Remember when I blogged a cover reveal for Ashley Elliott's debut novel, Becoming Nikki? Well, it's really, actually here. Right here. Or here. Check it out, guys (girls?). It's a great novel and I know ya'll will LOVE it. You can also enter to win a signed copy here, through Rafflecopter, or here, through Goodreads. But I highly recommend you purchase it too. Support a budding author and all that. (*winks*) Anywho, the real purpose of this post is part of Ze Fabulous Blog Party that Ashley has going right now. (well, actually, it's pretty much over - I'm at the very end of it...not that I mind)
I knew I wanted to do an interview with Ashley, but I also knew that I wanted it to be unique. And so did she. We put our two minds together (scary thought!) and came up with the idea (well, it was mostly her doing) of conducting the interview via Skype chat. So, that's what we did. It was lots of fun, made the interview more interesting (in my humble opinion), and you'll be able to see a bit of our mutual craziness and fangirlyness (that's not a word, right?) because of the format. Without further ado...the interview!
So, Ashley, tell me and my blog readers a little bit about yourself!Yep. That's us. Two crazy peas in a pod of feels and fandoms and friendship. (*grins*)
Whhhhheeeell, my name is Ashley, I'm 20 years old - SO OLD! - and I'm a writer. (Duh.) I'm also a reader, a musician, a singer, a fangirl, and a movie-and-tv-show-binger. I'm the second oldest of six and I'm currently pursuing a degree in Humanities through CollegePlus.
And could you tell us a little bit about your new book, Becoming Nikki?
Becoming Nikki is about a girl named Nikki and her brother, Alec. They ice dance together - which is kinda like ice skating - except it's the only thing they have in common anymore because their relationship is falling apart. Then, as the result of a swimming accident, Alec loses his memory and Nikki is given the chance to rebuild their relationship from the foundations. However, she struggles with how much she should help him, and if she should hide anything from him... Either way, she knows her life will never be the same. DUN DUN DUNNNNNNN.
Wow. That sounds...dramatic.
I know, right? Especially when you add in the DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN.
With all that drama, you must've had some pretty interesting sources of inspiration. Care to share what they were?
Indeedy. Well, I first started loving ice dancing after watching the 2010 Winter Olympics and I've been obsessed with Meryl Davis and Charlie White ever since. Pretty sure they're what keep me inspired with Nikki. As I wrote Nikki, whenever I needed inspiration, I'd either take a break and eat some chocolate or I'd watch a video of Meryl & Charlie ice dancing. :)
I haven't watched much ice dancing, but I loved reading your descriptions of it in Nikki. I think the only time I've watched any ice dancing was one woman dancer during the Olympics who danced to some music from Les Miserables. That's about it.
Oh, it was SO hard to write those! I am not an ice skater by ANY means - whenever I do it, I always hold on to the railing - but I love it, and I'm kinda-sorta-okay-TOTALLY obsessed with it, so I watch the videos over and over and over until I feel like I've got it just right. Oh, and I'm also a perfectionist, SO. : P Oh, cool! Meryl and Charlie did a Phantom dance that was just fantastic. I love it when they do their dances set to music I know!
Well, if the ice dancing scenes were some of the hardest scenes for you to write, what was one of the easiest?
All of the scenes that were only with Nikki and Natalie, her best friend. I feel like I'm some kind of weird combination of Nikki, who is very introverted and shy, and Natalie, who is absolutely hilarious and makes friends with everyone. Those scenes were the easiest to write because it was like writing out of the different sides of me.
I love Natalie! She's one of my favorite characters.
Me, toooo! People keep asking who my favorite character is and I honestly can't decide!!! I always say Bennett, though, because he has a special place in my heart. ;)
Okay, what about top THREE favorite?
Okay, I can do top three. ;) Nikki, Dylan, and Natalie are my top three. Then comes Bennett and Alec.
Wait a sec. It's been so long since I've read the book that I've completely forgotten who Bennett is. *sigh* So...who is he exactly?
Hahaha, it's okay. Bennett is Natalie's ice dancing partner. I'm pretty sure Natalie and Nikki met through ice dancing. Bennett and Natalie aren't quite as good as Nikki and Alec, but they're better than most.
Ohhhhh, that's right. Now I remember.
He is. Anywho...moving on with all the interview questions (*wink*) what is it you'd like people to take away from Nikki?
I think of Nikki as a relationship book. It's about how to mend relationships that are falling apart and how to heal broken relationships. But it's great because it's not one of those boring, non-fiction books that talks about relationships and how to fix them and is just totally yawn-worthy. It's told in a story format. I read this great quote once about stories... let me see if I can find it.... Ahh, yes. Here it is. "If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten." - Rudyard Kipling. I could go on and on about this because stories are something I'm really passionate about. But I won't. ;)
I love that. Both your answer and the quote. It's so true! I remember more from reading a good historical fiction novel than ten non-fiction books.
I know, right? I think I've learned more about history through stories I've read - like Les Mis and The Scarlet Pimpernel and Dickens and Austen....
Except when it comes to Unbroken.
UGH, UNBROKEN. STOOOOP.
I'm so glad I recommended that to you, so we can fangirl over it together. ;) Guys, if you haven't read Unbroken, DO SO. As soon as possible.
Definitely. So, hey, I just thought I'd ask you about your newest writing project - The Art Of Letting Go. Do you think another self-publishing is in your future? Or TRADITIONAL publishing?
Ooh, yes. Good old TAoLG. *rubs hands together* Part of me wants to take the easier route and just self-publish it myself, but part of me - the Natalie/adventurous part - wants to try and do - DUN DUNNNN - the traditional route.
That would be awesome!
I know! It's just incredibly daunting and scary....
Lastly, just for fun, what's your favorite book? Movie? TV show?
Ahhhhh, Evaaaaaa. You KNOW I can't pick a favorite book, movie, or TV show. No, wait, you know what my favorite TV show is. ;) But let's go from the beginning. One of my favorite books - because I can never narrow it down to an exact Number One Favoritest Book Ever - is Unbroken. Which we've already glossed over. It's an amazing story of survival, redemption, and forgiveness. And I love it. My favorite movie is.... Oh, gracious, I don't know!!! Let's go with /Captain America: The First Avenger/ because I LOVE IT SO MUCH. Because Steve is one of the greatest guys on the silver screen and his story is just... *sigh* Amazing.
Yes. I love him so much. Definitely my favorite superhero.
Duh. Absolutely. He blows everybody else out of the water... except maybe Peter Parker. But that's another blog post topic for another time. AND MY FAVORITE TV SHOW IS BOY MEETS WORLD AND I DON'T EVEN NEED ANY TIME TO THINK ABOUT IT. It's one of the most feelsy, powerful, and funniest TV shows I've ever seen. Bar none. The end. Amen and amen.
Ah, YES. I've got to watch more episodes with you. SOON.
ABSOLUTELY, YES. THE SHAWN DRAMA, EVA. SHAWN DRAMA. I just found out that Eric's going to be on Girl Meets World, and I did a blog post on it, and I'M SO EXCITEDDDDDD. The episode of GMW that Shawn is in is premiering tonight, but I can't watch it because (1) I don't have the channel and (2) Even if I did, I can't watch it because I have a concert tonight. : ((((((( I'll find it on YouTube tomorrow. ;)
Well, I know you could talk about BMW all day, but time's running out, so we should probably wrap up this interview ;)
Hahahahaha, yeahhhh, I could. ;) Well, thank you so much for interviewing me! This was fun! :)
It was! Surprisingly. (I'M KIDDING) I can't wait to read BN in all its revised glory :)
Haha, it's much better than the version you had to read. ;)
But that was still awesome.
Well, I'm glad you thought so!
Again, the link to buy Nikki is here. Go do it. You know you want to.
Ashley Elliott is a writer, reader, musician, photographer, tree-climber, and Leaguette. She speaks fluently in movie quotes and spends most of her time fangirling over her latest obsession. In her free time, she enjoys laughing with her friends, laughing over Christian indie films (but secretly loving them), and laughing with her five crazy siblings. Ashley is a homeschool graduate and is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Humanities through CollegePlus. She lives in Georgia with her parents and siblings, and doesn't have any pets.