Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Author Interview – Arielle Caldwell: She opens up and gives away!

I love getting to talk to talented literate people. It’s one of my very favorite things in life, actually. It’s even better when they happen to be gifted authors as well. Today I get the privilege of interviewing (which is a little cooler than just talking to) Arielle Caldwell, who was only recently introduced to me by Mireille Chester.

Arielle is the author of Burning in Water. If you haven’t picked it up yet (it’s new – I understand), you totally should. It’s book one of her first fantasy series, Nerita Torlan. It promises Fairies, Shifters, Elves, and some new creatures as well...  though I should warn you (not that she won’t) It is a book intended for a "mature audience only."

Mrs.Caldwell has agreed to not only answer my questions, but giveaway two signed 4x6 pictures (pictured to the left and right) of her covet art to two lucky people who have their comment at the bottom of this interview, chosen at random.

Something to frame and show off once Arielle is making regular appearances on the Today show and having her books made into big-budget summer blockbusters.

After you read this awesome interview feel free to visit her links listed below, and leave a comment or question for her (thus entering yourself in the giveaway).

Burning in Water

The “Blurb”: Ahlic has taken everything from Nerita. Now that her powers are getting stronger, she sets out to find him and take down his kingdom. Along the way, she discovers more about herself than she could ever possibly imagine; forever changing her life. Can the daughter of a goddess be strong enough? Or will she falter; costing the lives of those around her?

I haven’t had the chance to read it yet, but I have acquired a copy. The advantage of that, I guess, is that there is no chance I’ll give away any dreaded spoilers. I do feel that I have to ask, after reading the blurb for the book that some questions jump right out. So, I’ll start with: Nerita is the daughter of a goddess, right? (Which one? One of your making?)

Nerita means "from the sea" and yes, she's the daughter of goddess Etura. I made her up using a name creator. She doesn't play a part in the book except in the beginning so everyone knows where Nerita came from.

This seems like the beginning of a pretty epic world of storytelling. I think ambitious storytelling and world building is sadly lacking in a lot fiction today. What do you think sets your series apart in this area?

I hope to build a world no one wants to leave. This is my first series so it's trial and error in learning to do so. I introduce new creatures and concepts and hope to pull the readers in with them and keep them wanting more.

What inspired you to write this kind of fantasy?

I'm a creative person and have always loved to come up with ideas...or I'm slightly mental and this is a great release. Haha!

Okay… I have to ask… It’s a fantasy, that others have reviewed as “full of action and hot romance”. You, yourself address it as for “Mature Audience only”. Does that mean this is a bodice ripper book, in the grand tradition of many a Fabio book cover?

LOL!! No by far! There's a few scenes that are adult in nature but overall, I wouldn't bring Fabio into the picture...maybe with the next book after this series.

(Remember folks, you heard it here first - Next book in the series... Fabio!)

What, if anything, do you think you’ve learned (as a writer) from the experience of writing and publishing Burning in Water?

Writing is hard but nothing worth doing is ever easy. Since finishing it, it's only made me want to write more. Publishing...sucked. lol I self pub so it was hard especially being my first time. I've started to get the hang of it but I see why writers pay someone or a company to pub for them.

I’d like to broach the topic of Goodreads, so I guess I’ll begin that by asking: What you think of the site?

I love it! So easy to get connected with other people and books. I just don't have a lot of time to dedicate to it. If I had more time, I'd be on there constantly.

I understand that your cover was voted onto the “Best YA Cover of 2012” list. But isn’t your book “Mature”, not YA? (I do like the cover, btw)

Well when I wrote it, I only classified it as fantasy general; wasn't sure where it would fit in. Readers have classified it as Mature YA so I just stick with that now. I put the mature reader warning because of a few adult scenes. As a full is YA but I recommend 16+. Thank you! I love it! It was just redone and looks amazing! The updated cover isn't available yet but will soon be.

What was the most unexpectedly difficult part of writing and publishing this book, and how does that compare to being a Mom of two, and having been in the Navy? (I’m a Dad, and I was in the Army – So I’m curious.) 

Hmmm...well writing was mostly easy. I found out I have a very short temper when it comes to my word program crashing and forcing me to lose 20,000 words. ( The ONE time I didn't back it up at that!) I really didn't have a hard time with the whole process. I've had someone wonderful guide me on what sites to publish on and how to make a paperback. If I had no help, this book would just be sitting on my computer and not shared with anyone. Compared to being a mom?? Pffft super easy! I have 2 little boys who are keeping my hands full when I'm home with them. I had a mostly relaxing job in the Navy so this would actually be a little harder. lol

What do you find to be more personally challenging as an author… Characters and dialog or locations and detailed exposition?

Characters and dialog win this one. Locations and details are easy to me. I can set a scene and describe it pretty well. Developing characters and personalities have been challenging...the dialog was a bit rough for this book but I've improved it for my next one.

Burning in Water of the fantasy genre… Do you have any plans to publish work in any other genres, or are you a genre monogamist?

Oh I plan to write in all types of genres. I just started with fantasy to satisfy that need for me. Who knows what's next but I'm leaning towards horror or erotica (under a pen name of course lol)

I’d like, if I may, to get a bit more information about you… kinda feel you out (not feel you up… after all, we’re both happily married.)…

We'll start off with the least imaginative question I can possibly muster: Can you tell the readers at home a little bit about yourself?

Well I'm 27 years old, married for 6 years, have 2 wonderful little boys (ages 4 and 6). I love all kinds of music as long as it holds my attention, I write poetry, love photography and scrapbooking. I'm deathly afraid of heights and roaches *shudders* I can read an 800+ page book a night easily...might lose sleep but it's worth it! I'm normally a quiet person but my close friends tell me to shut it sometimes lol, I love water; to be in it, feel it, taste it...I'm weird like that. I'm a total book and technology nerd.

What books or authors do you feel have most influenced your writing, be it characters, setting, or style?

I've always looked up to Mary Higgins Clark. I have loved her books since I was little. My most recent influence would have to be Mireille Chester. Her books have just captivated me and I loved them all! My antagonist, Ahlic, was influenced by King Henry VIII on The Tudors played by Johnathan Rhys Meyers. He's demeanor, the way he dresses, his attitude. He has been my muse. The rest of my book has not had any influences just whatever came to mind.

And if you had to choose just one, which author would you consider the most influential to you?

Oh gosh...just one!? I'll have to go with Mary Higgins Clark.

Mary Higgins Clark? Really? Again?

She is the reason I decided I wanted to write when I was little.

Well, I guess it's always good to have your heroes and role models... I don't know where I'd be without Neil Gaiman, or Frank Miller.

As a 'new to publishing' author... where would you say you've found the most support for your work outside of family and friends?

Facebook fans, authors, and bloggers actually. Without the support from them and encouraging me, I'm not sure if I could continue to publish. Maybe write for myself, but not for the public.

Are there any new authors/books that have grasped your interest recently?

Felicia Tatum's The White Aura...holy wow! I couldn't put it down!

What are the last three books you read (or are you reading now)?

The White Aura by Felicia Tatum, Wolf Sirens: Forbidden by Tina Smith, and Drowning Mermaids by Nadia Scrieva

What are you currently writing, and does it involve waffles?

Currently working on Drowning in Fire, book two in the Nerita Torlan series. I'm about half way done but can't give any details. Release is in February. LOL No it doesn't involve waffles...but I might have to write one about waffles soon.

So… Twilight? Tell me about it… and why you like it… I promise I won’t judge you (in the text of this interview, anyway).

OMG....Ok here's the thing...

I Feel I should warn you... I've seen your sparkly vampire pic.

Arielle Caldwell - Sparkling like a Cullen at noon in Death Valley.

I have to say... doesn't look promising.

I (kinda) like the books but hate the movies. Vamps that sparkle...not my thing.

Not mine either. I've kinda dedicated a series of books of my own to being the grity... less-than-sparkly Vampires that I think modern fiction needs... Not the Cullens.

I like to make fun of the movies any time I get a chance.

Okay. Good. 

See, I had heard that Twilight was something you were into... and I was hoping that it was bad information. I don't like to have to try get people into treatment. I mean, I can call Dr. Drew... but it's a messy scene, and then they're on reality T.V. 

It's just no Good.

Anyway... putting aside the saga of Bella... The one standard interview question I have to ask (it is required by law, you know?): Do you have any rules, pointers, or advice for other writers just starting out?

Just write until you can't anymore. Don't force filler fluff into it or it could ruin the book. No rules, I don't believe in them. Advice?? Don't give a damn about what anyone tells you on how you should write or what you should write about. I was told by someone close that fantasy is not for me that I should write non-fiction and I ignored them. I've been getting emails and messages about how much fans have loved it so listen to your heart, not the critics.

Okay… you put up with me through all that… Now it’s your turn to say what’s on your mind without a pedantic leading question. No, wait. This is a question too. Is there anything specific that you want to say to your readers and fans? Any tempting teasers or the like?

I want to thank everyone who has purchased, downloaded, encouraged, and stood by me. Without you guys, I wouldn't be doing this.

Thank you for taking the time to do research on me and doing the interview. I've enjoyed it very much!

Well, Arielle, I'm glad you enjoyed it... sincerely... and think nothing of my cyber-stal... er... research. I always like to go into an interview prepared. 'Professional' and all... you know? So? Yeah... bout that teaser... I mean... not *that* kind of tease... I... you know...

A teaser from Burning in Water:

I had a dream. It was weird and felt like it was actually happening. I was wearing a long gold dress that flowed behind me as I walked. My hair was in a side braid again and I had a black crown on top. I was alone walking through a forest at dusk. There were a few wolves following me. The sounds of waves hitting the shore caught my attention and I followed the sound until I was standing in the shallows looking out into an endless ocean. It reminded me of home. The smell of the ocean, the feel of the cool breeze as it gently blew by, all felt real.


Arielle Caldwell’s Vital Statistics and Online Details:

Arielle is a 27 year old mother of 2 little boys, wife of 6 years, proud U.S. Navy Veteran, poet, author, photographer, scrapbooker, and whatever else she feels like doing. She began writing at an early age but never pursued it until recently. Starting with poetry, she progressed to books. She lives in Pensacola, FL with her family.

She writes fantasy fiction books and loves creating her own little worlds! The first book of her series, Burning in Water, has been released. You can get your free Ebook through, Barnes and Noble, Apple I books for now. Paper copy now available on and Amazon!





Remember to comment below to be entered to win a signed 4x6 picture of her covet art!

The giveaway ends Wednesday, December 12th at midnight (US Central Time).

It only takes one comment, question or otherwise, to be entered to win!


  1. Thank you, again!! I can't believe you used my sparkle pic! LOL! Stalker is such a strong word. I prefer "intense research of an individual" personally. ;)

  2. Very interesting interview! Definitely leaves me wanting more. I'd love to learn more about where exactly your idea for the book/series came from and more about your writing style! For example, do you know the main plot points when you begin your first draft or does the story more write itself as you go along? How long did it take you to write your first full novel? Did you have anything published before? Can't wait for a reply!

  3. LOL I love this interview soooo much!!!!! Awsome job (dont enter me in the giveaway, was just popping in)

  4. :D See. I told you you'd hit it off. :D Oh, and did you see my blush all the way down there in the states? *still blushing* Arielle, I'm glad I've been able to help out. *hugs*

  5. Perplexity...lots of questions! Love it! My idea literally popped in my head one day. I sat at my computer and thought "hey, I think I'm going to write a book." lol No plot points, ect. I feel that hinders me from writing and makes me stay in a bubble. I don't like bubbles so I write as it comes to my mind then go back and edit later. It took 3 months to write the first one, off and on. Wasn't too bad. This one will take about 4-5 months. Nothing published before. I write poetry that I've entered for anthologies and whatnot, but nothing to this magnitude.

    Brittni...He did a great job! <3! Yes, I had to put on sunglasses to block the glare from your redness! Haha! You've been a big influence on me. *Sappy girl moment* I know. <3 you ladies, my CTWs!!!

  6. I like seeing authors get together to discuss one or the other's work. If you get stuck with dialog, I may suggest getting together with a friend (hopefully someone into theater), giving them a basic rundown of a character's background and where they are trying to go, and improv a scene with them. You may be surprised at not only what comes out of the conversation, but how it would help you to round out a character as a real person.

    1. I don't know anyone in theater anymore but I do know plenty of other authors. I use them as my beta readers and to help me out when needed. I haven't actually sat down and had a conversation about it though, so thank you for the advice! I'll have to look into doing it. :)

  7. Arielle - I'm with you on dialog being a bugger! I think it might be due to my own hermit habits and the fact that most of my favorite conversations occur in my head, but I have difficulty writing believable dialog that isn't preachy, leading, or just plain dull. Your story sounds very intriguing and I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors!

    1. I started writing poetry first so I didn't have to worry about dialog...but now that I'm doing it, it's proven a little harder than I thought. Writing my current book seems to have come a lot easier for me but it's still a challenge to make it good enough to keep readers iterested. Thank you for your feedback!