Wednesday, December 10, 2014

An Interview With an Authoress!

Hello everyone!  My dear friend Ashley recently released her first book, Becoming Nikki (!!!), and I'm participating in her blog tour!   She was gracious enough to let me interview her, so without further ado, here are her answers.

~How did you get the idea for BN?

Well, it all started when I discovered ice dancing while watching it during the 2010 Winter Olympics.  Meryl Davis and Charlie White were instantly my favorite and I started thinking about how much it would take to get to the Olympics.  I also had come up with the idea of a broken sister-sister relationship (which slowly turned into a brother-sister relationship) around the same time, and, as I started developing the plot of that novel, the ice dancing part eventually fused with it.

~Share a few of your favorite ice dancing videos.


Meryl Davis and Charlie White's Phantom of the Opera Free Dance -
Meryl and Charlie's Indian Original Dance -
Maia and Alex Shibutani (a brother-sister couple : )))))'s Waltz Free Dance -
This dance by Maia and Alex (not sure what it's officially called, but it looks like a Free Dance) -
This beautiful Free Dance by Maia and Alex -

~What was the hardest part of editing?  Easiest part?

The hardest part of the editing was actually editing it. XD There was one point where I found out that thoughts shouldn't be in italics and single quotes ('), and I had to go through and take all of the quotes out. UGH. I got to listen to awesome music while I did it, though. : D

~Which of your characters is your favorite?
AHH. That is such a hard question to answer because I love them ALL. They each have something amazing about them that I absolutely love. I love Nikki's resilience. I love Natalie's humor. I love Alec's strength. I love Dylan's everything. I love Bennett's pick-up lines – he can't pull them off, but it's so endearing. I love them all, even the more minor characters like Aunt Trina and Sam.

~Which of your characters is most like you?

Nikki and Natalie are most like me. I'm quiet like Nikki – but not quite as quiet – and bubbly like Natalie – but not quite as bubbly. They were both the easiest to write because I could always just ask myself, "What would I do in this situation?" and then write that.

~Which authors would you say have most influenced your writing?

I think I've been most influenced by a quite a few authors such as Robert Whitlow, Wayne Thomas Batson, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, R.J. Palacio, Jeanne Birdsall,Suzanne Collins, and Louisa May Alcott – all of whom write for what I call "an audience outside of their intended audience," meaning that they may write for an intended audience, but their books can be enjoyed by people outside of that audience. I enjoyed books like Wonder, Curse of the Spider King, and The Penderwicks because they were full of good writing. Just because they were written for twelve-year-olds doesn't mean that they have to be dumbed-down and at a twelve-year-old's reading level. And that's what I want my writing to be like. Becoming Nikki may be written for teens between the ages of 12-18, but that doesn't mean that a 20-year-old like myself can't enjoy it. *dismounts soapbox*

~Has any event in your life influenced your writing?  Which one(s)?
Great question! I think there are at least two main events that have influenced my writing and those are (1) the American Girl Magazine contest I've talked about a few times and (2) when my family moved to a different state about five years ago. I wouldn't have gotten started really writing if it hadn't been for that contest, and I wouldn't have stuck to it if I hadn't gotten a "second wind" after moving and not having any friends for a few months.

~Was there any part of the book that was really hard to write?
Hmm... I think the hardest part to write was conveying how much Nikki had changed by the end (Becoming Nikki – heh...heh...) and why she'd changed at all. Also, I couldn't re-read the accident scene for a while after I wrote it because it was so intense. (Of course, now I'm going through the same thing with a crucial scene in the very beginning of my new novel, The Art of Letting Go.)

~​If you could put a character from a different book into your novel, who would it be and why?
Huh. I don't know! I think I'd want to put Edward Ferrars from Sense and Sensibility in there because Natalie would enjoy talking to him so much. : D
Thanks for interviewing me!!!

And thanks very much for appearing on my blog, Ashley!  

She's holding a giveaway of a signed copy of BN, which you can enter here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Anonymous said...

Thank you, my darling Gollum!


Beth said...

Hi! I've tagged you over at my blog, please check it out!:-)