Demelza Carlton

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1. Do you use an alias or your real name when you write? Why?

The name is mine - it's on my birth certificate.

2. How old are you?

I'm 30. I'm quite proud I made it this far.

3. What inspired you to write your book?

Ocean's Gift was inspired by a song, stress and a shipwreck. Nightmares was inspired by...a series of recurring nightmares I've had since I was 12.

4. How do you come up with your titles?

My titles come from inside the book. When I've tried to come up with titles too early, they inevitably suck. The first third of Ocean's Gift was called "Mermaids at the Abrolhos" before it got a real name.

5. Who designs your covers?

For Wattpad, I've tried playing with Corel Paintshop to make my covers. When my books go to print, though, I'm using a professional graphic artist. My design, the artist's final product.

6. How did you make your story so popular?

A catchy description, a striking cover and a story that's hard to put down once you start. Checking for grammar and spelling helps, too.

7. Do you write an outline for your book before you start to write?

Sometimes I write a short paragraph outline, but usually my stories tend to write themselves in bits. I keep notes when the ideas come to me and I slot them in when and where I can. Sometimes, my characters surprise me - I had no idea Nightmares would end the way it does when I started writing it.

8. What do you think makes good writing?

A story that pulls you in. Sadly, mine pull me in and I get so caught up in the story I forget that I have to write the rest!

9. How do you deal with writer’s block?

Writer's block? Oh, that's when I've written everything in my head and it's temporarily empty. I go read something else, or read through my own work, with a glass of wine and some nice cheese or some chocolate. At roughly 5am the next morning, the next scene is in my head and I can't get back to sleep. Anyone have a suggestion as to how to deal with being ambushed by your characters at 5 am?

10. Do you have a favourite line from something you’ve written so far?

"Humans are people, too," said by one of the mermaids in Ocean's Infiltrator, the sequel to Ocean's Gift.

11. Are there any Wattpad writers that have your attention?

Some of my favourite Wattpad writers so far are RJ Ryder, YME123 and Angus Ecrivain. I vote rarely, only if I really like something.

12. How alike/different are you and your main character?

Vanessa is half a foot taller than me, a bit thinner and she has a tail. She's a lot older, too. She has a temper like mine, too.

Caitlin from Nightmares is small and dark, with huge dark eyes - the opposite of me.

Then there's the blokes - Joe and Nathan, respectively. They both can be likeable and annoying, depending on the day. Nope, nothing like me at all.

13. Do you have any advice for fellow writers?

My advice is to write what's in your head, read it and then rewrite it, till you can get lost in your own story. When your characters follow you into bed or the toilet, you know you've brought them to life. Then you need to get someone else to read it and rewrite the story until it's so well-written they can get lost in it, too. That's the hardest part.

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You can read her latest, Nightmares of Caitlin Lockyer, here:

http://www.wattpad.com/story/2675208-nightmares-of-caitlin-lockyer

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