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Author Interview: Mindee Arnett

By Mindee Arnett

Following yesterday’s Waiting on Wednesday post, today I have the wonderful pleasure of sharing an interview with Mindee Arnett about her upcoming book, The Nightmare Dilemma! I read and loved The Nightmare Affair last year, and was so so excited to hear that there would be a sequel!

The book will be out March 4, 2014. Here is the gorgeous cover and the summary from Goodreads:

The Nightmare DilemmaThe second in a thrilling new fantastical mystery series

Dusty Everhart might be able to predict the future through the dreams of her crush, Eli Booker, but that doesn’t make her life even remotely easy. When one of her mermaid friends is viciously assaulted and left for dead, and the school’s jokester, Lance Rathbone, is accused of the crime, Dusty’s as shocked as everybody else. Lance needs Dusty to prove his innocence by finding the real attacker, but that’s easier asked than done. Eli’s dreams are no help, more nightmares than prophecies.

To make matters worse, Dusty’s ex-boyfriend has just been acquitted of conspiracy and is now back at school, reminding Dusty of why she fell for him in the first place. The Magi Senate needs Dusty to get close to him, to discover his real motives. But this order infuriates Eli, who has started his own campaign for Dusty’s heart.

As Dusty takes on both cases, she begins to suspect they’re connected to something bigger. And there’s something very wrong with Eli’s dreams, signs that point to a darker plot than they could have ever imagined.

It sounds great! I was fortunate to receive an e-ARC from the publisher, but I want to make sure I have the hardcover on my bookshelf beside The Nightmare Affair because they are going to look so awesome together!

And now, on to the interview!

1.     Do you have any involvement or input with the covers? They’re beautiful and they perfectly match the feel of the book!

Thank you! I adore them, too. I did have some consulting rights in the Nightmare books and my Avalon editor asked for my opinion on those books as well. But to be honest, both were so completely awesome that I had very little to say other than I love it! And really, it’s been my experience so far that my editors really want me to love the cover as much as they do. I’ve been very fortunate.

2.     When working on The Nightmare Affair, did you have an idea where you wanted to take the story with the sequel? Were you even anticipating writing a sequel when you were writing?

I definitely had an idea of where was going. When I wrote the first book I had hoped for the sequel. Actually, in a perfect world I’ll get to write 4 books total. For now there’s definitely going to be 3.

3.     I was so intrigued by the idea of the character being a nightmare. It’s such a unique premise! What sort of research did you do to prepare to write?

Mostly I researched folklore on nightmares as well as the other magical creatures in the story. I also tend to do a lot of research for the names I use, both for characters and for places, objects, etc.

4.     Dusty has only recently learned about magickind and her abilities. Will she/we be discovering more about that world in The Nightmare Dilemma?

Absolutely! I introduce some new spells in Dilemma, and we learn some new things about her ability to predict the future in Eli’s dreams as well as about the other types of magickind that inhabit the world.

5.     I loved the idea of the animation effect! What sort of animation personality do you think some of your electronics would take on?

Well, when I wrote the first draft of Affair, I had a really old cell phone at the time that had a loose battery. So it would keep shutting off at random moments. This is pretty much where the personality of Dusty’s phone comes from. At present, I have an iPhone. It’s really short on memory, so I think it would have an “old-timers” personality and be really forgetful about stuff.

 6.     If you could choose, which magickind would you be?

Definitely a nightmare. A siren would be awesome too, as I think you’ll find out in Dilemma  when I reveal some of Selene’s secrets.

7.     You have both The Nightmare Dilemma and Avalon coming out [in 2014]! Are you just full of story ideas?? Do you work on only one book at a time, or are you able to work on multiple stories?

I’m definitely full of ideas. I have probably 4 or 5 ideas in the works at present. But I only work on one book at time if I can manage it. Right now I’ve been in a pattern of writing the first draft of one book in a series and then working on edits for a book in the other series. The back and forth is kind of nice because it keeps both series fresh for me.

 8.     Avalon is sci-fi and The Nightmare Affair has elements of fantasy and paranormal – are there other genres you’d like to explore and try writing?

I have a YA high fantasy in the works that I’m very excited about it. I also plan on doing a horror soon and possibly an adult mystery. Really, I’m a fan of all genres.

 9.     What is your writing process? Do you outline heavily, go in with a general idea of the story/mystery and see where it takes you, or some other way?

I don’t outline at all. I consider myself a pantser who likes to stop and ask for directions. What this means is I just sit down and start writing a book, but I stop along the way to do “sanity checks.” These involve asking myself questions of why what’s happening is happening. If I can’t answer those questions right away then I’ll take some time to figure out the answer before proceeding. This method helps me keep the mystery/surprise of the story while also keeping it on track. Too often if I don’t do these sanity checks the story will go off the rails.

Thanks so much for such a wonderful interview!

Thank you Mindee for taking the time to answer my questions!

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