of Anderson's tale is Disney's 1989 big screen animation while a new live-action version is scheduled for release later this year.