Friday, March 15, 2013

Mindee Arnett Author Interview

Photo Content from Mindee Arnett

Mindee Arnett lives on a horse farm in Ohio with her husband, two kids, a couple of dogs, and an inappropriate number of cats. She’s addicted to jumping horses and telling tales of magic, the macabre, and outer space. She has far more dreams than nightmares.

What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?
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). 

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.

Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare.


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.


“The Nightmare Affair is brimming with wit and charm, along with plenty of mysteries that kept me guessing to the very end. Mindee Arnett has created a brand new school of magic to delight and enthrall us, and I'm sure I won't be the only reader impatiently awaiting the next adventure at Arkwell Academy.” ―Marissa Meyer, New York Times bestselling author of Cinder

“Mindee Arnett has a knack for magic. The world of Nightmares, Sirens, Wizards and Demons at Arkwell Academy is wondrous and strange, yet so human and well-drawn that you get the feeling you might stumble into it by accident if you go out wandering too late. THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR is whimsical and wild. I read it too fast. What's next, Arnett?” ―Kendare Blake, author of Anna Dressed in Blood

Mindee Arnett’s The Nightmare Affair is a unique and original story about sixteen-year old Dusty Everhart, who just happens to be a real life Nightmare of the magical kind. She attends Arkwell Academy, a magical boarding school where she is the only Nightmare resident. Her duties are to inject her unwary victims with nightmares. When she is partnered up with the handsome Eli Booker, things get convoluted and the plot really picks up. Eli’s dreams are filled with someone getting killed. When his dreams come true, Dusty must now rely on his dreams and also on reality in order to prevent from the killer murdering another. But her snooping around only puts her in the killer’s killing path.

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.
You can purchase The Nightmare Affair at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you MINDEE ARNETT for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a copy of The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett.


  1. Definitely traveling the world. :) Thanks for a giveaway!

  2. I've dreamt of traveling the world :)

  3. I want to try bungee jumping but I'm too scared to do it.

  4. I've been wanting to take a trip to Italy for a few years now. Maybe we'll get to go soon.

  5. Graduating college debt free.

    It's an almost impossible dream.

  6. I've dreamed of living in different parts of the world for short periods of time, always staying on the move, meeting the most interesting people, and most of all to get to know myself by keeping only a couple of close relationships.

  7. I've always dreamed of being part of a Cirque du Soleil act. lol =)

  8. My long going dream is to write a book. I have a concept. I just haven't written anything. Also learning to play the piano. :D Thanks for the giveaway!

  9. Take a year off from school and travel all around Europe.

  10. I dream of being a world travel jet setter. Thanks for the
    great interview and giveaway!

  11. Traveling to Egypt. ♥
    Thanks for the giceaway!

  12. So many things. I would love to make it as both an actress and writer. I would love to spend New Years in a different country every year. I want to adopt a dozen kids and give them all the love in my heart. SO many things.

  13. I've always dreamed of traveling around the world with my friends:)

  14. Ever since I read the Outlander Series, I've been dreaming of going to Scotland. This is one of my biggest dreams I have. Maybe one day I'll be able to go. Thank you so much for a chance at winning in your awesome giveaway!!

  15. I've dreamed of passing my driver exam

  16. I've dreamer going vacation on Korea and Japan.

  17. I've been dreaming of going back to school.

  18. Publish a book! I love writting.

  19. I dream about taking my family on vacation to Paris, France one day. That and to win the lottery ;) which would make my first dream come true lol

  20. There are a lot of things that I have been dreaming about doing for a long time. One of them is traveling, another is writing a book. The list goes on and on!

  21. Going to Paris, London, and New York!

  22. Being a successful published author.

  23. I have always dreamed of going to Ireland and sky diving. I cannot wait to check these off my bucket list one day!

  24. Owning and operating a successful business that I can pass to my children

  25. I would love to be a film editor one day!

  26. I dreamed of flying a plane someday.>:D

    raffle: Avie S.

  27. I dream about living in Paris *-*

  28. Write a book! >:<
    (But I'm too busy reading :P)

  29. I dream of getting my motorcycle license.

  30. Going to India... and I am next month!!!

  31. I dream of being a publishing editor

  32. I would love to travel to Italy or Spain! Thanks for this amazing giveaway - I would love to win!

    Suz Reads

  33. Traveling the world, with Egypt at the top of the list. Though with all that's going on right now, I'd gladly take Finland or Japan instead.

  34. I want to...
    near future: go to New Zealand,
    further future: become a professional concept artist or illustrator.

  35. I want to take a vacation with my hubby!

  36. yes for many years ive dreamed of traveling the world and finding my soul mate along the way :)

  37. ♥ traveling the world. :) Thanks for a giveaway! I want to see everything!

    rafflecopter name: Joss A.

  38. I've dreamed of traveling out of the country for as long as I can remember--especially to Europe! :)

  39. My dream is to write a book someday.
    Thanks a lot.

  40. Visit California:) and write a book:) thank you for the giveaway!

  41. I've always wanted to learn how to cook. Despite that "women in the kitchen" stereotype, I can't cook to save my life.

  42. I dreamed of going to Europe!!

  43. Hmmm, probaly go to London again or go to the united states :)

  44. I'm dreaming for more time to sleep :) (and so to dream...)! Thanks a lot for the giveaway!