- Guest Author -
Welcome to another emerging author from Brisbane, Australia - Ashleigh Galvin.
Welcome, Ashleigh ...
1. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF.
I’m currently 24 years old and live in Brisbane Australia. I work as IT in a law firm and in my spare time, I dream about having spare time.
2. WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A WRITER?
I first started writing when I was in primary school. It was going to write the best book ever. I called it the Scar of Athens. However it currently remains unfinished on my computer. If I were ever to consider finishing it, it would require an extensive re-write. It did inspire me to continue my writing and I haven’t stopped since.
3. WHAT TYPE OF PREPARATION DO YOU DO FOR A MANUSCRIPT? DO YOU PLAN EVERYTHING FIRST OR JUST SHOOT FROM THE HIP?
I’m a planner, all the way. I tried to write my very first novel as I went and it remains unfinished on my computer. I lost direct when writing it because I wrote on the spur of the moment. My second started with a chapter by chapter plan. This allowed me to know what I was writing, when I was writing it and how to draw out the action. I now start every book by having a chapter outline and couldn’t imagine life without one.
4. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
I like getting the ideas out of my head and onto paper. If I didn’t, I think my brain would explode.
5. WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
For me, the hardest thing is getting my books out there in the eyes of the public. I don’t have a huge budget for advertising so it’s hard to be noticed sometimes.
6. WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST WRITING ACHIEVEMENT?
Finishing my first novel is still my greatest achievement so far. The fact I stuck with it and now it’s a published novel is a great feeling.
7. WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
I’m working on editing the third novel in the Amethyst series. Editing is not my strong point and it often takes longer than actually writing the novel.
8. WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Many things. What can inspire me one day will leave me bored the next. Music is great and can really paint a picture in my mind but so can getting into the silence of nature.
9. WHAT GENRE DO YOU WRITE?
I write Fantasy. I have some ideas for Sci-fi and even a thriller but they probably won’t be written for quite a few years. Fantasy is just too much fun at the moment.
10. DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?
Just keep at it. Practise makes perfect and patience is golden. Writing is a slow industry. Even when you get a publishing contract, it’s often over a year until your book will hit the shelves. Keep writing and one day you will have your bestseller.
11. DO YOU SUFFER FROM WRITER’S BLOCK?
Sometimes but not really. I plan my novels chapter by chapter. Knowing where my characters have to be at the end of the chapter really helps in moving them along. If I do get blocked, I grab my notepad and pen and brainstorm any and all possibilities for the scene. It’s never long before I’ve found one I like and the ball starts rolling again.
12. DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED WRITING SCHEDULE?
Whenever I can, I try to.
13. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE WRITING PLACE?
My writing desk is in my bedroom so I guess there. It’s not great and is quite swishy but I can’t stop writing just because my unit is small.
14. WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY IN WRITING?
Seeing the characters in my head come to life on the paper. They have voices of their own. Watching them grow in the story is fantastic.
15. WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR AND WHY?
I don’t know if I have one favourite Author. If I did have to pick one, it would be Tamora Peirce for all her Tortall books series. Love them. Just love them. The strong characters are so inspiring.
16. WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED FROM A READER?
I think the greatest compliment any reader can give me is to buy my novels, read them then leave a short honest review.
17. WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT FROM A READER?
Believe it or not, I haven’t really received any really bad comments. I think the worse one was that they thought my main character was a bit annoying to start with but she was kinda meant to be so it wasn’t really that bad.
18. WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?
If something happens to me that I can use in my novels, I will. Seeing as I mostly write Fantasy it’s more emotional situations than physical occurrences.
19. OTHER THAN WRITING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?
I love acting as well. In my spare time I used to do quite a bit of acting and have been in TV Trailers and Short Films.
20. DID YOU HAVE YOUR BOOK / BOOKS PROFESSIONALLY EDITED BEFORE PUBLICATION?
My novels are edited extensively by my Publisher. The editors I work with are great. They can pick up the little things that I miss and make fantastic suggestions.
21. DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.
Wake up at lunch time in my 3 story manor. Have morning tea in the expansive gardens around the villa. Have to take a horse ride into town to attend a signing. Agent then tells me my latest book has completely sold out and they would need to print more. Have lunch with my family. Go home with them and play board games into the night with my pet dragon, Jeeves.
22. IF YOU WERE STUCK ON A DESERT ISLAND WITH ONE PERSON, WHO WOULD IT BE? WHY?
It would have to be my better half, Michael. He is so intuitive I know we would be living like the Family Robinson in no time.
23. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO SPEAK TO WORLD LEADERS?
I think they have lost their way. They should, for starters, half what they earn so they are closer to the people they are meant to represent. Then I would sit them down and have a stern talking to them.
24. WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
My current plans are to finish my manuscript and finish planning my wedding. Once those are completed, I’d like to buy a house and become a full time writer.
25. WHAT FIVE BOOKS WOULD YOU TAKE TO HEAVEN?
Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon Song and Dragon Singer
Piers Anthony’s A Rock and A Hard Place
My Birth By Fire’s Embrace
26. DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN ANY OF YOUR CHARACTERS?
My main Character, Shar, is based quite closely off myself and my sister. I tried to keep her as realistic as possible which sometimes comes off quite negatively for her.
27. DOES THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY FRUSTRATE YOU?
Not really. My publisher is fantastic. I don’t like Marketing but I always knew it was going to be hard. I think the thing that annoys me the most is I’d like more reviews on Amazon. A lot of people read the book, then don’t bother to post a review about it. For an author, this drives me nuts as how are other readers meant to know how good it is.
28. DID YOU EVER THINK OF QUITTING?
29. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE MANUSCRIPT TO WRITE? WHY?
My favourite so far is actually my current work in progress. It’s the third instalment of the Amethyst series and I finally get to introduce some characters that I’ve been dying to write about. I loved it so much I finished this manuscript the fastest. It’s currently being edited.
30. HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE ‘SUCCESS’ AS A WRITER.
To me success would be walking in public and seeing a random person I’ve never met before sitting down and reading one of my novels.
31. WHAT SHOULD READERS WALK AWAY FROM YOUR BOOKS KNOWING? HOW SHOULD THEY FEEL?
My Novels are written to take the mind off reality. Everyday life can be boring sometimes. Reading allows the reader to escape into a world of whimsy and wonder.
32. HOW MUCH THOUGHT GOES INTO DESIGNING A BOOK COVER?
My publisher designs my covers though I do get final say. I want my covers to relevant yet mysterious. Tantalizing enough to draw the reader in.
33. WHAT’S YOUR ULTIMATE DREAM?
To be able to write full time.
34. WRITING IS ONE THING. WHAT ABOUT MARKETING YOU, YOUR BOOKS AND YOUR BRAND? ANY THOUGHTS?
As mentioned before, I’m not great with Marketing. I’ve a website and newsletter as well as being active on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc. I think the best marketing is having honest reviews by readers on sites like Amazon and Goodreads.
35. ARE YOUR BOOKS SELF-PUBLISHED?
No. My books are published through Spectacle Publishing Media Group.
36. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN FIVE WORDS.
Fun, Smart, Weird, Dreamer, Writer
37. WHAT PISSES YOU OFF MOST?
People who buy books but never leave reviews.
38. WHAT IS THE TITLE OF THE LAST BOOK YOU READ? GOOD ONE?
The last book I read was a Manga called Dragon Ball. Good? Extremely. I’ve already read the later series called Dragon Ball Z. The characters are all so great. It’s funny, full of action and just a dash of romance to make a brilliant story.
39. WHAT WOULD BE THE VERY LAST SENTENCE YOU’D WRITE?
I want to say something good like ‘Death is only the beginning’ but I honestly don’t know what I would write. I don’t want any sentence to be my last as I intend to write till I can’t feel my fingers. And when that happens I will shout my stories.
40. WHAT WOULD MAKE YOU HAPPIER THAN YOU ARE NOW? CARE TO SHARE?
If I had a block of chocolate beside me and didn’t have to go to work in the morning. Ahhhh Bliss
The below link is to the video trailer for Birth By Fire's Embrace.
Below is the link to my novel on Amazon:
Clancy's comment: Many thanks, Ashleigh. Keep acting and writing. I hope you sell swags of books ... And then some.