Heya everyone, today I have a special treat. I will be featuring fantasy author Ariel Paiement in a special author interview. Check it out below to get to know more about this author and her upcoming release.
Please introduce yourself.
I’m Ariel Paiement, a fantasy author who dabbles occasionally in sci-fi or historical fiction. I’ve been writing since I was a little kid, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of the journey to get to where I am. Yes, even the moments when I was sitting there crying because a scene just wouldn’t work. I appreciated those moments more after they were over, of course.
What inspired your latest release?
It was inspired by a combination of world-building information from Pathway of the Moon–first in the companion series Annals of Alcardia–and a prompt from Wattpad’s Open Novella Contest. The prompt was called Myths of the Old World and had to do with the idea of truth being a lie and the lie becoming truth. The prompt really pulled together the idea with the other historical events I knew happened in Alcardia’s past. Those events tied into Pathway of the Moon, and so this story gave me a chance to “share the facts” while still pulling the reader into the world in a fun, immersive way.
Tell us about your main character.
I have two. Kaidan and Zerua are a husband and wife Seeker team, and they work together on various historical sites around the world of Alcardia. They work for a historical and Seeker guild (their version of an archaeological society) known as the Society of the Learned or just the Society for short. The two of them get themselves into all kinds of trouble when they dug up a diary that belonged to Queen Bane of Ashkarith. Both of them are witty, though in different ways, and enjoy a good laugh. They don’t always agree on what constitutes a good laugh, but they definitely enjoy life. Zerua has a tendency to worry while Kaidan is usually the even-keeled one who calms her down. She’s also the fiestier of the two. But Kaidan is more impatient than she is. They balance each other out and work well together most of the time.
Why did you decide to become a writer?
You know, I don’t really know. I’ve been writing since I was a kid, and I’ve always loved stories. Whether reading, writing, or just daydreaming, I’ve always been one to immerse myself in other worlds and other lives, even when they were fictional. This just naturally spilled over into a desire to keep writing and to write stories that others like me could enjoy. I guess as time as gone on, I’ve stuck with it out of both enjoyment and a desire to share with children and young adults the same joy of reading that was imparted to me as a child. My hope is that my books will be something that even reticent readers will be able to enjoy.
What is your writing process like?
Very structured. I’m definitely a plotter. I like to use a combination of methods. Usually I start out with the Snowflake method from Randy Ingermanson and move on to using a mix of Rachel Aaron’s and Jordan Rosenfeld’s methods of planning for plotting out my scenes. I won’t start writing a chapter until I have all the scenes plotted out, and I rarely start a book unless I have everything from character charts to a synopsis done. The only thing that doesn’t have to be completely finished before I can start is that scene list.
Do you have any strange quarks you do while you write a book?
I talk to myself. Sometimes I can be loud about it too. My sister will be watching YouTube in the room, and I’ll just suddenly set the computer aside and start ranting about how annoyed I am at something a character did. She always laughs because it’s my book, so I did it to myself. But yeah… I definitely talk to myself a lot even if it’s incoherent mumbling.
I’m also really particular about organization. I’m a plotter all the way, so everything needs to be in place for each scene before I start writing. Beyond that, I’m really particular about how my writing space is organized. Everything needs to be neat and uncluttered for me to work. If I’m sitting on my bed, it has to be made and straightened out regardless of whether I’m under the covers or not. Anywhere else, the surface has to be clean. I can’t think or focus on writing if it isn’t. It just makes me antsy.
What genre does your book fall into?
High fantasy in this case, though other books within the Alcardian universe could potentially be considered portal fantasy or alternate world fantasy since the universe is connected to ours and others. But for Bane of Ashkarith, it’s just high fantasy.
Why did you decide to write within that genre?
High fantasy and fantasy in general allows for a lot of freedom to create and build worlds. I really enjoy that. World-building, when done well, is one of my favorite parts about reading fantasy, and I love having the chance to bring what I’ve learned from reading well-written fantasy into my own work. Plus, fantasy is what I know the best. I’ve been reading it since I was seven or eight, and it’s remained my favorite genre to this day.
Who inspires you to write in your normal day life?
Honestly, I don’t know. I guess my youngest sister does. She reads anything that’s at her age level that I write. I think she’s read some of the books she’s allowed to read multiple times, in fact. Knowing that she’s waiting for an update and enjoys reading my work, and knowing that it inspires her to keep reading and writing herself, definitely encourages me to keep going.
What authors inspired you to write your own book?
Well, my roots for fantasy definitely go back to Tolkien. He was my first major exposure to high fantasy, and the things I took away from reading his work will go with me through the rest of my writing career. But the most obvious influence is Brandon Sanderson. I’ve read a good chunk of his writing, and the Stormlight Archives in particular have heavily influenced me as a writer. He’s inspired me to reach for more with my world-building and my characterization by showing that it’s entirely possible to have both. I’ve striven to have that balance in Bane of Ashkarith wherever possible, and it’s shown in other works of mine as well. Obviously, I’m nowhere near Sanderson’s level of expertise on this, but just seeing that it could be done inspired me to write Bane of Ashkarith the way I did.
About the Author
Ariel Paiement is a fantasy author who writes the occasional historical fiction or science fiction novel. She enjoys all ranges of books and writing when it comes to reading, though fantasy and science fiction are her favorites. She likes to spend time coming up with new ideas or in wild flights of imagination. If asked what she spends most of her time doing, she’d tell you that she spends most of it reading or writing one thing or another. She is the author of On the Narrow Way in the anthology Above and Beneath: The World of Angels and Demons and has also written and published In Darkness Lost, a stand-alone fantasy adventure novel. Her novel, Bane of Ashkarith, is coming out on July 31st and is the first in the Legends of Alcardia series.
Connect with the Author
Kaidan Tadegan is working on a new site trying to prove the myth that two armies of the gods clashed there. While on the dig site, he discovers the evidence he’s looking for, but he gets more than he bargained for when he discovers a woman’s bones in a section of the dig site where no other remains have been found.
As he digs the bones out, he discovers a journal with the woman’s body, which tells a story that, if true, will turn the myths of the old world and the established concepts of good and evil on their heads. Startled by the find, Kaidan sets out to discover whether the diary’s claims have any validity.
But when the diary leads to a city that’s supposedly long gone, Kaidan’s journey becomes more difficult than expected. Things become even more tangled when he discovers that the city isn’t gone, but it’s no place for the living.
Unable to give up on his quest, he forges ahead. What lies ahead is uncertain, and even more uncertain is whether Kaidan will survive this quest. He has only two questions in his mind. Will he find the truth in this city of the dead? And will the world accept the truth?