Meet Arley Cole.
Arley Cole lives with her husband and kids in the wilds of West Alabama along with her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Bruno. Now on her fourth career, she has spent most of her life writing for other people. Now she is writing for herself. The Blacksmith’s Daughter is her first novel, but not her last as she is already at work on the sequel, The Merchant’s Son. Come visit her blog .
Reach me links:
The Blacksmith’s Daughter buy link at Musa Publishing.
The Blacksmith’s Daughter buy link at Amazon.
Q) What inspired you to write this story?
At the risk of sounding trite, I have to say that I dreamed the opening chapter! The characters of Enith and Acwellen just showed up in my dream and I immediately knew I had to tell their story. I loved the idea of a young common woman who had the temerity to break up her liege lord’s impending political marriage was just too good to pass up. When it became clear to me that she was far more than the common blacksmith that she believed herself to be, I knew I had to tell her story.
Q) How long did it take you to write?
I wrote the first draft in a white hot fervor. It took about four weeks writing several hours a day. But then I set it aside to cool for—I am ashamed to admit it—four years! When I finally got the courage up, I did a hefty revision over a period of about a month and then started submitting it. I was so glad when Musa Publishing picked it up!
Q) What is your favorite thing about writing?
The doing it! The creation of a place and people and watching them have adventures and fight monsters and fall in love. The characters become like friends and family to me. I have to admit falling in love with both Acwellen and Nerian (and Selwyn too)! I would love to just go shopping with Juliana and spend time just hanging out with Enith. Writing a book is like entering a very realistic dream. I’d rather write than do anything else.
Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing?
The heartwrenching, mindnumbing, frustrating process of submitting it to agents and publishers! The Blacksmith’s Daughter got picked up quickly by Musa Publishing, but it had been turned down by a number of agents first. Most of them actually had nice things to say, but for whatever reason they weren’t interested in representing it. Now I’m marketing another novel that I finished just after The Blacksmith’s Daughter and the process just gradually eats away at my confidence. I have to force myself to let go of the rejections and remember that this is a long road and one I’ve got a great start on with my first novel.
Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
Hmmm. That’s a hard one! Everybody has bad days, even famous people. I wouldn’t want to trade one of my great days for anybody’s bad day no matter how famous or rich or beautiful they were! I would say that right this minute I’d love to just hang out with Megan Rath from the new SyFy series Being Human. I really love that show and I love her character Sally. She’s so effortlessly funny and in video interviews of Megan, she seems like such a fun person. We could go shop then go out for a nice lunch somewhere and she could dish on her sexy co-stars!
Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
In the immortal words of Gene Wilder from Young Frankenstein—“It’s alive! It’s alive!” I have a jar of mint jelly that is I feel certain at least three years old. I keep forgetting it’s in there. However my worst offender is a jar of tahini that I had for at least eight years. I moved that thing through three separate households. But every time I opened it, it still smelled great! I did finally trash it!
Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
I am up to all kinds of craziness!!! I have the sequel to The Blacksmith’s Daughter well underway. It features Nerian and is called The Merchant’s Son. I also am working on a short story and a paranormal romance under my steamier alter-ego Leigh Daley. Plus, I’m always working on some kind of fanfiction project as Arcole on Fanfiction.net. Right now it’s a Lost piece called Grace Period. I keep tossing around an idea for a writing exercise ebook that uses fanfiction as a way to springboard creativity. I know that writing fanfiction has helped me immeasurably both in refining my craft and in getting over the hump of submitting my work to real life editors and agents. Fanfiction gets very little respect, but I feel like it is one of the most genuine forms of literary criticism. I started to do my dissertation on that, but ended up having a baby instead. That was 17 years ago. I still prefer the baby to the PhD!