Author has written 4 stories for Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Seven Realms series, and Fullmetal Alchemist.
Arlene walks out of her quiet home, which sat fifteen minutes away from the city. It was a comfy, quiet life, where she could do whatever she pleases. Unable to see two feet in front of her, Arlene slips on her glasses and blinks twice. With her slippers on, she makes her way to the mailbox and sifts the junk mail from the interesting mail, though there is hardly any. At the bottom of the stack is an envelope with no return address. Puzzled, Arlene hurries back inside. She tosses the junk mail onto the kitchen table and then heads into the living room to plop onto the couch. She rips open the strange letter and unfolds its contents.
Congratulations on your first novel being published! I know you live a very quiet life, but your fans want to know more about you! We know Arlene Baker is simply a pen name. Don't worry, we will not reveal your current location to your fans as long as you don't come searching for my current location. Attached to this letter is a questionnaire for you to fill out. If you choose to not fill it out, simply toss this in the shredder. But if you do, please fill it out and place it in your mailbox with the flag up by Midnight of July 24. Don't worry, we'll retrieve the letter before your usual postal service comes by.
Puzzled by the strange letter, Arlene flips it over and discovers the mentioned questionnaire. Her mind was full of questions. Like who these people were, and how they got her address. Arlene specifically used a pen name for this purpose; she didn't want to be bombarded with fans. She bit the inside of her lip, unsure what to do. But a second later, a pen was in her hand and she was filling out the questions.
We know your real name is Br--na M-l--r, but where did you get the pen name Arlene Baker from?
Well, I looked up the name Arlene online, and it means 'promise'. It reminds myself the promise that I made that I would try and become a writer. Baker reminds me of a silly argument with a friend I had long ago.
In your teen years, what were some of your favorite books to read? Your least favorites?
Favorites: Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordian
The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordian
The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth
The Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima
Darkest Powers by Kelley Armstrong
Palace of Mirrors by Margaret Peterson Haddix
The book Thief by Markus Zusak
Least Favorites: The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Claire
Maximum Ride by James Patterson
The Immortals Series by Alyson Noel
Do you keep a writing journal or notebook?
Yes. I have a notebook that says "I would love to stay but I really mustache" and another notebook with a beautiful butterfly on the cover. Whenever I have a story idea I jot it down in one of them so I can remember. They are both full of quotes that I love and plan on using in stories, people that I have found interesting and will use as characters, unique names and places that I'll base a location off of.
What’s your biggest challenge as a writer?
Staying on track with my writing. I'll always find a new idea that I like more and leave off the story that I'm writing, or simply forget about the story, or loose interest in it.
What defines a ‘real’ character to you?
A real character is a character with believable action, name, and personality. How many people do you know named Ever? Don't use that as a name. Look up your name on the internet, does it mean strong? Are you strong? I enjoy taking those things into account; just because you name your child 'Andrew' or 'Valerie' does not mean they are going to grow up strong. A character's actions also have to match their personality. If one of a characters personality traits are 'shy' do you expect them to go up to a crowd of people and yell at them? No. A character also has to have flaws, which I believe is one of the most important parts of creating a character. A person will not always be liked by everyone else. They will have enemies, people who hate them for no reason.
Arlene looked down to answer the next question, though sadly there was not another one there. Still highly confused about this letter's purpose, she folded it up and placed the paper back into the envelope. She placed it on the basket next to her front door and on a bright yellow sticky-note stuck to it, wrote 'July 24: Midnight' She looked at the letter a second longer before deciding it was time to leave.