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December 27, 2011

Author Interview: Pri Ardis

Tell us about yourself. How long have you been writing? I started on comic books…yes, I’m a comic book geek. Then I became a full-fledged book lover ever since my parents took me to this cool thing called the “public library.” I picked up this awesome book called “Nancy Drew” and never looked back. In hindsight, my parents were smart to take me to the library. No parent could have afforded my voracious reading habit—which is why I’m fully onboard with the eBook craze.

I’ve been writing since I first opened a composition book on vacation in India over ten years ago.  Those long train rides can leave you a lot of time to come up with a great story. I remember finishing that first novel and having a stack of composition books to stare at. It was then that I realized I’d have to transcribe it all onto the computer. That second draft took a really long time.

Priya Ardis
How did you get from your day job to writing romance? Since I started writing before graduating from school, I’ve always had a day job and a night job (writing). I really don’t know what my life would be like without a work-in-progress. Maybe I’d take up video games. I’m fascinated by how far gaming has come—how complex the storyline and the graphics have become. I’m a computer programmer and a writer so the mix of the two in gaming intrigues me.

In my novel, I love to mix up magic with technology. After all, what is life without a few gadgets?

It was also the reason that pushed me to release My Boyfriend Merlin as an e-Book. More and more I see my digital library taking over.

Who is your favorite author(s) and why? Do you remember “Whitney, My Love” by Judith McNaught? That hooked me forever on romance. It’s a bit outdated now but I just loved the complexity of the story. Right now I’m really into Nalini Singh. I just love paranormal and hers are so intricate.

In YA, my favorite book has to be Beauty by Robin McKinley. What a wonderful story for a girl whose way too much into fairy tales. Recently though, I’ve been devouring the Vampire Academy series. I haven’t finished the series yet but everyone I’ve read so far has been so much fun.

The series that affected me the most, however, has to be Alanna by Tamora Pierce. I love the sword and sorcery bit—hence my own foray into the world of a modern day Merlin.
Tell us about your new book. My Boyfriend Merlin is a YA Arthurian paranormal set during our time. In this story, Merlin goes to high school to recruit Candidates to pull the sword from the stone—one of them his ex-girlfriend.

If you can’t trust your boyfriend, who can you trust? But wait…don’t let me just tell you—watch the book trailer on youtube at:

Book Trailer Share Code:

What is the appeal of writing Young Adult Fantasy genre? I love how varied the world of YA literature has become. It’s a fascinating time in our lives and even though I’m past it I still remember the highs and lows during that stage. I hope that my writing while entertaining and being escapist also helps those who read it by identifying with the characters and their situations. Sometimes the world can seem so dark and great books can be the beacons.

What kind of writing turns you off?  Tough question because I read a lot and in different areas. I tended to be female-protagonist centric…then Harry Potter came along. I tended to not read too much literature…then my critique partner started writing it. I usually stay away from non-fiction…but then I had to crack open a computer book again. What I’ve learned is that great story is out there in any genre…

What stops you from writing? Oh, my old friend, the Internet. It’s a love-hate relationship. I’m sure everyone has the same problem. It’s just so hard to turn things off.

How have you shocked your readers? Hopefully by putting a few twists and turns in the story so they’re kept guessing all the way through. I’m a mystery junkie (yep, back to that Nancy Drew) again. To me a great plot will throw the reader a few curve balls. But not to worry, I can’t stand it if a book doesn’t have a finish…so I made sure I covered that.

How do you get your ideas? What is your writing day like? I think about what I want to say and the story forms around it. I’m pretty disciplined about writing. It’s the best thing in the world to do. I get crabby if I don’t do it. Once I get my behind into the chair (usually the hard part) I can write for hours. I also have to have music. I know a lot of writers don’t but I need my teen-bop.

Can you share three writing tips? First draft. Find a spot. Find a Starbucks. And just write it. Don’t worry about what you’re writing. Just put words down on paper until you can say “The End.”

Always push. Push your characters and your story past the point where you’re comfortable that’s when things happen.

Conflict. If there are not multiple levels of conflict in a scene, cut it.

Fill in this blank: My ideal fictional hero would think me gorgeous if…all I wanted to do was be a lump on the couch and watch the latest episode of Star Trek.

What's your favorite dessert? Custard. Bet you don’t hear that very often. My grandmother used to make it for me when I was a kid. It was a lumpy disaster. My grandmother was not necessary the best cook. When I had it at a restaurant (Crème Brule) you can’t get real custard in the states without making it yourself, I saw what I was missing. But the memories combined with a new non-lumpy recipe, it’s my absolute favorite.


Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Hi, Priya! Welcome to the PP. You have a very interesting story. Do you write other genres?

Kathy Ivan said...

Good morning, my friend!

Welcome to the Plotting Princesses blog. (Priya is a DARA member who is now long distance, but still a member in our hearts.)

Congratulations on the release of your book. I'm with you, I think e-books are definitely the way to go in the current publishing industry picture.

Hopefully lots of people got e-readers in their stockings for Christmas and should immediately load them up with books (yours and all the other PP authors by the way). LOL

My question: What made you choose to write Young Adult? What was the appeal that drew you to that genre?

chris keniston said...

oh I love the idea of Merlin and the sword in the stone!

I remember when my kids were growing up one of their movies on VHS that we would watch over and over - and I enjoyed as much as they did - was a Kid in King Arthurs Court.

How interesting it will be to see how you play with Merlin in modern times. But that's the joy of reading - the adventure of getting lost in another place until the last page.

So glad you stopped by today!!

Sylvia said...

Hi Priya,
Welcome! I love the idea of Merlin and even have a Historical plotted with him in it, but haven't written it. Your book has so much appeal for kids and adults. Best of luck with it.

I'm sitting here looking out at the bright sunshine bouncing off snow. It's 9 degrees outside, but it's just so lovely and I'm getting to rest which is the best.
Thanks for stopping by today Priya. Love your name!

Sylvia said...

Oh...I forgot. Santa brought me a Kindle Fire. Love it and I'm going to go download your book Priya.

Phyllis said...


Welcome to Plotting Princesses. You sound like a very interesting person! My family claims I'm a geek as well. I'd certainly join you on that couch watching Star
I listen to music while writing too.

How do handle procrastination or writers block?


Priya said...

Thank you for letting me wear the PPrincess crown for a day, ladies! Love the blog. Fairy tales and legends are my thing :)

Priya said...

@Vicki - Glad you like the story! At this time, I'm pretty much sticking to YA fantasy/ paranormal. The world building is just so much fun. I've got the next 4 or 5 books we'll see where it goes!

Priya said...

@Kathy - Thanks for hosting me today! What a great interview. I absolutely agree--Santa left you an awesome present. I'm so excited about this age of eBooks. My TBR has quadrupled since I got my Nook.
I love writing YA, I think, because I love the coming-of-age story and who can resist that first love? Either that or I just really want to go back to high school ;)

Priya said...

@Chris - I've always loved a good Arthurian. Have you watched BBC's Merlin on SyFy? It's a great retelling. But modernizing Merlin totally appealed to me. Thanks for having me at PP!

Priya said...

@Sylvia - Thanks for downloading! Good luck with your Merlin book. The more the better! Let me know when it comes out. You've got a waiting audience.

Priya said...

@Phyllis - Are a fellow Trekkie? Spock or Kirk? I thought it was funny that the new movie had a love triangle thrown in…YA and love triangles…you just can't get away from them.

Writer's block is a tough one. I have a few tricks (with varying degrees of success). The first is doing more research! Idea always seem to pop up if I read more.

The second is…being a lump on the couch. LOL.

Another idea is to go on long walks (I stole this idea from Stephen King's On Writing book. Have you read it? It's a must!)…but it works! Not sure, I would do it in 9 degrees wherever Sylvia is…brr!

Putting down the work seems to get the gears going for me.

Good luck writing!

Kathleen Baldwin said...

Hi Priya!

I've read My Boyfriend Merlin and thought it was fabulous fun!

Chris, if you loved Sword in the Stone you just have to read this one. Merlin is so cool in it. Although, so is his bad boy twin brother. I don't want to give away too much.

Pri, I couldn't get the trailer link to work for me. But if y'all want to see the trailer it's up on her blog. Here, I'll try to put in a utube link:

Sasha Summers said...

Thank you for saying don't worry about what you're writing until you write 'the end'. It's easy to get caught up in the mechanics of it all sometimes - versus the sheer joy of it all. I have to admit, I'm a big fan of the joy part! Your story sounds SO exciting. I'm going to have to get it for my daughters - and read it too!!! Congratulations Priya!

Priya said...

@Kathleen Thanks for putting the correct youtube link! Sorry about that.

Glad you liked the book! I have to thank my fabulous cover artist for making it really pop! :)

Priya said...


It sounds like you've been through the pain a few times. I agree--nothing is better than the thrill of letting the story spill out. I love putting on my headphones and just letting myself fall into a different world.

Hope you and your daughters enjoy Merlin! Can't wait to see what y'all think!

Karilyn Bentley said...

Hi Priya,
Thank you for stopping by! Sorry I'm a little late to the party. :) Merlin stories were always my favs as a kid and this one sounds like a great twist on the story. I love it that it's in modern times! Congratulations!

Priya said...

@Karilyn Thanks for stopping by! I thought--Merlin can handle everything, but can he handle teen angst? :)

C. Fowkes said...

Hi Priya, I agree about your writing tip on pushing. And my husband smiled when I told him your favorite dessert, since custard is his favorite too.