Saturday, May 12, 2018

A Chat with Mindee Arnett, Author of ONYX AND IVORY

We have with us today Mindee Arnett, whose new novel Onyx and Ivory hits shelves on May 15. Keep reading to learn why she loves fantasy, what underrated books she wants you to read, and more. 

Mindee Arnett is the author of the critically acclaimed sci-fi thriller Avalon as well the Arkwell Academy series. An avid eventer, she lives on a farm near Dayton, Ohio with her husband, two kids, and assorted animals. 

When not telling tales of magic, the supernatural, or outer space, she can be found on a horse, trying to jump anything that will stand still. Onyx and Ivory is her first foray into high fantasy. Find her on the web at

Where do you think your love of fantasy stories comes from?  

I’m pretty sure I was just born with it. I feel like the things that attract us are ingrained, and while nurture plays a part, it’s a fairly small one. My mother, for instance, doesn’t have any interest in fantasy or science fiction. My dad, on the other hand, did like those things, but it was a passing interest. Nothing at all like my over-the-top obsession. What’s funny is that I also love stories of supernatural suspense, and I can promise neither of my parents had any interest in those. But really, whether it’s fantasy, sci-fi, or horror, I think the appeal for me is the same: a world that’s just a little more than our own.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what do you listen to?  

I do listen to music a bunch, and it’s always some kind of score. No singing, no words. I’m too easily distracted by lyrics to listen to them. Instead, my iTunes is full of movie scores and classical. My favorite composer by far is Ludovico Einauldi, and I listen to him more than anything. For Onyx and Ivory, I listened to the soundtrack to The Man From Snowy River a bunch as well as Pride and Prejudice from the 2006 movie.

What was the most challenging part of writing Onyx and Ivory

By far the hardest part was the multiple points of view. I’d written third person before, but this was my first time with dual protagonists. It took me a long time and several revisions to truly make it work. And according to my editor, I ended up doing something fairly unusual in that both Kate and Corwin have a full character arc. I’m hopeful readers will like that.

Can we expect this series to keep growing after the first book? 

This truly is the million dollar question. There is a sequel to Onyx and Ivory and it’s definitely a conclusion to Kate and Corwin’s stories. There are no current plans to evolve the series beyond that. However, there are definitely ways I could grow it and would willingly do so, but it depends completely on the success of the first two books. These days series only continue for books that have above average sales and popularity. The best way readers can help getting a series to go the distance is by buying the book (obviously), recommending to others, and leaving reviews on booksellers’ websites like Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Who is your favorite character in Onyx and Ivory

Kate is my favorite character. I relate to her on so many levels. At the beginning of the book, she’s a young woman who’s lost her place in the world. She doesn’t know who she is, what she’s meant to be. I think all of us can relate to that, young or old.

What is one underrated book you would like to recommend to everyone? 

Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee and its sequel The Infinite. Lori is my critique partner, and while that does make me a little bias, it’s a wonderful series. It’s a fantasy about a young woman who can manipulate the threads of time. There’s also a swoony, heartbreaking romance. 

Thanks for having me visit! It was an honor to be here.

Release Date: May 15, 2018 

They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father after he tried to assassinate the high king years ago. Now Kate lives as an outcast, clinging to the fringes of society as a member of the Relay, the imperial courier service. Only those most skilled in riding and bow hunting ride for the Relay; and only the fastest survive, for when dark falls, the nightdrakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: she is a wilder, born with magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals. But it’s this magic that she needs to keep hidden, as being a wilder is forbidden, punishable by death or exile. And it’s this magic that leads her to a caravan massacred by nightdrakes in broad daylight—the only survivor her childhood friend, her first love, the boy she swore to forget, the boy who broke her heart.

The high king’s second son, Corwin Tormane, never asked to lead. Even as he waits for the uror—the once-in-a-generation ritual to decide which of the king’s children will succeed him—he knows it’s always been his brother who will assume the throne. And that’s fine by him. He’d rather spend his days away from the palace, away from the sight of his father, broken with sickness from the attempt on his life. But the peacekeeping tour Corwin is on has given him too much time to reflect upon the night he saved his father’s life—the night he condemned the would-be killer to death and lost the girl he loved. Which is why he takes it on himself to investigate rumors of unrest in one of the remote city-states, only for his caravan to be attacked—and for him to be saved by Kate.

With their paths once more entangled, Kate and Corwin have to put the past behind them. The threat of drakes who attack in the daylight is only the beginning of a darker menace stirring in the kingdom—one whose origins have dire implications for Kate’s father’s attack upon the king and will thrust them into the middle of a brewing civil war in the kingdom of Rime. 
(taken from