Ariella Talix - Humor, Suspense and Steamy Romance
Ariella Talix is the nom de plume of a genteel and creative lady who lives in America’s Heartland. Her goal is to preserve the dignity of family members who would rather not be associated publicly with a woman who writes such scandalous and stimulating novels. She’s not going to stop writing them though. She loves her family, pets, great books, and art. As our Author of the Day, Talix tells us all about her book, Make Believe.
Please give us a short introduction to what Make Believe is about.
Make Believe is about a woman who has lost the love of her life at a heartbreakingly young age. Her parents offer no emotional support at all, but her two siblings are basically her best friends and her lifeline. She has always wanted a dog, so when she and her dog take off to make a new life for themselves away from the terrible memories, it is with the dog she finds a new love interest. The conflict happens because she is in a hurry to move into a new place, and she is all too trusting. Her new roommate causes untold grief for the new couple.
Tell us more about Lily Drummond. What makes her tick?
Lily is sweet. She trusts when she shouldn’t, but she also distrusts when she shouldn’t. Her mother has preached “all men except your father are scum” to her for years. So when things look iffy with Finn, she automatically jumps to the wrong conclusions. She can’t help what’s been drummed into her for her entire life. She is a beautiful person inside and out though, and she has a generous, giving nature.
What makes Finn and Lily such a great match?
Finn and Lily have an immediate attraction to each other, and they love spending as much time together as they can, both at the dog park and… in bed. Their physical relationship positively sizzles! This is not your average love story by any means.
Some readers describe the book as "weird" - in a good way. Can you tell us more about this?
Well… I definitely had some fun with the minor characters. One reader compared the book to Canterbury Tales because there are several side stories that relate to and make up the whole plot. I know this might confuse a few readers, and I did rein it in from the original version before it was published, but I just had too much fun with all of the twists and turns to make it more linear. My subsequent books are not like this. Maybe I got it out of my system! There is a tremendous amount of suspense in the book because of the “weirdness,” and I know most readers are entertained by it tremendously. I let my quirky sense of humor loose in this one.
Dogs play quite a prominent role in this book. Were they inspired by any dogs you know?
Absolutely! I love dogs. We have had three Gordon Setters, and Bells, in Make Believe, is definitely modelled after my Maya. She’s gorgeous, affectionate, and definitely bossy. Some of Bells’ antics are taken straight from real life. The other dogs are all taken from a bunch of dogs owned by family and friends. The Chiweenie was in puppy class with us. He was actually a great little dog. On the subject of animals, I have them in all of my books with one exception, and that is because the lifestyle of the couple is not conducive to having a pet yet. I do not approve of going off and leaving a dog alone all day. They are social animals who need their family, or at the very least doggie daycare.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
Ah, my super-not-so-secret Ninja skill is a second degree black belt in karate- an accomplishment I’m proud of for sure. I’ve also been a professional artist for years. My third book, Save Her, that will be out April 20, explores that in more detail, and I used my art knowledge to develop David’s character in Make Believe’s sequel, The Designer. I love writing about artists and creativity. People generally think I’m a painter when I say I’m an artist, but I actually don’t enjoy paining much at all. I’m a potter and a sculptor. It’s all about 3D work for me! I’ve also dabbled in jewelry design, but that’s not my chosen medium, it turns out. I like making bigger stuff!
You tell the story from different POV's. Why did you take this approach?
Good question! Doing some soul searching about this answer made me come up with two reasons. First of all, when I was little, I loved reading fairy tales. Hans Christian Andersen just did it for me. So I think that style of story telling rubbed of on me a LOT. And second, while I enjoy reading books written in first person, I feel too limited that way. One of these days I might try writing a short story or novella in first person just to challenge myself though. We’ll see.
In your mind, what happens to the characters after you write their final chapters? Do they continue to "live on" in your imagination?
YES!!! I can’t get them out of my head. That’s why, even though The Designer is the end of The Drummonds series, the Lovers in Louisville series is a spin-off. The Drummonds characters show up as minor players in that series, and will probably continue to do so. Molly has an especially important role in Save Her.
Please tell us more about the cover and how it came about.
Oh, I found her photo and thought it suggested many aspects of the book, even though nothing about the cover is from a direct scene. The model projects sexiness and mystery, and costuming plays a huge role in the book.
What genre of books do you like to read? Do you limit yourself to only the genre that you write yourself?
I love romance books, but I also like historical fiction when it’s done well.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
Not really. I just write as much as I can every day. I am a definite “pantser.” Outlining doesn’t do much for me unless I have to keep track of ages and dates. See the photo for how I write- with lots of help from my furry friend.
What are you working on right now?
I am just now finishing up a prequel novella that will be out sometime in May. This one tells Molly and Porter’s story. I loved them so much in Make Believe and The Designer, I figured they needed to have their story told as well. Because it’s a prequel, the novella ends in one of those dreaded cliff-hangers! As soon as that’s done I’m going to write the second installment to the Lovers in Louisville series. Right now I’m inviting people to review Save Her by April 23, send me proof of a review, and they can vote on the love interest in the second book. There are three choices of gentlemen for Sibley to choose from, and I will abide by the majority vote. This ought to be fun! Readers have a chance this way of changing fictional lives.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
I invite readers to visit my webpage https://www.ariellatalix.com/ and my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ariella.talix.1 Questions can also be posted on my Goodreads site https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18683284.Ariella_Talix and I welcome emails at [email protected] I enjoy interacting with readers!