Book Nerd Interview
I used to be a backup singer for the Spice Girls. Just kidding. And most of you probably don’t remember them anyway. Oy.
But seriously, I’m not sure what people would be surprised to know. What surprises me most about myself is that I’m finally here—publishing a novel. It’s a dream come true. Even more unbelievably, I have a second series debuting in winter 2014.
What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
Critical thinking. This is such an essential skill when it comes to writing. You have to be able to look at the story—character arc, sentence structure, plot—and be able to analyze it for flaws and come up with ways to fix it.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
Don’t come to the page lightly – Stephen King. Took me a long time to really figure out what this means, but once I did things happened.
What are some of the common challenges that new and experienced authors face and what advice do you have for over-coming them?
The biggest challenge is probably patience. New writers tend to write and submit too quickly. You’ve got to give yourself time to revise and to be objective about the story. Published writers have to cope with how slooooooow publishing is. The wait is a killer. The second biggest challenge for all writers is learning not to compare your career with others. Doing that is the path to the dark side, or, you know, insanity.
For those who are unfamiliar with your novel; The Nightmare Affair, how would you introduce it?
16-year-old Dusty Everhart might make a regular habit of breaking into houses late at night, but she’s no criminal. She is a Nightmare, a magical being who must feed on the dreams of others, and in doing so experience those dreams, too. But when her latest dreamer, Eli Booker, the hot guy from her old high school, turns out to be dreaming about a murder which shortly comes true, she goes from non-criminal to reluctant crime fighter.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Dusty?
How easy it is to tell a story in the first person. This was my first novel length story I’d ever written in first. I’ve always preferred third person, but the first person is a great way to keep the story in line and prevent it from wandering.
Why do you feel you had to tell this story?
The idea just sort of grabbed me and refused to let go.
For those who are unfamiliar with Eli, how would you introduce him?
Aside from being hot—he makes his first appearance shirtless and asleep—he also has a bit of a bad boy reputation. But he’s really a good guy, interested in justice and standing up for the little people. Although he’s far from perfect.
Do you have a favorite quote that you keep visible in your work environment to help inspire you?
No quotes, but I do fill my office with pictures and figurines and books that I find inspiring. Everything from a Doctor Who poster to a small model of Serenity to old She-ra toys.
If you could introduce Dusty to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Karou from the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. Why? Because Karou is the absolute coolest. I think she and Dusty might share a laugh—Karou has the best sense of humor.
What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
There’s the sequel to The Nightmare Affair, coming 2014, of course. Beyond that I’m also very excited about my YA sci-fi thriller Avalon, due out winter 2014 from Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins). You can find out more about it on Goodreads [here’s the link http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17149396-avalon ]
What’s the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style?
Read a lot, write a lot, and keep changing it up. I think this last is where a lot of writers struggle. If what you’ve been doing isn’t working then try something new—a different POV, different genre, different structure. Challenge yourself and keep searching until you find what works.
Where is the best place in the world you’ve been?
My current favorite city is Seattle. I just love it, the waterfront, the awesome sushi, the steep streets. It’s a magical place, and utterly inspiring to the imagination.
What book are you reading now?
Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor. I’m reading it too quickly. I wish it would last forever.
Who was your first boyfriend?
Um…a boy in Sunday School. Yes, my first romance started at church. Maybe this should be my response to your first question?
When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
Nothing really, except for maybe my weight. But that’s only because I make a habit of not visiting scales. So this lie is more of a best guess.
What's the worst summer job you've ever had?
None. My summer jobs always rocked because most of them involved working with horses. The worst job in general I ever worked was waiting tables, but I did that all the year through once I started.
When was the last time you cried?
The Sandy Hook tragedy.
Where can readers stalk you?
Twitter – http://twitter.com/#!/mindeearnett
Blog – http://www.mindeearnett.com/blog/
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Mindee-Arnett/215046761888669
Tmblr – http://mindeearnett.tumblr.com
Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5145808.Mindee_Arnett
Thanks for a great interview!
Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy, is hard enough. But when Dusty sneaks into Eli Booker’s house, things get a whole lot more complicated. He’s hot, which means sitting on his chest and invading his dreams couldn’t get much more embarrassing. But it does. Eli is dreaming of a murder.
Then Eli’s dream comes true.
Now Dusty has to follow the clues—both within Eli’s dreams and out of them—to stop the killer before more people turn up dead. And before the killer learns what she’s up to and marks her as the next target.
There is so much uniqueness in this book that many readers will find entertaining. It is a fresh story with a truly exciting and fun adventure. Dusty is truly an amazing character. Although she is of the magickind, she still has her ups and down that makes her so real. Besides her odd occupation, she certainly possessed traits that a normal teenage girl would portray. It is this aspect that author Mindee has truly shined upon and truly accomplished a character that many reader will enjoy reading about.
The pairing of Dusty and Eli was done correctly. It wasn’t rushed or predictable even though it was apparent they would be together because of their amazing chemistry. The world they live in is truly magical and Mindee’s writing style is able to beautifully capture all of its exciting and fascinating elements. The story’s mystery will have readers on the edge of their seats. Dusty’s detective work contained many surprises that readers will appreciate. The first book in The Arkwell Academy series, The Nightmare Affair, is a fresh idea that is bound to have more exciting and thrilling additions.