Wednesday, May 15, 2013

{Guest Post & Giveaway} Mindee Arnett

I am super excited to have Mindee on the blog today!! I loved 
The Nightmare Affair  but am not looking forward to the wait for 
The Nightmare Dilemma!! Withdrawal may be on its way already!! 

Guest Post 


In my book The Nightmare Affair, there are a number of different magical creatures that populate the world—everything from nightmares and fairies to witches, werewolves, and mermaids, of course.

Then again, considering the story takes place entirely at a boarding school (and several miles away from the nearest large body of water), my decision to include mermaids among the student body might seem a strange one. But for me, the idea of writing a story about a bunch of different magical creatures and not including mermaids was unacceptable. Why, you ask? Because I love them so much. Always have.

My love affair with mermaids started with the 1984 Tom Hanks / Darryl Hannah movie, Splash. I was very young when this movie came out, like 4 or 5. And while I didn’t see it in the theater, my dad had it on VHS and I watched it over and over again. To this day I can quote whole passages from it. And yes, I own a DVD copy now and still watch it from time to time.

As a child, my absolute favorite part was when Madison was examining an old map of New York inside a sunken ship. This idea, of hidden underwater world captivated me completely. I wanted to be her, and I wanted to live there.

There were other mermaids in my developing years, of course, such as Ariel from The Little Mermaid and Mermista from She-ra: Princess of Power. My Mermista action figure was one of my absolute favorites. She had a removable tail, which meant she could have legs or fins whenever she felt like it. This, I thought, was the epitome of fantastical perfection, the ability for the mermaid to live as easily out of the world as in it.    

So it’s no wonder that by the time I got around to writing The Nightmare Affair, my mermaids have this same ability to transform more or less at will, although it comes with restrictions. They can’t maintain their human form indefinitely. They have to shift regularly into their mermaid form and immerse themselves in water. In the book, Mermaids are classified as “naturekinds,” meaning they derive their magical ability from nature—water specifically.

To accommodate their need for water, the boarding school where the story takes place, Arkwell Academy, has a system of underground canals and reservoirs that mermaid students (or naiads or any other water based magical creatures) can use in between classes if necessary or whenever they feel the need to commune with water.

To give you an idea of how my early mermaid influences are present in The Nightmare Affair, here is an excerpt:  

Britney was a mermaid with curly strawberry blond hair and eyes the color of aquamarine set in between a rather large, bulbous nose. Like all mermaids, her pale, almost translucent skin held a natural sheen that made her glisten in strong sunlight as if she was wet. And also like a lot of mermaids, she was painfully shy, almost socially comatose.

However, there is one notable difference in appearance between the mermaids in The Nightmare Affair and the ones that I loved as a child. My mermaids, when in mermaid form, look less like this:

And lot more like this:

The reason for this change is not because Mystique is so freakin’ cool—really that only accounts for half the reason—but rather that the idea of a creature with human skin surviving underwater indefinitely doesn’t make much sense. Skin wasn’t designed for that. The mermaids would get awfully cold, for one thing. And I imagine the whole wrinkly skin problem would be downright gross, teenage mermaids looking like those weird apple dolls we made in grade school.

Instead when in mermaid form, their skin transforms into something like scales. This also eliminates the need for those silly seashell bras. Because, seriously? Who would want to wear one of those? Like ever.

Now I would LOVE to conclude this little post by giving you an excerpt describing what a mermaid looks like in fish form, but I’m afraid you’re going to have to wait for book 2 in the Arkwell Academy Series—The Nightmare Dilemma. But don’t worry all you mermaid lovers out there. There’ll be a couple of scenes devoted to these magical creatures.  In fact, the book starts off with Dusty finding out that the very Britney described above has been attacked by an unknown sinister force. Mwhahahahaha…

Happy reading and a big thank you to Tiffany for having me here! 

**Thank you Mindee for taking the time to be a part of this month!!

YA Author of THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR, a contemporary fantasy coming March 5, 2013 from Tor Teen (Macmillan) and AVALON, a YA sci-fi thriller coming Winter 2014 from Balzer+Bray (HarperCollins). Represented by the fabulous Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary. Addicted to jumping horses and telling tales of magic, the macabre, and outer space.

Find Her

Mindee has graciously offer up 2 swag packs!!  Just so you all know her swag
ROCKS!!!  I'm not sure what is in them but when I got mine awhile back I 
was so freaking happy!!  Good Luck!!


  1. It sure seashell bras don't look confortable^^ i love all the thinking you made for your book

    thank you also for the international giveaway

  2. Love the pictures you used. :D
    Can't wait to read about what the mermaids will look like in fish form. <3 Thanks for the giveaway.

  3. That really makes a lot of sense to make mermaids look more like that because unless their skin is magical, they would be pretty gross looking after all that time in the water! I'm scared to read The Nightmare Affair because I hate having to wait for sequels if the first book is really good!!

  4. What an interesting way of getting around the problem of skin being in the water too long. I'll probably remember this guest post next time my fingers get pruny from showering too long!

    Thanks for the generous giveaway!


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