Monday, July 01, 2013

"You are grounded....until you die."

 This interview is late. This week is going to be slightly odd for me, so I've worked up a plan. I will only be doing interviews this week, and saving the last few book reviews for next week. (Since the 4th falls on a Thursday and I missed Monday's interview and am doing it today it kind of works out best to skip book reviews.)

 I also might be unnaturally quiet this month. I didn't get Abolished Impracticality finished before Camp NaNo as I wanted. Which means I need to finish it while writing my NaNo book, which I am already one day behind on. I've been considering if I want to add this NaNo book to my book list here on my blog. I need to sit down and plan out when I hope to have it published. (This isn't a completely fresh, original story, so I won't be having to do the editing part where you slave over every little detail - I've done that at least five times already. This is more of a fresh re-write. Therefore, I might be able to publish it sooner than my NaNoWriMo book.)
 Anyways, lots to think about.

 But enough rambling. That for later. For today, let me introduce you to a friend of mine! 
 (Note, these interviews and book reviews are to celebrate the release of my newest book, A Stretch of Loyalty. You can learn more about it on my book page.)

 And now, Ashley.

Welcome! What first made you decide to join the ranks of insanity and pick up a pen?
          When I was younger I would always make up stories in my head, and finally they screamed to be on paper. Perhaps because they got too big to keep in my head. So I guess it's like what George Gordon Bryon said, "If I don't write to empty my head, I go mad."

 That is a feeling I can relate to all too well.

 Have you ever been threatened by your characters? How do you normally get them to behave?
            Threatened? Well, my protagonist, Oddball is always threatening to quit on me or leave. He doesn't like me bothering him, actually he just acts like he doesn't like me bothering him. The characters are normally well behaved except for withholding information and quarreling. Following them through their adventures is dangerous enough. A lot of heights, prackles, dragons, wastelands, dangerous tribes people, shrels, lunatics. You know, the usual. 

 Sounds kind of like the group of characters who follow me around.

 What do you think is the most important part of a story? The characters, plot, or something else?
           Both I believe are equally important. There are books with great characters, there are books with great plot, but the books with great characters and great plot are magnificent. But if you have amazing characters and use their motives, desires, failures, hopes, and fears to keep the story moving, then your characters will create the plot.
           Style is a wonderful thing also.

What is a typical writing day for you like?
           A typical day of writing? Those exist?
 Good point.
           Um, sometimes it's a few sentence then "Oh, let's stare off in space wondering- what in the world comes next!" But occasionally it's a very focused me writing straight for an unhealthy amount of time. . . Until my mom decides to interrupt with some frivolous thing like, "Guess what so and so said" or "Can you hang up the clothes?" Which normally ends with me snapping at her for breaking my focus and not really listening because I'm still trying to write. And then later I feel bad for being disrespectful to her. 

 When someone asks you what your book is about are you filled with dread, or excitement to give them a ten page description?
          It makes me nervous because, I know what to say, but for some reason I'm always afraid they just won't get it. I can get through it in less than five minutes if you can stand my bumbling.

 From what I've heard you're not alone in that department.

 What are some author quirks you have? (Such as wearing mismatching socks. Forgetting to eat. Sleep. forgetting what it is like to be social.)
           I'm an artist. I don't have time for such things as making beds, putting on make-up, or, psh, matching my socks! Joking. :) Although I really don't do those things very often. And I name things, like my car is Mortimer. People grin at me strange when I use words like 'obscure.' My room is a wreck and I love it that way. The organized chaos is conducive to creative thought. Being social doesn't exactly come natural to me. It's not that I don't like people and I definitely don't want to be rude. Being social just takes more effort for me than for most people. 

 What are you thoughts on bananas?
           Bananas were an experiment in edible boomerangs. The idea would have financially hurt the people who invested in it if the edible part had not been successful. Now the banana has found a wide, uh, eatership in monkeys and nut bread lovers alike.

From John: But they're still not good 8-P

 Authors should stay in tune to the publishing world around them, such as knowing what genres are becoming popular and so forth. How do you do this?
          Oo, I may get an F in this category. My book is no where near ready for publishing, but I do try to stay in touch with the "in." It is important. Mostly I read a lot of blogs where people review new books. On average what genre are those books in? And then I know what's popular right now. That and I can look at what's new at the college library. . . sometimes. The public library's new book section is more likely to tell you what was new a year or two ago. 

Sounds just like my library

 How far would you go to find a good story?

           Hm, as in to read or write? If to write, I really don't need to go far for that. My imagination is active and wild- I need a leash. But to read? If I keep an open mind I still don't usually have to go far. I don't normally buy books unless I just can't find them in the library. And if it sounds like a good story, or the author has already proven amazing, I will buy books to find what I want.

 And, do you often base your characters off of real people?
          Are you screaming mad?! Because they would be if I did. Really, though I try not to base my characters off real people. Although my boss did ask me to put him in my novel. That's a little unusual. But I do realize, after the characters are who they are, that they do have certain qualities like people I know. One of my brothers is protective of his friends and family (in a good way) and has anger issues usually with people who won't do their part and are lazy. Rocky is like this. Rocky and Hawk's Wing also like to tell wild stories, like one of my other brothers and, well, me. There's a whole kingdom, Shamdram, that may be a bit like the Celts, maybe. But I normally see more similarities to myself. Not planned at all. Mostly between Oddball and me, which is kind of weird because he's a guy. 

 Ashley's Bio and Book Summery
Ashley G. writes when time does or doesn't allow. She believes talking to oneself is as natural as thinking out loud to oneself. She took a break from the Fellowship of the Rings to read Inkheart and is hoping that nobody good dies, as all good readers do. She leans more toward editing than first-drafting.
Her WIP has no working title because it's current title just isn't work. It goes under the stand-in Oddball. Oddball is a half breed from the border of Odd and Bal. He escapes the racial prejudices of his home and has crazy adventures delivering the interkingdomal mail while searching for acceptance. (that was terrible grammar for a writer by the way, never use that many -ing verbs in a sentence)

 Quote is taken from Meet the Robinsons.




  1. *waves to Ashley* Fancy seeing you here too!! :D XD Great interview (fabulous questions too, Jack).
    "Obscure" is a great word. Under used, I think. We named our car too! It's called "Suzy", though I prefer Mortimer. ;)

    1. 'Obscure' is definitely underused. People should realize its potential.
      Yes, someone else who names cars!

  2. Another interesting interview. In my opinion characters are slightly more important than plot, because great characters can make lacking plots entertaining. When both the plot and characters are excellent you have a classic like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings.


    1. You are right Amazing characters do pick up for a lagging plot.

  3. Nice to meet you Ashley! Great interview Jack.

  4. Fabulous interview. I enjoyed this muchly, muchly. :)

    I have the same problem with titles. I think I must be rubbish when it comes to choosing them, because mine just never seem to WORK. Mine tend to go by the first character's name as well, since that's who the story is about, and, well, it's HIS (or HER) story.

    I want to get a blue car and name it TARDIS. Or I'll get a brown car with red accents and call it Eleven. A green one would be Dragon. I think. It really depends on the car.

    1. Titles are just so. . . I don't know. One day we will get the knack of it. And it's true it is the main character's story after all. Why not? If he has an eye-catching name.

      Oo, a blue car named TARDIS. I love that!

  5. Oddball - I love that name!


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