Interview with Demelza Carlton

What was your inspiration for See You In Hell?
Are you sure you want me to answer that? It started on a train ride that was far worse than anything you might encounter on the London Tube ? said a commuter who didn’t even make it into the sardine tin of a train carriage. Now, I did manage to squeeze in?and so did a man carrying a briefcase with hard, sharp corners.

Why the precise description of a briefcase?
Well, for the identikit photo after the assault?
The train came to a sudden stop and then started again, so that we all came close to falling over like dominoes but managed to straighten up in time. My problems started when that briefcase went straight up my skirt and wedged between my cheeks. Oh yes, those cheeks.
My first response was to kill the case’s owner, but a quick glance at the man told me he was as weary as I was and that he was completely unaware of where his bag was?and if I told him, the hundred other commuters would know that I had a badly-behaved briefcase up my bum. So it was either endure the discomfort only I knew about or feel equally uncomfortable, knowing a hundred other people (who I catch the train with every day) also knew I’d had a stranger’s luggage up my backside.
Ten painful minutes later, I left the train. Walking very stiffly, admittedly telling myself only an angel would be able to put up with this sort of Hell every day without screaming or killing someone. So when I made it home I wrote a short story about an angel, working in a corporate Hell. Further short stories followed?until, a year later, I decided to write it into a book. Or three.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?
The day I realised I had to publish Ocean’s Gift. I’d mentioned in passing to a friend that I’d written the book and he expressed a wish to read it. I honestly just thought he was being polite, but I (very nervously) gave him a copy. I never expected him to read it or speak of it again.
I wrote Ocean’s Gift, my first novel, in the space of three weeks, before deciding what I wanted to do with it. I figured it’d be worth a shot to try and publish it, but there was the question of how. Whether to try and find an agent, submit to traditional and small press publishers, go vanity publishing or take the enormous step and self-publish it.
So, evening came and my friend rang me, saying he’d started reading it soon after I gave it to him and he couldn’t stop. I think he read the whole book that day and he was full of compliments that I could write something he enjoyed so much. This is a guy who’ll send back a whole case of wine because he doesn’t like the taste of the first sip ? and I was stunned to discover that I’d given him his preferred literary vintage on my first attempt.
That day made the decision for me ? I HAD to publish Ocean’s Gift.
It took a further three months with beta readers and editors before I self-published the book, but it did happen.

Where do you get your best ideas?
In bed. Oh, hang on, that sounds really bad. At about 5 in the morning, when I’ve just woken up and can’t get back to sleep because an idea’s taken hold I just have to play with it?no, I think that sounds even worse. It’s true, though. My best ideas come in bed, in the shower, or during some form of heart-pumping exercise. I don’t think there’s any clean way I can say this.
Incidentally, I don’t write erotica.

What is a typical writing day like for you? How many hours do you write per week?
There’s no such thing as a typical writing day! For example, this week I allocated three full days to writing a new book and I’ve written less than five thousand words of the book (when I can usually write that in a day), but the amount of research I’ve done for it is huge. Classic motorcycles, 1920s shipwrecks and tales of real-life rescue and survival, coroner’s reports from the time?down to the newspaper articles and photos of a very real shipwreck in the Indian Ocean. Oddly enough, this particular disaster occurred over ninety years ago, in the same area where they’re currently searching for MH370.

Can you describe the feeling you get when you see your published book for the first time?
Thrilled, elated, proud?actually, I think it was the first time I saw the paperback proof for Ocean’s Gift. The ebook was cool, but it was absolutely something else to be able to hold a book with my name on the front?and my photographs on the cover, too, which made it even more remarkable.
What surprised me is that it doesn’t go away for future books, either. Every time I hold the first paperback copy of one of my books for the first time?it’s just as thrilling. I think my local parcel delivery guy thinks I have a crush on him, I’m always so happy to see him arrive with one of those Createspace boxes.

If you could give one book promotion tip to new authors, what would that be?
It’s a product and not a baby. It’s perfectly legal and acceptable to pimp it out, offer it for an insanely bargain price online and give it away to people. You won’t be up on child abuse charges for making your book available and accessible to people.

What is your greatest challenge when writing a book? Do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?
When I get so involved in the story that it breaks my heart to write a particular scene. There’s one scene in See You in Hell that made me tear up every time and there’s a couple in the sequel, Mel Goes to Hell, that leave me absolutely bawling. Oh, and not just when I write them, either ? even when I go back to proofread those scenes. I don’t give spoilers, so I’ll have to leave it a mystery as to which scenes those were.
As for tips on how to make the journey easier, keep a box of tissues handy on the desk, write those scenes when there’s plenty of time for your red, swollen eyes to shrink back to normal and listen to your characters.
Except if the character is Lucifer and he’s telling you it’s a good idea for him not to wear any pants for this scene. My advice is to tell him to go to Hell.


About The Book
A devilishly hot CEO. The angelic new office temp. A match made in Heaven or Hell?

Melody Angel takes a job as a temp at the HELL Corporation. Surrounded by eternal bureaucracy gone mad, demons who love making life miserable, and dying for a decent coffee, it may take a miracle for Mel’s mission to succeed. She must find out what evil plans Lucifer and his minions have in store and stop them, using any means necessary.
Adding trouble and temptation to Mel’s job is Luce Iblis, the damnably hot CEO, who has set his smouldering eyes on the new office angel and he’s determined to claim her, body and soul.

Can ultimate evil and angelic perfection escape a limbo of desire and find a paradise of their own?

A tiny taste of what’s in store
“Do you know how long you’ve made me wait?” Luce lifted his chin. “Close the door.”
Mel turned and kicked the door shut with the sole of one shoe. The click of it closing coincided with her eyes meeting Luce’s once more.
“Now strip and get your arse on the desk,” Luce instructed.
Mel stared at him. He couldn’t be serious, could he?
“Every other girl in this building knows how to do as she’s told. Do you know how many girls I’ve had on this desk? You should consider yourself lucky. The last one I had in here was so quick getting undressed that I managed to give her a full fifteen minutes of my time. At this rate, you’ll be lucky to have five.”
Mel became transfixed by the timber desktop. “Did you wipe it clean afterwards?”
“What?” Luce’s face reddened.


Mel Goes to Hell series

Welcome to Hell – A Short Story (#1 in the series) – Free Purchase Links Below

Amazon |Amazon UK |Amazon Canada |
Amazon Germany |Amazon Australia |
Apple |B&N |
Kobo |
Smashwords |

See You in Hell (#2)
Mel Goes to Hell (#3) – to be released in July 2014


About The Author
Demelza Carlton has always loved the ocean, but on her first snorkelling trip she found she was afraid of fish. She has since swum with sea lions, sharks and sea cucumbers and stood on spray-drenched cliffs over a seething sea as a seven-metre cyclonic swell surged in, shattering a shipwreck below.
Sensationalist spin? No – Demelza tends to take a camera with her so she can capture and share the moment later; shipwrecks, sharks and all.
Demelza now lives in Perth, Western Australia, the shark attack capital of the world.
The Ocean’s Gift series was her first foray into fiction, followed by her suspense thriller Nightmares trilogy. She swears the Mel Goes to Hell series ambushed her on a crowded train and wouldn’t leave her alone.


Author Links

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Amazon Author Page


Purchase Links

Amazon |Amazon UK |
Amazon Canada |Amazon Germany |
Amazon Australia |
|B&N |Kobo
| Smashwords | Goodreads


Other books by  Demelza Carlton

Ocean’s Infiltrator

Water and Fire

Ocean’s Gift


Ocean’s Infiltrator by Demelza Carlton

03Could you kill the man you love to protect your people?

Capsize his boat. Lure him into the water. Summon sharks…
How long will Sirena let Joe live, now he knows her secret?

A story about seduction and sharks, parenthood and penguins, with plenty of beer and boobs to keep it interesting, at some coral islands off the coast of Western Australia, plus a few other places, too.

Sexy mermaids surface once more, to sing up chaos on ship and submarine, sea and shore.

Trouble, take two. This is Demelza’s second contemporary fantasy book in the Ocean’s Gift series, with more mermaids and mayhem than ever.

You’ll never look at mermaids the same way again.

A tiny taste of what’s in store:

For the first time, she looked nervous. “No human has ever seen me change before,” she admitted.

“It’s the first time for me, too,” I replied hoarsely.

She touched her heels together and gave a flick with her feet. The movement rippled up her body, before she did it again. It looked like her skin was darkening, or was it just the waves washing over her? Another flick, her feet rising out of the water this time, and I saw the blue wasn’t just the water. It was like the skin of her legs had grown together, extending over her feet into curved flukes, as blue as the water. It blended seamlessly up her body, though her torso remained pale.

She turned on her side, her eyes curious. In the skin along her ribs, I saw dark lines that looked like gills. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. She’d never looked less human, but I’d never wanted to touch her more. My mouth hung open and I couldn’t seem to close it.

“Are you coming in, or not?” She twisted, arched and dived down.

I plunged into the water after her.

Ocean’s Gift series

This is the second book in Demelza Carlton’s Ocean’s Gift series, which currently includes:

•Ocean’s Gift (Book 1)
•Ocean’s Infiltrator (Book 2)
•Water and Fire


About Demelza Carlton

Demelza Carlton has always loved the ocean, but on her first snorkelling trip she found she was afraid of fish.

She has since swum with sea lions, sharks and sea cucumbers and stood on spray-drenched cliffs over a seething sea as a seven-metre cyclonic swell surged in, shattering a shipwreck below.

Sensationalist spin? No – Demelza tends to take a camera with her so she can capture and share the moment later; shipwrecks, sharks and all.

Demelza now lives in Perth, Western Australia, the shark attack capital of the world.

The Ocean’s Gift series was her first foray into fiction, followed by the Nightmares trilogy.

Purchase links:
Barnes and Noble:
Demelza’s website:
http://www.demelzacarlton. com
Contact links:


Stories Behind Stories – Inspired by Research

When I see an interesting news article – past or present – it can be inspiring all on its own. It’s the stories from the past that inflame the imagination the most, though. How many fiction books are based on events in history? The sinking of the Titanic, the prevalence of piracy in the 17th century, various wars throughout history or even simply the restrictions placed on women during the man-drought that was Regency England?

My books are contemporary fiction – but that doesn’t mean I can’t take past elements and events into the story.

Ocean’s Gift started with a real shipwreck in 1921. Ocean’s Infiltrator incorporates several real shipwrecks – including a pitched naval battle in the Indian Ocean in World War I. As the centenary for this approaches, sometimes the story behind the story makes me look at where the book started.

The Battle of Cocos took place at the Cocos Keeling Islands in November 1914. It involved a ship known as the terror of the seas, the fledgling Royal Australian Navy, chivalry unheard of in war in the present day, plus a pack of marauding crustaceans. To me, the most frightening fact is that 138 men died that day – and very few people know about it. If you’re after a more in-depth description of the battle and its consequences, I suggest you check out the video: 

The amount of information available from the past is staggering, particularly on this part of history. There are photos taken before, during and after the battle; written logs from the event and diaries and letters written by those who survived the battle; and evidence at the site where it took place, which hasn’t changed much in a hundred years.

I guess it’s no surprise that I opened Ocean’s Infiltrator with the Battle of Cocos, given the book both starts and finishes at North Keeling Island. Of course, my scene is written from the perspective of a mermaid who witnessed the battle – but it’s based on my very detailed research of the actual events.

You can’t beat a good story – truth or fiction – but when it’s a mixture of both, it’s a powerful combination that can capture the imagination and take it places you couldn’t fathom beforehand. Believe me, I know – for that’s precisely what makes me write what I do.

Ocean’s Gift by Demelza Carlton


Let’s take a look at the evidence.

There are plenty of fictional accounts of mermaids, in print and visual media. There’s the Little Mermaid/Sea Maid, depending on whether it’s the Disney version with a happy ending or the traditional, tragic fairytale. There are stories for children and young adults, with a few stories for adults, too. Yes, my novel Ocean’s Gift is one of those rare mermaid stories for grown-ups.

Mermaids appear as main characters in movies like Splash, but as incidental characters in movies in both the Pirates of the Caribbean and the Harry Potter series.

Animal Planet put out a programme about mermaids, Mermaids: The Body Found. Also a work of fiction, this programme suggests that merpeople are humans that evolved differently. At the end of the programme, the “researchers” (okay, paid actors pretending to be researchers) go out into the open ocean in a tiny boat with a recording of mermaids, hoping to call them to the boat so they can see the mermaids. Perhaps it’s all my work on Ocean’s Gift, but it’s only this end scene that had me riveted. If real mermaids had been attracted to the research vessel, the boat would have been quickly sunk by a freak wave. All those aboard would have been pulled under and sharks called to dispose of the bodies. The crew on the second boat who were filming the research vessel would have met with a similar disaster. The people of the ocean’s gift protect their own, to the length of taking out any humans who might have stumbled on the mermaids’ secret existence. Of course, the people of the ocean’s gift are just a figment of my imagination, characters in my Ocean’s Gift series of books. Mermaids can’t possibly exist, so they can’t be hunting me or a nosy TV crew. Right?

The US NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) state that, “No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found.” This may indeed be the case. An alternative solution is offered by Maria, one of the characters in Ocean’s Gift:

“I think that human government department has one of our kind working in it. Our Pacific sisters must have a powerful singer as skilled as Vanessa, who passes for human. “

Infiltration of government departments by non-humans, mutants, aliens and anything else that can pose as humanoid is a common theme in popular media. Take Men in Black, X-Men, Stargate… to list just a few. If mermaids exist and work hard to hide their existence from humans, they’d need to have key people in human institutions to ensure that any reports or evidence would go missing or arrive at different conclusions. Somewhere, there would be a mermaid media officer, combing electronic and print media for rumours that mermaids exist, then quashing those rumours using whatever means necessary. Of course, if there are mermaids infiltrating human institutions in reality as opposed to just in movies, it would be somewhat embarrassing for the government department involved. It’s hardly something they’d put out media releases about.

There are stories of mermaids across the world. In Zimbabwe, construction of a reservoir has been delayed because of mermaids. At Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean, there’s a legend about a water dragon or a mermaid in one of the caves not far from the settlement area. There’s meant to be a mermaid at the Cocos Keeling Islands, also in the Indian Ocean, who welcomes locals home.

Whether mermaids exist or not is a matter for observation and evidence. The reality is that they may be real, but carefully hidden from humans, because of their small numbers and the need to protect their people from us. There are creatures on land that have not been seen or described before, being discovered by science every week in Western Australia alone. In comparison, Western Australia has been explored far more thoroughly than the Indian Ocean that laps at its coastline. If there are mermaids in the depths of the ocean, it’s entirely possible that we are ignorant of the fact.

My personal opinion, despite writing mermaid fiction, is that mermaids don’t exist.

And they’ll kill me if I tell you otherwise.

Do you believe mermaids are real?


About Demelza Carlton

Demelza Carlton has always loved the ocean, but on her first snorkelling trip she found she was afraid of fish.

She has since swum with sea lions, sharks and sea cucumbers and stood on spray-drenched cliffs over a seething sea as a seven-metre cyclonic swell surged in, shattering a shipwreck below.

Sensationalist spin? No – Demelza tends to take a camera with her so she can capture and share the moment later; shipwrecks, sharks and all.

Demelza now lives in Perth, Western Australia, the shark attack capital of the world.

The Ocean’s Gift series was her first foray into fiction, followed by the Nightmares trilogy.


200About the Book

Sirens don’t fall in love with humans. For centuries it has been so…

But Sirena is different. She lost her first love to sharks and a storm, cursing the islands that stole him from her.

Times have changed and she must swim ashore once more, to the islands she once cursed.

Gone are the boats powered by sail and steam – jet boats with GPS are now the order of the day.

Enter Joe, the deckhand on the Dolphin. A handy man to have around when the lights go out. He’ll fix your generator and have the lights back on in no time, no worries.

But can he seduce a siren?

Or will she swim away before he can uncover her secret?

A book about lobsters, beer and boobs, on some cursed islands off the coast of Western Australia. At least, that’s how Joe tells it.

For Sirena, it’s a very different story.

Purchase links: Amazon: Apple: Barnes and Noble: Diesel: Kobo: Sony: Smashwords: Demelza’s website: http://www.demelzacarlton. com

Contact links: Website: Facebook: Twitter: Goodreads: YouTube: Amazon: