Thursday, 27 June 2013

Review/Giveaway: Ocean's Gift by Demelza Carlton (Interview of the author included)

Recieved a free copy in exchange for an honest Review
Ocean's Gift by Demelza Carlton is one of those books that grip you right from the beginning but if you don't lke alternaiting POV then you won't like this one. A very original take on sirens/mermaids and a great love story that has honestly left me speachless. Highly recommended to fans of Mermaids/Sirens, Romance and Great Descriptive worlds. looking forward to reading more books in this series.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What would you like your readers to know about you?
All of my books are carefully researched and set in places I've been. But…my characters take the story where they please – I just seem to write down what unfolds in my head.

What inspired you to write your first book?

The first book I started writing is called Nightmares of Caitlin Lockyer and it was inspired by my own recurring nightmares from when I was only twelve. I wrote down my nightmares and worked them into a story, trying to understand the horrifying pictures in my head. The story has changed a lot since then, though some of the original text and all of the character names remain.
I finished writing it in 2013 and it will be published in July this year.

Do you have a specific writing style?
I prefer first person because you can hide so much in one person's perspective! The fisherman who sees a beautiful woman when she's really a siren, the mermaid who doesn't understand the difference between fact and fiction when watching TV…
I limit my description to what the character would look at. They'd notice three things, usually, depending on their interest. The day Joe meets Vanessa in Ocean's Gift he notices that she's carrying fish, she's wearing blue and she has impressive breasts. But that's all the description you get – three points.

Do you ever experience writer's block?

No – more burn than block. I write so much so fast that sometimes I get sick of writing, like I've emptied the tank. Then it's time to read or watch something else until the tank slowly fills again. I wrote Ocean's Gift in three weeks, and Ocean's Infiltrator took three weeks, too.

How did you come up with the titles?

The title of Ocean's Gift came to me in the middle of a dinner party with friends. I was trying to think of what the sirens would call themselves and they feel they're superior to humans, because of their gifts beneath the water. So…it became Ocean's Gift, for both the people of the ocean's gift and the man the ocean gifted Sirena with. I like my titles to mean more than one thing in my story.

Are the characters in your books based on anyone?

Sometimes my minor characters are based on real people, though I try not to use their full names. In Ocean's Gift, Dean is based on a real person. In Ocean's Infiltrator, Marina, Fleur and the twins are all based on real people.

How did you come up with the idea for the Ocean's Gift books?

Ocean's Gift was inspired by a song, a mysterious shipwreck and some beautiful islands. A man survived the shipwreck, only to drown and wash up three weeks later – but no one knows where he was for those three weeks, nor who tended to his injuries. I blamed sirens as a joke, but the thought kept returning – especially as I was listening to Evanescence and their song, Swimming Home. Could mermaids exist and how would their biology work? Why would a siren swim in that storm? Why would she save him? And if she saved him, how could she let him drown? And so the story began…
Once I'd completed the first book, I realised there was more story to come and I seem to have started a siren series. I have outlines for at least six books so far.

What are your current projects?
Both the Nightmares trilogy and my Ocean's Gift series, along with a romance novella called Water and Fire that I'll release in August.
In addition to writing, I photograph the settings for my books and create YouTube videos on my background research. From cars to trees to shipwrecks to sharks, they're all on my YouTube channel -

If you'd like to link a video, the teaser trailer for Water and Fire is at . I think that video was the most fun to create.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider your biggest influence?

For my writing, it would have to be Margaret Atwood. I read a lot, but most of the books I've read seem to fall apart when you look at them in depth. Her books are so layered you never seem to touch bottom. I attempt to create an equally intricate web in my stories with consistent characters, realistic settings and very detailed research. Whether I succeed or not…well, I'd say that's up to the reader to decide.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I'm addicted to Daniel A Greathead's science fiction books, and I'd probably buy any book written by him, Tad Williams, Colleen McCullough or Terry Pratchett.

Who designed the covers?
The draft design for Ocean's Gift and Ocean's Infiltrator came from another author called JT Chapman. I had a graphic designer take her idea and my photos to make the cover of Ocean's Gift…but Ocean's Infiltrator was my first proper attempt at layering my own photos together.
The design for the Nightmares series, I'm proud to say, is my own work.

What was the hardest part of writing your books?
The last ten percent. I wrote the parts that flowed through my head like water and slotted them all together into a recognisable book, but the book itself lacked a similar flow. That last ten percent is adding in those paragraphs, pages and new chapters to take a disjointed story and meld it into a cohesive whole.
That…and my first sex scene!

Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?
I've learned that there is no official style guide that covers how you write translated mermaid speech.

I've learned that my readers seem to like reading sex scenes far more than I like writing them. They're so personal!
I've learned that just because a character is a figment of my imagination, there's still no way I can control them. I might be able to get them to a particular place, time and circumstance, but what they do there is entirely up to them. Joe Fisher will always stare at a woman's boobs. When on land, Belinda will seek out whisky.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write the story you want to read, so that you can feel the character's emotions when you read it. Once you're there, get that story edited and proofread 'til it's as error-free as a final PhD thesis. And don't dream of a publisher's advance, writing endless submissions and risking rejection. If your story's really that good, it will stand for itself in the self-publishing world. Set it free – release it.

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