Ashley Elston writes fast-paced and unputdownable YA fiction. She lives in Louisiana with her family.
Ashley Elston’s novels are always addictive and page-turning! Her debut, THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING, was followed by a sequel, and a standalone novel – THIS IS OUR STORY – followed in 2016. THE LYING WOODS, recipient of several starred reviews, published in 2018. In 2019 Ashley follows up with a deliciously fun rom-com, TEN BLIND DATES — the perfect read for the holiday season! All her books are published by Disney-Hyperion.
She has a Liberal Arts degree from Louisiana State University and worked for many years as a wedding/ portrait photographer. She is also a licensed landscape horticulturist. Ashley lives in Shreveport, Louisiana with her husband and three sons.
When and how did you start writing?
I wrote short stories and poetry when I was in high school. After I was married and had my boys, I started writing again. It was a great escape for me.
Can you remember the first book that made an impact on you? Who were your childhood storytelling heroes?
The Nancy Drew books were my favorite. I devoured them. Also, adored any book by Judy Blume.
Can you talk us through your career so far? What were the key moments?
I wrote a book before RULES FOR DISAPPEARING that is safely tucked away in a drawer where it belongs! It was a great learning experience and for that alone, I'm glad I wrote it. Right now, I'm waiting for my editorial notes on RULES and have started writing the sequel. Key moments for me - joining Greenhouse.
Describe your writing day. Where do you write? How do you organise your time? Where do you look for inspiration?
With three sons and the small business I own with my husband, I write whenever I can. Mostly, it's at night when everyone else is asleep and the house is quiet. Although, I am trying to set a schedule now for regular writing hours. I have a small office in our home where I write. I've tried coffee shops but that's too distracting for me.
Are there any tips you could give aspiring writers who are looking to get published?
Don't stop writing. If one project doesn't work out - start something new.
Can you describe three aspects of writing craft that have been most important as you’ve developed as an author?
Plotting - so important. I was a panster but now embracing being a plotter. Reading is a must - and not just in the genre you write. And patience.
Which favourite authors would you invite to a dinner party? What fictional character do you wish you’d invented?
Judy Blume. Ken Follet (Pillars of the Earth - one of my favorites). Sidney Sheldon (I know he's gone but I think he would have been fascinating to talk to).
I wish I would have invented Jason Bourne.