Author Spotlight: AshleySue

And here is one of the *lost* author spotlights that I had banked.
This gal is the shit man, the SHIT! (I’m watching some awesome 90’s movies and am getting in the zone.) I first stumbled across her when I found Time Off for Good Behavior. Quite a good read, I must say. I will also say that she tends to finish her stories, which is a HUGE plus for her since it irks me when I get into a story and then I wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and…yeah you get the idea. So lets hear from her, now shall we-

So, tell me a little about yourself.
I was born and raised in Utah, in a town about 5 miles north of Salt Lake City (hence it’s name, North Salt Lake). I’m a single mother of a five-year old with an autism spectrum disorder. Although I didn’t graduate, I completed 3 years of college majoring in Vocal Music Education.

What do you do when you’re not writing?
My son is currently on summer break from school, so when I’m not writing, I’m chasing him around the house and yard, or helping him build ridiculously difficult Lego structures. I also love to cook, so I’m always looking up new recipes online and reading new cookbooks. One of my most favorite Christmas presents of all time has been a subscription to Food Network Magazine.

Do you pull experiences from your real life into your writing?
Like quite a few other writers, I want my stories to be as believable and ‘real’ as possible. One of the reasons I didn’t graduate college was because I HATE doing research! I honestly don’t have the patience for it. So, I tend to stick with things I know, making the stories seem more authentic. When I write canon stories, I keep going back to the books as often as I can to make sure things make sense.

How do you come up with your titles?
That’s actually something I really struggle with. I’ve got an AWESOME beta in Northwoman, and an equally AWESOME pre-reader in JenniferAnnB, and I’ve needed their help coming up with titles several times.

Ultimate girl question: chocolate or vanilla?
I’m honestly not a big fan of either plain. But, mix them with fruit flavors, nuts, peanut butter, caramel, and then you’ll have my interest.

Besides SVM, do you have another series of books that you love or that you’d ever write fanfics for?
I’ve become a fan of The Night Huntress series, and recently got stuck on the House of Night books as well. I don’t think I’d ever write fanfics for either series though, because I don’t think I have a good enough handle on the characters. I love Twilight, and I enjoy reading fanfics for the series, but I doubt I’d ever write any of my own. I have considered writing one or two for the movie Labyrinth, though. When I was little, I had an uber crush on David Bowie. I recently saw someone suggest that he play Niall on True Blood, and the thought alone gave me goosebumps!!!

What is the best compliment you’ve received on your writing?
I wrote a piece for the Home Sweet Home contest last summer, “Living Virtuously in Utah.” A couple of people said it made them want to visit a few locations in Utah, which had me tickled pink! In fact, Northwoman and her daughter actually drove through Salt Lake, and my son and I got to spend a few hours with them. I drove them by several of the places I mentioned in my story.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
FIND A BETA!! It’s always a good idea to have someone proof read your work, especially because it can help a lot to have someone to bounce ideas off of. Having someone to talk to while writing has helped me solve a lot of problems I’ve created for myself. It’s also a good idea to have someone help you correct your grammar and spelling errors. We’re all human, and we all make mistakes, and no one, and no story, is perfect. Remember that your target audience is made up of a wide range of people, with different ages and different education levels. I’ve read some stories with some really great storylines, but I never got passed the first few chapters because the grammar and spelling was so awful! I hate to see good stories go unread simply because the author couldn’t admit to themselves that they may need help with spelling and grammar. Remember, professional authors have editors that go over a story several times before it’s printed, so there’s no shame in asking for help.

What sort of Starbuck’s concoction would your characters order?
I don’t drink coffee myself, so I honestly have no idea what they even serve these days!!

Tell us something random about yourself.
After a brief hospitalization early on in my pregnancy several years ago, I’m unable to fall asleep on my own. I have to take medication in order to get my mind and body to shut down now. When my son was younger, I used to be a total night owl, staying up until 2 or 3 am most nights. However, as he’s gotten older and more active, I’ve started to go to bed around the same time he does, so I can wake up with him at like 6am. So now, at the age of 32, I go to bed most nights by 8pm!!

What kind of environment do you write in?
I own both a laptop and a desktop PC, but I absolutely HATE using my laptop unless it’s necessary. I’m not a fan of the smaller keyboard, and I hate not having a mouse. So, when I write, I usually sit at my desk, in my comfy leather chair with my legs tucked up under me. I also write faster if I’ve got some music on in the background, because sometimes random song lyrics will inspire me.

Tell the truth. Do you ever write naked?
Absolutely not! The last thing I need is my wimpy dog trying to hide behind me during a thunderstorm when I’m not wearing anything! YUCK!!!

Where can you be found online?
I’m currently only on ff.net. But, I have plans to eventually get started up on either Live Journal, or WordPress. When I do, I’ll put all the info on my ff profile.
***her fanfic profile is here***

Anything else you’d like to tell?
One of my favorite authors, ericizmine, always has such wonderful pictures of Alexander Skargsgard on her wordpress page. For a while, she had a portion of the magazine cover that had Alex, Anna Paquin, and Stephen Moyer all naked with blood splatters all over them. Ericizmine had posted just the part with Alex in it. One day when I was reading one of her updates, my son came into the room to see what I was doing. He saw the picture, said “Mommy, he got ouchie,” and tried to crawl up on the desk to kiss the picture of Alex. It was hilarious!!!

And there you have it. Another awesome insight into a truly magnificent author. :o) and again to AshleySue, I am SO sorry I managed to let this get misplaced for so long. I plead the “trying-to-be-helpful” husband excuse. :) Go check her out!

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