This was an interview conducted by Undiscovered Publishing blogger Thomas Neil with aspiring author Ashley Ener.
Thomas: Tell me about yourself? What made you want to become a writer?
Ener: I suppose like most, if not all writers, I love reading just about everything. Audrey Hepburn is my favorite actress and I have plans to base a character off of her one day. I have some of the most supportive and loving parents. They have always encouraged me to pursue writing, for which I am very grateful. I plan to teach Creative Writing and English at the collegiate level. Though fiction and poetry is what I mostly write, I would love to write a true crime book one day.
I don’t remember there ever being a time I didn’t want to be a writer. One of my earliest memories is with my Uncle Frank – I think I was four – taking me to make copies of my ‘book’ I wrote while at his house in Virginia. It was just scribbles but to me it was perfect. I think about that memory often, Uncle Frank was one of the first people to encourage me with my writing – even if it was illegible. Writing gives me a peace and joy I have not found anywhere else outside of my relationship with God.
Thomas: What attracted you to the particular genre you are involved in? And do you stick with is consistently or do you change it up?
Ener: I try to write what I want to read. With that being said, I tend to change up what genre I am in depending on what I am reading at the time. However, I always go back to my favorite characters because I want to finish their story. Overall, I have noticed I am more drawn to writing Young Adult fiction.
Thomas: What is your writing process like? And how important is research to you when writing a book?
Ener: I find that my process depends on what my inspiration is for that particular piece. Often, it is writing down what I am thinking before I lose it, then coming back to polish one thing at a time later. Research is something I put a lot of importance into because I want to put as much effort into developing stories and characters as I am able.
Thomas: Have you ever experienced ‘Writer’s Block’? And do you have any tips you would like to share to overcome it?
Ener: I definitely have! Unfortunately, I let it overwhelm me for a few years but in the last year, I started writing again. When I have experienced it recently, I have had a lot of success with a few things to overcome it. Sometimes, I will step away from a certain piece, then after working on something else I come back and it is like looking at it from a fresh perspective. Reading a book and trying to relax also helps get me away from that feeling of being blocked. I have also found various writing prompts to use when I am blocked. Often with this method, not only is my ‘Writer’s Block’ gone but I also usually have several other story ideas pop up.
Thomas: So tell me what you’ve written, and has it been published?
Ener: Two of my poems have recently been published and I have written several poems that I am getting ready to send off. I am also working on developing some of my fiction writing to send off as well.
Thomas: Where can potential fans find your work?
Ener: To date, I have had just two poems published. They can be found in the 2019 April issue of Adelaide Literary Magazine.
Thomas: Are you working on something at the moment? And can you tell us about anything about your current projects?
Ener: Besides the batch of poems I am working on, I am working on two different book ideas. One is a bit out of my element but I am very excited about it. It is a Young Adult story in the fantasy genre that mostly centers around the two main characters journey to seek a way of overthrowing corrupt leaders who have been suppressing the people in their country. The leaders have found ways of taking all magic away from the people, making it illegal to have more than a very small amount in their possession. The other book is still in the researching stage. I am researching different true crime cases for a book. I want to hopefully shed light on a case that has not had as much attention on it in hopes of spreading awareness.
Thomas: How active are you in social media? And if you have social media as an author/ for your books then please share links?
Ener: I am moderately active on social media. For my twitter the link is: https://twitter.com/Ashley_ElizaAnn
Thomas: Tell me about some writers you really like and/or admire?
Ener: There are too many to name! The ones that come to the top of my head right now are: Jane Austen, Jenny Han, Siri L. Mitchell, Kristin Billerbeck and Harriet Ann Jacobs.
Thomas: What advice would you like to give writers who are struggling with their first novels?
Ener: I would say, do not put too much pressure on yourself to write what you think publishers want you to write. We all have our own unique voices and stories to share, it would be a tragedy if we never got to experience them. If you love what you have written and really believe in it, then stay loyal to it. It will find a home, just stand by it and it will happen.
Thomas: And let’s end with something a little different…Which of your character(s) would you take with you to spend the night in a haunted house? Why?
Ener: I would take Lux, from my fantasy novel. She is loyal, fun and quick on her feet. Also, she is the descendant of fairies…though because she isn’t a full fairy her magic can sometimes be a bit unpredictable.