Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Author Interview: John Ashley

Welcome back, everybody!! 

Now, I have to admit, I simply LOVE getting to know my fellow indie authors, and learning all about what makes them tick. It's fun to see how similar we all are, while still retaining that air of individuality.

Today, I have a special treat for you all. I have the honor of introducing you to the awesome John Ashley, author of The Scrolls of Xavier, a sci-fi book based in the future. The cover art is awesome, and it just sounds like a phenomenal read. Don't just take my word for it, though. Read the blurb below and see for yourself!

In the year of 2067, a new world is discovered amidst the dark expanses of the universe. Harvesting the resources of this vast planet, known as Xavier997, may be the only hope a post-apocalyptic Earth has for survival. Upon arriving, however, the explorers of this promising new world soon discover that the treacherous and, most shockingly, inhabited realm of Xavier may also lead to mankind’s final undoing.  
     In order to shed light on the dangerous secrets of this world, Captain Michael Dawn must lead a team of earth’s most skilled soldiers across its globe in search of five mysterious items known as the Scrolls. What seems like a routine mission, however, goes terribly wrong as Dawn and his team quickly realize that Xavier does not give up her treasures without a fight. To find the Scrolls, Captain Dawn must risk everything, including his love, his career, and his life. 
     Without the Scrolls, mankind's final hope is lost. With them, it might be even worse.

This book is right up my alley. I'm definitely growing fond of sci-fi stories, and I may have to snag a copy and review it soon!! But that's another post. For now, let's get to know this great author, John Ashley!!

DSP: For starters, tell us a bit about you, we like to get to know our authors as a person!

John: Hello everyone! My name is John Ashley, and I am seventeen years old and I have written two novels. As pastimes, I enjoy everything from the great outdoors to amateur astronomy to martial arts, and of course, writing. I live with my family on an apple orchard in Western Arkansas, and plan to attend Harding University in the fall of 2013.

DSP: Nice to meet you! So tell us, where did you find the inspiration for your most recent book?

John: To be honest, I'm not really sure. I had seen a trailer for some science fiction movie, and for some reason that just moved me to go write. From there the plot was born of countless daydreaming, and a little help from a good friend.

DSP: So, do you have any kind of ritual for writing? Such as, you have to write with music on, or you can only write when you’re completely alone, etc.

John: I write late at night while listening to soft music. Anytime I've strayed from this routine the results have not been satisfactory.

DSP: Who is your favorite character in your book, and why? How about the character you had the most trouble with?

John: It's hard to narrow it down, but if I had to pick a favorite, it would be the happy-go-lucky RAF paratrooper, Benjamin Roberts. His quick humor juxtaposes well with his skill on the battlefield, and combining that with a past full of dangerous secrets certainly made him a fun character to write about. As far as the one I had the most trouble with, it would have to be the CIA agent Ashley Collins. She's complicated.

DSP: Now, when you sit down to write a book, a paragraph, or whatever you‘re working on at the moment, do you just sit down in front of the computer, or do you need an outline of some sort? Is there any other prep you need in order to organize your thoughts either before you write or in the process of writing?

John: Before I start the next chapter, I always jot down a brief outline, just to get the ideas flowing. Other than that I simply write it down as it comes to me.

DSP: Do you foresee any more books to continue this story? If so, do you think we can get a taste of what’s to come?

John: Yes, as a matter of fact, the second book in the series, called Before the Storm, is currently being published. A repeating theme in this book and in the books to come is that the character's mistakes and the stuff they overlooked coming back to bite them...hard. If you can find these mistakes and foreshadowings, you'll have a pretty good idea on what the next book(s) will be about.

DSP: Other than this most recent story, do you have any ideas for different books that might be published in the future? Care to give us a teaser?

John: In Before the Storm, there is something mentioned, something quite frighting. Once the Xavier Series is complete, I plan to write a series based on this thing. If the Xavier Series is classified as science-fiction/adventure, then I would call this new series science-fiction/horror. I'm really quite excited about it!

DSP: Who is your greatest inspiration to write? What person makes you believe in yourself, and how?

John: I am fortunate to have a very believing and helpful support group of family and friends. Without them, I don't think I ever would have made it this far.

DSP: Do you have any aspirations to be similar or comparable to another author? Why?

John: No, to be honest I don't. I certainly wouldn't mind having some of their success, but I want to do it my way when I do. That's not to say I haven't learned a lot from the many authors I've read, it's just to say that, hopefully, someone someday will learn something from me.

DSP: What has been the biggest high since becoming a published author?

John: There's been a lot of highs, but I have to say the biggest ones would be hearing from readers who loved my book. That never gets old.

DSP: Have you named the computer you use for writing?

John: Haha no, I haven't gone that senile...yet.

DSP: Has becoming an author changed you, or the way you think about certain things? If so, how?

John: Well, it's certainly made me busier! Other than that I don't feel as if it has changed me.

DSP: What is your greatest fear about being an author?

John: I think everyone has fears that they will fail, that no one will like their work. I think that a lot of these fears have been eliminated, but a few still surface from time to time. You just have to deal with them and keep on working.

DSP: Which of the characters in your book do you feel is the most like yourself, and in what way?

John: I would have to say that I relate most with the main character, Captain Dawn. He is curious, adventurous, and determined, and I think I would describe myself as the same.

DSP: From the first word to the moment it became available for purchase, how long did it take you to write and publish this most recent novel?

John: It took me four years to write and publish The Scrolls of Xavier, though only four months for Before the Storm. I think that there is definitely a learning curve on the first book, and that is what accounted for all the time.

Now time for the fun stuff! Some random questions to give us a little insight into John's world, and John as a person. Enjoy!

DSP: If you could be any cartoon character for 24 hours, who would you pick and why?

John: The roadrunner. Beep beep.

DSP: How many ridges are there around a quarter?

John: I don't know. I've never cared enough to count them.

DSP: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

John: More than you could shake a stick at.

DSP: What are your thoughts on string?

John: I have to stay away from the stuff. The chances of me accidentally hanging myself or becoming hopelessly entangled are just too high for someone with my level of energy.

DSP: Would the 8-year-old version of yourself kick your ass or praise you for what you’ve done with your life?

John: He probably wouldn't care one way or the other, though I think he'd enjoy kicking my ass so he might do that just for the fun of it.

DSP: Imagine you’re the sole survivor of a plane crash at sea, and you awake stranded on a deserted and uncharted island in the Bermuda Triangle. Nobody knows you’re there, and you have nothing but the clothes on your back. You’re all alone, and there’s terrifying sounds coming from deep within the jungle. Late that night as you’re starving, a large suitcase washes up on the shore. You open it up. What’s in the suitcase?

John: Hopefully food, but given the ironic quality of my luck, it would be a million dollars that I would never get the chance to spend.

Sounds like John has the same luck I have! I've had such fun meeting this wonderful author, and I hope you did as well. Make sure you check out his Facebook Page to keep up with all the fun stuff with The Scrolls of Xavier. Check out his other links at AmazonSmashwords, and his Website, and make sure you pick up a copy of The Scrolls of Xavier today!

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