I'm a Brit living in America, married to the love of my life with two little girls. We currently live in Idaho. A singer, writer, reader, ex-model, guitarist, professional mermaid, publisher, scuba-diver, gymnast, rodeo queen, horse rider, swimmer, actor, poet, - you could say I've lived a few lives!
My writing always tends to have a touch of fantasy in it. I hope that my readers are able to escape their daily lives & become involved with my characters. If I can wrap them up in my world & they've enjoyed it, I have been successful!
How did your mermaiding come about & how has it influenced your writing?
My first three books (Fins, Fathom, Forever) were a trilogy about mer-folk. I've loved mermaids since I was five when I saw Splash! I wanted to encourage readers to bring their children to my book signings and thought it might be a good idea to have a mermaid there. After the first year of book signings I thought "What better way to live out my dream of being a mermaid then to mermaid on the side and promote my books at the same time?" It grew from there and soon I was working with aquariums and water parks and opened a business as The Mermaid Lady.
My latest published book is FALWYN, a contemporary fantasy fiction tale:
When Dad decides to get in touch with his inner hippy and move from the bustling city of LA to the sticks of Northern Idaho, Lara Dupree resigns herself to a fate worse than death. But a freak encounter introduces the mysterious Draven who is anything but normal and Lara is thrust into a dangerous reality where legends are real, omens become fact and nothing is ever what it seems. Pushed beyond anything she has ever experienced, Lara discovers an inner strength far surpassing her expectations and with it, grave consequences. With the balance of several worlds dangling about them, the two are forced to make decisions that will change them forever. Will everything Lara loves be sacrificed, or will her life become the fairytale she so desperately desires?
What inspired you to become a writer, and what is one of the things that surprised you most in the process?
My mother inspired me to write at a very young age. It was her enthusiasm & support that helped me pursue my passions.
My first book was quickly accepted by the very first publishing company I contacted. I was surprised that anyone thought my writing was good enough to be published! I honestly didn't believe that I would become a published author. The fact that people still buy those first few books is, of course, fantastic and such a compliment, but I'm still surprised every day!
What is one of the most challenging or difficult lessons you’ve learned as an author?
I welcome constructive criticism but when it is blatantly obvious that someone has not read my book and still writes a review, I take it personally. It is very difficult for me to separate myself from that.
Fins: descriptive, beautiful, exciting, magical & fun!
What’s one novel that you’ve read and enjoyed, and has stayed with you? Why do you believe it has?
London Macabre by Steven Savile.
It is beautifully written - sumptuous and dripping with the most descriptive scenes - it completely sucked me in and every time I read it I find myself transported away. It is one of my favorite books.
What can readers expect from you in the future?
I have just opened a publishing company - Checkmate Press! In addition to re-printing The FINS Trilogy FALWYN, I am publishing a daily devotional titled "Seeking God".
I am also co-authoring a book with a dear friend of mine. Five - a thriller about a soldier returning from Afghanistan will be next & after that, there are children's books lined up.
Checkmate Press will be accepting submissions in the Spring.
Thank you for the taking the time to answer my questions, Ashley.
Thank you for a fun interview!
Below is a list of places you can find out more about Ashley Knight and her works: