· Graduating from the University of South Carolina, she interned at Random House Publishers with Kodansha USA, where she (helped) edit the Sailor Moon manga and that was really, really, really cool. She wrote a play that won some awards, and can quote every Motion City Soundtrack lyric by heart.
She currently lives in South Carolina with her cat (aka her soulmate) and a plethora of books. When she’s not writing, she’s going to the movies (her second favorite past time) or taking extravagant road trips (her third favorite past time).
Oh, and she’s naturally redheaded, so she’s already stolen your soul.
What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?
Diana Wynne Jones. She was, and will always be, the author I look up to for character development and lyrical prose. I must’ve read Dogsbody and Howl’s Moving Castle a hundred times by now. She had the ability of making the fantastical something so ordinary and so grounded, it made me want to believe that magic could exist. That it was possible, not in a Harry Potter way, but subtly---magic just out of the corner of your eye.
What was your favorite book as a child? How about now?
As a child, I had these huge picture books with odd and unknown fairytales in them. Tom Thumb, The Parrot Shaw, the Monkey King---I read them so often they fell apart at the binding. Today, my favorite books are still fairytales---Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, The Princess Bride by William Goldman, and Dragon’s Bait by Vivian Vande Velde.
What made you decide to become a writer?
To be honest? Fanfiction. I started writing fanfiction in fifth grade, and I haven’t stopped since.
How long does it take you to draft a novel? Tell us a bit about your writing process.
Each book is a little different. The Sound of Us took close to twelve drafts to complete, and that took roughly five years. I usually can draft a story in a month, but then I set it down for another month or two, and then pick it back up with fresh eyes, edit it, and rewrite it again. I like editing a lot more than drafting---drafting feels like scraping my feet across hot coals, while editing is like waltzing.
Is there a character in your novel that you particularly relate to?
Oof, tough question. There are a few characters that I can relate to, but I think Boaz in The Sound of Us is a dead-ringer, brah. He has a lot of character flaws and history that isn’t explored in The Sound of Us that I hope can be explored in a later book. He’s really a very vibrant, fresh character, and he brings a lot to the table.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on a space pirate fairytale retelling. It’s like Firefly meets iRobot. Lots of gunfights, swordfights, espionage, blood, murder, romance, kissing, extravagant galas, kickass spaceships, and a small pinch of Sailor Moon. Phew!
THE SOUND OF US
Publisher: Bloomsbury Spark
Publish Date: Dec. 19, 2013
America's favorite pop band, Roman Holiday, is done, dead, and so totally last year. For eighteen-year-old rockoholic Junie Baltimore, this is music to her ears. But when she discovers their sexy ex-lead singer hiding out on the boardwalk, her summer vacation becomes the cover story of the year.
She's willing to keep him a secret, but when a sleazy paparazzo offers her the cash she needs to save the bar her father left behind, could she sell out for the chance to save her future? Who is she kidding? That's a no-brainer...but she never planned on falling head over heels for the lead singer.
Want to learn more about Ashley and her book? You can find her here:
o yalitquotes.tumblr.com <-- (headmistress)
o luminosocomic.tumblr.com <-- (co-creator)