X. Aratare has always been fascinated with the sea and fantasized as a child about mystical underwater cities. This inspired Aratare to write a book about Mer creatures, with a twist. As our Author of The day, Aratare tells us all about Transformation, talks about the sea and much more.
Please give us a short introduction to what Transformation is about.
The Merman is about a young man, who has always been fascinated and terrified by the sea, discovering that he actually has Mer blood and is becoming a Merman. But not just any Merman. He is a powerful being known as a Caller and is destined to be with a Mer prince.
What inspired you to write about mermen?
I think the sea is a truly magical place and, as a child, I fantasized being able to jump off a pier into the waves and dive down to a mystical city. This story got me to experience that a little bit.
Gabriel is becoming a merman but can't stand the sea - why did you create him this way?
I think the sea has a magnetic pull on people, but it is also frightening in its power.
Tell us more about Prince Casillus Nerion. What makes him tick?
Prince Casillus Nerion is truly a noble prince. He is brave, strong and fiercely loyal. He is drawn to the land, not knowing why, but then he finds Gabriel and is completely intent on keeping him safe and helping him accept his true self.
Your book also explores deeper themes such as identity and self-acceptance. Why did you find this important to write about?
I think that for many of us, true acceptance of ourself is a hard thing and an ongoing process until we die. Each of us has something about ourselves that perhaps society tells us is "wrong" or "bad" or isn't the "norm" or certainly not the "ideal". I saw in my own life that these things I considered "unacceptable" about myself were holding me back from true happiness. Gabriel's acceptance of his true identity and himself is what allows him to let go of the pain of the past and make a brilliant future. I think we all should strive for that.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
They aren't secret because I inflict them on people! I actually love to cook for people and I'm pretty good at it. Or so people tell (lie to) me.
How did you create such relatable characters? Are any of them based on real people?
None of them is based on real characters. I write though in a "method" manner, which means I put myself in the head/body/soul space of the character and ask myself: what would this person feel or do? And, the character tells me exactly that. So its undoubtedly from my experience with people and life that lets me do this, but there are no exact matches.
Traditionally, in stories about mer-folk, the mer-person has to adapt to the human world, not the other way around. Why did you decide to write it the other way around?
I find out world boring, don't you? If you could choose to live in New York or Emralis (the Mer city) wouldn't you pick the latter? New York is great, but it's not the great unknown compared to Emralis.
Did you plan from the start for this to become a series?
Yes. I write serially on my website for members and it is far more natural for me to write in cliff-hangerly parts.
What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
Spend your secrets. My one writing teacher said that you may have this twist you're holding back, which will make the writing that much more tangled and unclear, but if you spend it, i.e., write it, you'll find there are more, interesting secrets behind it.
Do you have any interesting writing habits, what's your average writing day like?
I have to post a chapter on the serial site every other day with chapters for the individual books written in addition to that. So I need to be efficient and really get into the chapter quickly or I'll be off schedule. So I turn on Youtube, put on some awesome music and just start writing and try not to stop until I've done from 500 to 1000 words. I take a break then go back for another 500 to 1000 words. I typically write between 3500 and 5000 words almost every day.
What are you working on right now?
There are 6 ongoing serials on RaytheReign.com from vampires in Ever Dark to, in fact, a spin off of the Merman series. I'm also writing the third individual book in the Cursed series that's on Amazon, et al. All my stuff is m/m and has paranormal elements.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
The best place is actually our welcome site and blog: https://welcome.raythereign.com/
That way they can learn what I'm all about and also I respond to all comments and there's a contact form if you don't want to post out in the open.