I always find it fascinating discovering when and how writers take their first steps on their writing path. So it is my pleasure to welcome talented Australian author Ashleigh Galvin to my blogging corner, and find out the inspiration behind her writing journey.
I love the front cover - the colours are very vivid.
So without further ado, let’s meet Ashleigh.
Thanks Helen for inviting me to your blog.
Ashleigh, could you tell us a little about yourself and your writing journey?
I’m a bookaholic. I’ve written three books at this stage. Birth By Fire’s Embrace is currently released with Standing In The Wind’s Shadow coming out later this year. Book 3 of the Amethyst series is in the editing process. I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil and using my imagination for even longer. To me becoming a writer was as natural as breathing. If I don’t get my stories down onto paper and out of my head, they tend to haunt me constantly for weeks, demanding to be realised. As such, I currently have fifteen potential book ideas (not including the Amethyst series) waiting to be written. I’m going to be busy but as they say, no rest for the wicked.
Did you always want to be a writer?
I’ve been creating stories ever since I was young so I think I did always want to be a writer. Having said that, I only considered becoming an author in High School. I had always read books and wrote stories. So one night I sat down with my laptop and I started planning a full novel, longer than anything I had ever written before. It took me over two years to finish. But I had done it. It was a major victory and a great inspiration to continue. I had found that, not only did I enjoy reading books, writing was just as fantastic. If not, more so. Now it takes me a few short months to write a novel.
Did you love reading as a child? If so, what were you favorite books? Who is your favourite author and why?
I was a very active child and sometimes it got me in into trouble with teachers. I had too much energy. I didn’t know what to do with it all. My mother introduced me to reading. All that energy suddenly ended up inside my head and I couldn’t stop devouring book after book. My favorite authors are probably Tamora Pierce, Emily Rodda, Anne McCaffrey and Piers Anthony. Their books take up a very large portion of my bookshelves. The aspect I probably love most about their books are the Fantasy realms they create.
Your first published novel, Birth By Fire’s Embrace, was released in May 2013. Could you tell us the inspiration behind this novel?
The story for the Amethyst series (which Birth By Fire’s Embrace is the first book) came to me as a day dream while I was still in High School. I spent a few years mulling over the idea, changing the storyline and improving until I just knew I had to write it down. The plans for Birth By Fire’s Embrace and indeed the whole Amethyst series has changed immensely since those early days.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block or did encounter any other obstacles during the writing process of your book?
I don’t get writer’s block very often as I tend to plan my book quite thoroughly even before I start writing them. It helps because when I start every chapter I know exactly where the characters are going. It’s simply the matter of getting them there.
Have you written in any other genre?
While most of my plans and novels are Fantasy, I do have plans for a Thriller and some Sci-Fi novels as well. My primary genre is Fantasy and even if I branch out, I’d like to subtly incorporate Fantasy aspects into other genres.
Some writers have a preferred writing schedule. Do you?
Not really. I write whenever I get the chance. Sometimes I have a burst of inspiration and I must scribble down what I’m thinking no matter where I am. Mostly I write at home at night.
Do you have a favourite place to write?
I write at my desk in my bedroom. It’s slightly cramped but better than nothing. If I get uncomfortable, I write on my laptop in bed instead. Perfect for those chilly winter nights.
What is your greatest joy in writing?
I love being able to create stories and characters. I watch them grow and become real people as my novels progress. Seeing the insane thoughts in my head appear on paper as intricate storylines is very satisfying.
Is there one person you can think of who has played a significant part in your writing career? If so, can you elaborate?
I think one of the most influential people would have to be my mother. She read my first stories when I was young and never stopped supporting me. She’s had the patience to read every one of my edits and always has the best suggestions for how to improve.
What projects are you working on now?
My current project is editing Book 3 of the Amethyst series. Once that’s complete, I will either start on Book 4 or try a side project. I haven’t decided yet.
What attributes do you feel are necessary to be a successful author?
Patience and perseverance. The ability to never give up and always try to become a better writer. Creativity helps too.
What words best describe you?
Imaginative, thoughtful, nice, determined and just a touch nutty.
Do you have any tips for writers about the writing process or the path to publishing?
Never stop writing. Ever. If you don’t write, you’re not a writer. Every word written will help you grow and learn. Ask questions and seek advice. Writing a good book is like building a house. You have to learn the rules of your trade before you can master it. Also don’t be afraid to fail. Failing isn’t that bad. It means you tried and can try again once you’ve learnt your mistake. The worse thing that can ever happen is not to try at all.
Where can we buy your books?
My novels can be bought at all the usual sites. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, IBook etc. Just google the book title, Birth By Fire’s Embrace and all the stores will appear. The ebook can be purchased for as little as $6.
And Ashleigh, just to finish up, could you please complete the following:
At school I was … always really bored. I started daydreaming in class because it was more interesting.
When I was a child I wanted to be … an archeologist. It’s still my ultimate job however it’s very hard to become one in Australia. Becoming an Author was an extremely close second.
I relax by … having a 2L bottle of coke in hand and a game controller in the other.
Where can we find out more about you?
Website/Blog address: http://ashleighgalvin.wordpress.com/
Book Reviews at: Amazon
Thanks so much Ashleigh for sharing your journey and for your inspiring tips.
We wish you all the best with the promotion of Birth By Fire’s Embrace, and with the forthcoming release of Standing In The Wind’s Shadow.
And if you love Fantasy don’t forget to check out Ashleigh’s books.
Don’t go yet, there’s more!
The following information has been taken from the publisher’s website:
Birth by Fire’s Embrace
A taut fantasy for all ages, Birth by Fire’s Embrace explores how drastically things can change when the world that lies just beyond our senses begins to surface. When all that is familiar vanishes from Shar’s life, she begins to look inside and find the strength and courage to carry on in a harsh world, and look towards another world that lies ahead.
Available in all formats!
Link to the Publisher’s press release for Birth by Fire’s Embrace:
Helen Ross interviews Ashleigh Galvin Copyright 25 August 2014.