Thursday, March 12, 2015

A Conversation with Debut Author Ashley Allen

Leandra: Hi, Ashley! First, thanks for stopping by today to share more about you, and your recently released YA novel, CLAIRVOYANCE. So the first thing I want to know: What did it feel like to finally hold your book in your hands for the first time?

Ashley: Thanks for having me, Leandra. This is great. Oh my... holding Clairvoyance in my hands for the first time was completely surreal. It was a proof copy, and I literally carried it around for days. After three days, it was wrecked. It looked like I'd put it through the washer and dryer. After the novelty wore off, I actually took a look inside, and the reality of the errors came to light. I was happy with the exterior, but the margins were all off, the font was wrong, and the spacing was hideous. I thought, "Ahh! Am I actually showing this to people?!!" I stopped parading it around and got back to work. When I received my second proof, I was a lot more subdued.

Leandra: Yes, I imagine I'd be like that too! How could you not be? =) And I recently read on a blog about the wisdom of ordering multiple proofs before releasing it into wild. Which just makes sense, considering how fickle of a thing formatting sounds like it can be. So once you decided to publish Clairvoyance, how long was it from this decision, until it was available to buy? 

Ashley: I would definitely suggest to anyone embarking on this journey: Look at several proofs - what looks one way digitally can look entirely different in print. The temptation to push the 'Accept' button is strong... must resist! Let's see... of my three novels thus far, Clairvoyance was my quickest write. I wrote the first draft over two months last year (the prior manuscript took a year), took a short break, and edited for two more months. I queried over the summer, and I think I decided to self-publish in early November 2014. My paperback became available on February 27th, and the Kindle version a few days later. I wanted to make sure I was all set up - proper editing, critiques, a website and Facebook page, etc - before I put it out there. I'm really fortunate to have friends who helped with cover art and web design. They probably saved me time, and definitely saved me money. My friends have been HUGE in this process; I'm so grateful.
Leandra: That's wonderful that your friends were part of this. My two closest friends support my own publication dreams, and it's a great feeling. So now that Clairvoyance is out there, and reviews are/will be rolling in soon, what-- in your eyes-- would be the biggest compliment someone could pay you? 

Ashley: Wow. That's a tough question. There are so many things I'd like to hear! If it had to be one compliment, I think it would be someone saying they read the book in a single sitting. I'm an avid reader, and one of my all-time favorite things is finding a book I completely lose myself in. The hours go by, and I just keep turning pages, until I realize the sun is coming up and the birds are chirping. If that happens, the book has an 'it' factor. You can't put it down. (This is usually followed by a satisfied, yet slightly depressed feeling, because it's over and you binged instead of savoring) If my book accomplishes that... even for a few people... I would feel really rewarded.

Leandra: That's a fantastic compliment to want (marks it down). And last, but not least, describe what would be your favorite thing to do on one of your free days, followed by your favorite place to eat (besides reading and writing, I'm all about the food around here!).

Ashley: If I'm not writing, reading, or mixing cocktails for thirsty patrons, I want to get away. I'm addicted to vacation. It could be something as small as fishing and camping an hour down the road, a summer or winter weekend at the beach, debauchery in Vegas or Reno, to as major as an extended stay in tropical bliss (usually Mexico. I love Mexico. I even lived there for a year). I'm a total foodie, so you're challenging me again with that second part. My number one meal would have to be a starter of bacon wrapped scallops, followed by a Ribeye steak, complimented by a bottle of tasty red and a table of laughing friends, at a place called Jaks in Issaquah, Washington. They are grill masters, and it's always one of those evenings that goes on for hours. Hmmm... now that I think about it, it's almost dinner time....

Also, I would like to offer three signed books (and would really appreciate reviews on Amazon or Goodreads!) to Leandra's blog readers. To enter, please follow me on Twitter @Allyn_Ashley and tweet me with Clairvoyance #bookgiveaway and I'll select three winners at random, a week after the interview is posted. I will alert the winners and let them know where to supply their addresses.

* * * 

Introducing Ashley Allyn's debut novel, Clairvoyance, the first book in a thrilling new young adult series.

Jaded by a strange ability and haunted by the demons lurking in everyone around her, seventeen-year old Gladys 'Colby' Colbern thinks her life is destined for loneliness and heartache.

Everything changes the day Colby and her best friend Beck, also a visionary, realize they are not alone. Their ability is referred to as 'clairvoyance', and a community miles away declares itself a safe-haven for hundreds with the gift. The vast compound is called Arcadia and promises a peaceful, happy life, away from the treachery and corruption they witness on a daily basis. The membership exclusive, lifestyle extravagant, Arcadia is given the title of 'paradise' for clairvoyants.

Within a week, Colby and Beck are on a Greyhound bus, runaways from Austin, Texas, to the hope of a better life in Seattle, Washington.

At first, Arcadia seems perfect. The grounds are lush, the residents carefree. Only one thing strikes Colby as bizarre: a strict set of rules, including no touching, and attending unorthodox therapy sessions to deal with the traumas of their pasts.

When a mysterious young man, named Jax Sumners, enters Arcadia, Colby realizes two polarizing things: life doesn't have to be so lonely, and sometimes, the promise of paradise can be the worst demon of all.

Ashley Allyn lives in Issaquah, Washington, with her boyfriend and three rescue pets - all from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. They are the first to hear her stories and often help by keeping the key board warm. She is a lover of wine, coffee at all hours, dancing, traveling, cheese, writing, and reading, although not necessarily in that order, and believes that amazing friendship - the kind where they tell you the truth (even when it hurts), stand by you during your highs of highs and your lows of lows, and selflessly celebrate your happiness because your joys are theirs - is one of the greatest, and rarest, gifts in the world. She would love to hear your thoughts, reviews, or questions and is a strong proponent of writers helping other writers.

And one last note, keep an eye on Ashley's Twitter & Facebook pages for discounts or freebies!


  1. Congratulations Ashley on your new book!

  2. I enjoyed this conversation. It offers a lot more for readers than a simple interview. :)

    Congratulations on your debut, Ashley!

  3. Congrats, Ashley! This was such a fun interview. Ashley sounds so down to earth. Love it.

  4. I'm waiting for a proof copy myself - the formatting ad everything looked fine online, but you're right that we can't alwaysrely on that.

  5. Great interview Leandra....and best of luck with the book Ashley! :)

  6. Awesome interview. I'm not really involved in the creation of my cover, except to give input on things the artist should remember while designing. I've been really lucky so far!

  7. Thanks everyone! Leandra is great. :)

  8. This sounds like such an awesome book! And I love the compliment--totally making a note of that :)

  9. oh man I want this compliment too! great interview, ladies! so fun! :) and love that you have rescue pets, Ashley!

  10. Congrats Ashley! And I quite like the format of this interview, Leandra! Well done. :)

  11. I love hearing that a reader compulsively read my book in one sitting. I've received that a few times. I enjoyed reading about Ashley's publishing journey. I wish her much success.


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