Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I work at a library, telling stories and suggesting books. When I’m not working, I’m usually sipping tea or hot cocoa and wondering what would happen if I had superpowers. I’ve been published in multiple anthologies including Oomph: A Little Super Goes a Long Way and Inaccurate Realities.
I grew up learning about chakras and auras and the true power of imagination which slips into my writing whether I intended it to or not. In college, when I wasn’t busy working on my degree in Creative Writing, I also received my certificate in Women’s Meditation.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is called A Penny Lost, the first book in a trilogy about Penelope Grace, a teenage girl who can naturally read people’s auras. My classes in meditation inspired the book because my teacher would naturally see the colors of people’s auras and chakras ever since she was a kid and it made me wonder what it would be like. Then I started wondering what if my character saw something that wasn’t supposed to be there but only she knew it was out of place because only she could see the energetic world in the first place? From there the questions spiraled into a trilogy. Then, after a particularly rough flu season confined me to my bed, I marathon watched Doctor Who and that inspired the idea for a time traveling adventure as the base for exploring these questions.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Whenever I’m blocked, I turn off the lights and listen to music on shuffle loud enough that I can’t hear anything else and then I daydream my characters singing those songs, creating this mental “Musical Special Episode” in my characters’ stories. This helps me see character plots and emotions I might not have noticed or considered before.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Ally Carter has always been a sort of happy reading to me. I love how well her characters banter and how potential drama doesn’t get out of hand in her books. She uses her readers’ fears to her advantage without betraying their trust. There’s a nice balance there I hope I can mimic. I also love (crave actually might be the better word) Jonathon Stroud’s Lockwood and Co series. He does an excellent job creating characters I love and love to hate. In a short description, I can completely understand who these people are and I hope to one day have his writing skills.
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on the edits of the sequel to A Penny Lost, titled The Me in Memory. I also just finished the rough draft to another series I hope to publish soon.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Goodreads is a fantastic place to reach out to readers and get their opinions. My best reviews have come from there.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Writing isn’t just a dream. It’s a job. Put the time into it and you will be rewarded for your time. I promise. I used to think becoming a published author would be more difficult than living life with the “traditional” lifestyle but turns out, being happy in a job you don’t love is a lot more difficult. The effort you spend progressing toward a vocation that will actually make you happy? Ten times easier than pretending you can be something you’re not. If you’re a writer, BE a writer.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
I heard one professional discuss the current economy in a great way when she said “Jobs aren’t reliable. We can only rely on our skill sets.” This applies to writing too. The more you work on your writing skills, the closer you get to being rewarded for those efforts. Put yourself out there and keep learning, keep progressing, keeping taking the next “promotional” step one at a time.
What are you reading now?
I am reading the second Jackaby novel, Beastly Bones, written by William Ritter. It’s a light, enjoyable read. Like my lead character in A Penny Lost, Jackaby sees the energies of people. He uses this skill in a Sherlock Holme-like atmosphere to solve supernatural cases the police literally can’t see. In the point of view of his female, Watson-like assistant, this book was once described as “Sherlock meets Buffy” and I quite enjoy them.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Next step is editing the next book in the trilogy, The Me in Memory, and then sending it off to the publisher! Majorly exciting about this book. Risks heighten for Penny in ways you’ll never see coming. Can she survive saving everyone? Can her boyfriend, Stranger, accept she might not be the same person she used to be?
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?
Taking into account that I have to take books and not series, I’ve chosen to bring my favorite books within a series.
1. Winter by Marissa Meyers. It’s got all the characters and couples I love. I have a feeling, being stranded on a desert island, I’m gonna need all fairy tale happy endings within reach. And those realistically believable but still true to the fairy tale happy endings get me every time.
2. The Hollow Boy by Jonathon Stroud. I love all the Lockwood and Co books but book 3 really gets me every time I re-read it. Lucy’s struggle over how her increasing powers endangers her friends and Lockwood’s loyalty to protect her without concern for his own well being blooms organically in this amazing book. Never once do I feel the emotions are forced.
3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Because it makes me happy.
4. Your Aura & Your Chakras: The Owner’s Manual by Karla McLaren. Because if I’m stranded on an island, maybe I’ll actually be able to finish it, do some major meditating, and get superpower-like awareness.
Author Websites and Profiles
Aspen Bassett Website