Monday, October 18, 2010

GRAFFITI WALL: Artist Arthur, author of MANIFEST

After a two-week hiatus, the Graffiti Wall is back!! Please give a warm welcome to a wife, mother, and novelist of both Adult and Young Adult fiction. She is represented by Christine Witthohn of Book Cents Literary Agency. Her YA books are published through Kimani TRU and her Adult romances are published through Kimani Romance, both are imprints of Harlequin Enterprises. She's been published in romance since 2003.
Artist Arthur 
author of MANIFEST and the upcoming releases MYSTIFY & MAYHEM.

Growing up, Artist enjoyed daydreaming to escape everyday life. Pen pal letters, Barbies, and thinking of future baby names all helped her expand her imagination. On road trips in the family car, she'd start a story in her head and by the time she returned home, she had an ending. 

How is writing adult romance different from the YA lovelife?
Understandably the sexual overtone is different in adult romance. I actually write pretty steamy adult stuff, while for the YA the relationships have a pure and almost idealistic tone. I have a sixteen year old and ten year old daughter, so I’m very careful in showing the beginning steps to relationships and not giving a teenager an adult love affair—even though I’m sure they may be happening in real life.

Do you think there's a connection between the two on a romantic level, and how racy do you think YA should be?
I think that romance is romance at any age. Sure it changes in how elaborate a romantic scene can be set, but at the heart of it, the romantic gesture comes from the same place within an individual.
I think any story written should fit the characters. If you’re writing about a teenager used to a racy lifestyle, then be true to that character. If the character is more of a homebody, shy and unsuspecting then thrusting her into parties and sex scenes is probably going to kill the reality of that character.

I know you sit in bookstores, sometimes, watch where the teens gravitate. How have you used what you observed?
During the summer months I saw a lot of friendships, teenage girls coming in groups. You could tell the different dynamics of the groups by hearing snatches of their conversation. There was usually one who did the most talking, another who kind of just hung around, sometimes a really exuberant one that the others were entertained by. I used all of these different dynamics to form the Mystyx, to create a bond between these different teenagers that would withstand whatever evil they needed to face.

What YA books did you pick up first when you were pondering writing it?
Art Geeks and Prom Queens by Alyson Noel, Need by Carrie Jones, Wintergirls by Laura Halse Anderson, Marked by P.C. Cast.

Tell us about MANIFEST, which was released on July 27, 2010. Where did you get the idea?
My daughter and I brainstormed one morning to come up with the idea of the Mystyx. She loves shows like Smallville and the X-Men. I love the weather channel and Greek Mythology. I think we came to a healthy compromise.

How would you describe your main characters?
Krystal is your average teenager dealing with divorced parents, feeling unwanted, feeling depressed and secluded in a new town. On top of these normal issues Krystal has to now accept her super powers and the other two kids at school that seem to share these powers with her. It’s a big thing she’s going through and as such I wanted to take readers through her turmoil as realistically as possible. Jake and Sasha are just meeting Krystal but are very open to a new friendship with her. In the end they each realize how much they need each other.

And lastly, some of our readers might be wondering the same thing I was: is Artist Arthur a pen name?
Nope, Artist Arthur is my real, legal name. Most people call me Artist or AC (a lot of people in the literary industry call me AC).

Thank you, Artist, for taking the time to share your splats on the Graffiti Wall! Looking forward to your upcoming releases. 

Alleywalkers, take a peek at an EXCERPT of MANIFEST, or for more about Artist Arthur, visit her website or her Facebook page.


  1. Great interview. What a great idea to hang out at bookstores and observe kids.

  2. Great interview! Love hearing about the difference in adult verses teen perspectives on romance.

  3. this is an awesome interview, Sher--I like how Artist differentiates btw YA & Adult romance w/the "beginning" of the relationship... That's so important. Sounds like good books~ :o) excellent name~ ;p


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