Colleen Houck

“I took hold of that scourge -filled ship and crushed it between my limbs, hurtling it into the second sun, the red one that gave me strength. But I was too late." Terraformer

Colleen's blog

  • Modern Ink Society

    January 27, 2015

      FEATURING GUEST Amalie Howard

    A Day in the Life of an Aquarathi living in Waterfell

    Welcome to the twelfth session of



    “Creativity is putting your imagination to work, and it’s produced the most extraordinary results in human culture.”

    — Ken Robinson

    Introducing the lovely

    Amalie Howard


     A Day in the Life of an Aquarathi living in  Waterfell

    “Like the home of many deep-sea creatures, the Aquarathi world is simply not accessible to us, and while the Aquarathi can transform into human form, this isn’t their natural state. Like humans, they are a very intelligent species, and exhibit complex relationships and well-developed language, as well as sophisticated social and behavioral characteristics. In their natural undersea habitat, however, they have very little in common with people. In Waterfell, much like other ocean species, their daily lives consists of parenting, hunting, interacting, and resting.

    On average, an Aquarathi weighs about a thousand pounds, and has a lifespan of about a hundred years. Underwater, Aquarathi speech includes sharp pulses, clicks and whistles, and is used to communicate orders, commands and needs. Body language also plays a large part in Aquarathi communication. As much as baring a neck is a sign of deference, flicking a tail is one of aggression. The combination of sounds and appearance is as complicated and elaborate as any oral human language. An Aquarathi will choose a mate, once it comes of age—a process called Dvija—and will bond once for the duration of its life. Female Aquarathi usually only have a child every ten to fifteen years due to a long two-year gestation period, and coupled with a relatively small childbearing window, this keeps the Aquarathi population small.

    The Aquarathi political structure is divided into four courts (Ruby, Emerald, Sapphire and Gold) with a designated High Court. The Courts convene on a regular basis to provide updates to the High Court and to air any grievances or share news. Each Court has its own groups of caregivers, warriors and hunters, and for the most part, operates independently of the High Court but within the laws of the High Court. The High King or Queen has the final say in all matters. The caregivers, as their name implies, take care of the injured, the young and the sick. The warriors defend the lower Court royals as well as their Court boundaries, and the hunters are tasked with finding and distributing food.

    The Aquarathi are excellent and efficient hunters, feeding on other ocean species like sharks, whales, squid, stingrays, and other large fish. They typically work in small groups, and are careful and stealthy in stalking their prey, often for extended periods before moving in for the kill. With millions of olfactory receptors, the Aquarathi can smell blood in the water from thousands of miles away, and also will use their bioluminescence to lure in prey. They are incredibly fast swimmers, averaging seventy-five to a hundred miles per hour. The Aquarathi hunters share their catch with other members of their respective Courts.

    A large part of Aquarathi daily life involves parenting and guiding younger Aquarathi. Knowledge and experience is passed down through the ranks, including teaching about life and survival skills, community care, hunting, feeding, navigation, interaction with humans, Court laws, and Aquarathi history. All members of each Court help to parent and teach younger Aquarathi, passing on valuable information from past generations.”

    Waterfell Character Profiles

    NERISSA – Phoebe Tonkin

    Phoebe Tonkin photo-025





    Likes: My favorite colors are blue, green, and gold. I love surfing, swimming, hockey, and hanging out with my best friend just chilling on the beach. I also love cupcakes and bacon. I like to be spontaneous and go where the moment takes me. I love music. I like the feel of sand between my toes, and that first step into the ocean when your skin sucks it up like oxygen. I love salt crusting on my lips when I’m on my surfboard and it’s just the wave and me. I like summer, lightning storms, and swimming at night. I like to be free.

    Dislikes: Bullies. Math. Political agendas.

    LO – Matt Lanter








    Likes: I like the sea when it’s stormy. I like clouds. I like to surf at night during the Red Tides. I like hot chocolate when the cold has seeped into your bones—it’s the only thing that stops me from becoming a total popsicle. I like people who go out of their way to help others. I like watching the sunrise and the sunset. Bonus points if either of them happen while surfing. I love music, dancing, and having a good time. I like snow, but not yellow snow, only the clean kind. I like summer more than winter. I like a good massage. I like the smell of rain.

    Dislikes: Shoes. Sunburn. Rashes in weird places. Materialism.

    JENNA – Kelsey Chow









    Likes: I love hockey, and I love learning about new things. Not necessarily in that order. I take my education very seriously. I also like reading books and watching movies. I enjoy waking up in my own bed, and the way fresh, clean sheets smell. I love my boyfriend, Sawyer, when he’s not being totally clueless, and when he brings me flowers “just because.” I like Thai food and street fairs, particularly ones with Nutella crepes. I like candid photography—taking photos when no one thinks you’re looking. I love the idea of capturing those real moments on film when it’s not a pose, it’s art in action. I like that my best friend is not who everyone thinks she is, and I especially like that she trusts me with her secret. I love being able to have a voice and make a difference.

    Dislikes: Egotism. Ill-mannered people. Bigger people who forget to fight for the smaller people. Marshmallows. Being told what to do.

    SAWYER – Chord Overstreet

    chord overstreet





    Likes: Summer. Bonfires on the beach. Surfing. Working out. Food. Music. Helping people. Ocean clean-up. Water sports. My girl. My friends. My family. Surfing. Oh wait, I said that already. I’m really passionate aboutSurfing and the whole movement behind all that, we need to save the oceans. I like long walks on the beach, and laying out in the sunshine. I love animals. Hugs. Kisses. I like funny people. Warm weather. The smell of freshly cut grass. Meeting new people. Making my girl happy. Being happy. Being true to myself. Brownies. Oh, and cupcakes and pie.

    Dislikes: Violence. Poverty. People who bring down other people. Pollution.

    Ten reasons why everyone wants to be an Aquarathi

    1. You can have the best of both worlds—you can live on land and underwater.

    2. You are at the top of the marine food chain. No kidding. You are the king of the underwater pride rock—the buffet is open.

    3. You can manipulate water in any form—technically called hydro-projection or glimmering. Think how handy that’ll be if you need to put a fire out.

    4. You look like an underwater dragon. Seriously, who wouldn’t want to be a gorgeous, lethal, fantastic underwater dragon?! Yeah, you know you want to flex that fantasy muscle.

    5. You can shape-shift into human form. Any human form. Move over, Gisele Bundchen.

    6. You are bioluminescent—totally cool because you’ll never need a nightlight.

    7. You have the power of mind suggestion. Get out of homework card, anyone?

    8. You live in an undersea world that no human has ever seen.

    9. You can surf or swim anywhere in the world without fear of shark attacks. They smell you coming … they swim in the opposite direction. Twilight surfing, yes please!

    10. Your senses are a hundred times more powerful than human ones. Imagine being able to sense things around you without seeing, hearing or touching them? Yeah, we’re talking alien ESP. No need to tell you how awesome that could be.

    To learn more about her book or everything Amalie, check out her website at

    Colleen has known Amalie for awhile now and she always enjoys catching up at book conventions.

    Colleen and Amalie

    A huge thanks to Amalie for sharing some insight into the world she created in her Waterfell series. I can’t wait to check out this book myself!  For those of you who like learning how authors access their creative genius and put pen to paper (or finger tip to keyboard), these Modern Ink Society sessions can give us a little peack into the minds of those writers who have paved the path before us. Their experiences bring great insight and wisdom and can help us along on our own journey in writing, or any creative outlet.

    Remember the live chat on Goodreads is this Thursday! For a chance to win 5 books (Includes: Alpha Goddess, Waterfell, Oceanborn, The Almost Girl and Tiger’s Curse), participate in the livechat by leaving a comment/question for authors Colleen Houck and Amalie Howard.

    Jan CHBC

    ~Till next time,

    Linda Louise Lotti

    This entry was posted in Featuring Authors, The Modern Ink Society.

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    Author Bio

    I’m Linda Louise, one of the bloggers on this website and Colleen’s little sister. I’m just a girl in her mid-thirties who feels thirteen when I play outside with my boys, fifteen when I sing my heart out listening to tunes while driving by myself, and sixty five when I go out past ten at night. I have a thing for junior mints, Mt. Dew, shrimp and kale (though not all at once) and I have a crush on Superman. I still get girlish butterflies when I read Twilight, cry when I read These is My Words, and smile from ear to ear when I read Anne of Green Gables. I have nightmares about aliens on a regular basis and I have a bad habit of midnight snacking. I love everything sports, except golf (although can that honestly be considered a sport??), and I hate anything that slithers, hisses, or stings. I have a problem with giggling at inappropriate moments and I sometimes wish life was a musical. I love science, hate math, love Dr. Seuss, and hate olives. My family is my world and my joys come from their happiness. I’ve learned I don’t know much about anything and I live for a good adventure, naps, cuddles, stories, exceptional food and The Shire.