Interview With Author Ashley Brandt
Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I was born and raised in Southern California. My husband and I relocated to North Texas ten years ago, and we have two young sons. I have been an avid reader and writer since I was a child, and Literature was always my favorite subject. One of my favorite places to go is the bookstore, and my favorite drink is coffee. I am a Licensed Paramedic and I have worked in healthcare for about eight years. I love my career and find the people that I serve inspiring. I have self-published and traditionally published a total of five books, and I am currently working on a sixth.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My most recent novel, titled Coyote, is inspired by a centuries-old Navajo legend. I came across the legend of Ma'ii, otherwise known as "Coyote Man", while doing research for another book. I was fascinated by the culture and the story behind the paranormal entity and decided to create a modern tale around it, integrating romance, mystery and suspense.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
When I begin a story that I am passionate about, I tend to hyper fixate on it. I am always dreaming up new plot twists and characters, and sometimes I have to stop whatever I am doing to add it to my story!
What authors, or books have influenced you?
My first love was Mary Higgins. (They call her the Queen of Suspense for a reason.) I absolutely adore anything written by Charlaine Harris, and I tend to reread her books (yes, I have all of them).
What are you working on now?
I am working on a story idea that I have had for a few years but never pursued. The main character is a seventeen-year old girl, and there will be plenty of action and larger-than-life ability to read about in this one!
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
As an emerging author I am constantly learning and developing my craft. I have found that websites such as Awesome Gang, and similar newsletters, are effective in promoting my work to potential readers.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
I used to believe that writing was as simply and straightforward as picking up a pen- it's not! The creative part of it is only the beginning. The world can't enjoy your stories if they've never heard of you, and exposure is everything. Having said that, any time you put yourself out there you are vulnerable to feedback, both positive and negative. My advice is to keep going. Listen to your friends and family as they encourage you to pursue your dream. Learn from the feedback and never stop growing as a writer. Don't measure your own talent and success against anyone else's, we all travel different paths at different times.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
My mother used to say, "You teach other people how to treat you". As an adult, I have found her advice to be accurate and very useful. What we tolerate is what we receive.
What are you reading now?
I have about five different books that I am working on! Don't judge me!
What’s next for you as a writer?
I intend to continue writing and publishing my stories. My dream is to become a best-selling author, but I am okay with baby-steps!
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
I would bring my four favorite books in the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. No matter how many times I reread her work, I'm never bored.
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