Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Interview With Ashley Elliott

A few weeks ago I did a cover reveal for Becoming Nikki, a novel written by my friend Ashley Elliott.  She is currently hosting a blog party celebrating the release of the book and agreed to stop by my blog for an interview.

Welcome to the Splendor Falls, Ashley!

First, please tell us a little bit about yourself!
My name is Ashley, I'm a writer, and I'm weird. I have multiple personalities that come out at different times (that I can't control), and I'm frequently getting sidetracked by things on the Internet.

Please give us a synopsis of Becoming Nikki.

Alec and Nikki Scott are the perfect ice dancing duo, executing flawless technique and brilliant performance abilities each time they compete. No one doubts their camaraderie, not even their closest friends.

But looks can be deceiving. Off the ice, their relationship is in shambles. Ice dancing is the only thing they have in common anymore... and Alec wants to quit.

Just as Nikki feels like their relationship can't get any worse, an unexpected tragedy crashes into her life. She's left struggling with a difficult choice as her opinion of her brother slowly starts to change.
Whatever she decides, she knows her life will never be the same.

What inspired you to write this book?
Well, it all started when I discovered ice dancing while watching it during the 2010 Winter Olympics.  Meryl Davis and Charlie White were instantly my favorite and I started thinking about how much it would take to get to the Olympics.  I also had come up with the idea of a broken sister-sister relationship (which slowly turned into a brother-sister relationship) around the same time, and, as I started developing the plot of that novel, the ice dancing part eventually fused with it.

What were some of the songs you listened to while writing?
Hmm... Well, I listened to a lot of Jackie Evancho's 'Songs from the Silver Screen' CD, lots of movie scores (James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer ROCK), and a lot of random songs – it all just depended on my mood.  ;)

How long did it take you to write it?

WHALE. It only took me about six months to write it (June '12 – January '13), but it took me a year and a half to edit it... including I-am-so-done-with-this breaks.

What is your favorite quote from the book?
“Um, Natalie? You'll never believe who just opened the door for me.”
“Chris Pine? David Tennant? Aaron Tveit?”
(Insert Pinterest meme here: MENTION ALL THE FANDOMS!!!!)

Which character or characters were the easiest to write?

Definitely Natalie and Nikki. I'm so much like both of them! Reserved like Nikki, yet wild and silly around my friends like Natalie.

Which character or characters were the hardest to write?

Probably the guys. I started writing Nikki back when I didn't really know how to get into a guy's head, so it was weird. (I'm still working on getting into guys' heads... lol.)

Who was your favorite minor character?

BENNETT. I think he qualifies as being a minor character. His first line is "Hey" and he speaks fluently in pick-up lines. I love him muchly.

What is your opinion of 'character casting'?

I started casting the actors who played Nikki and Alec and most of the other characters when I first started writing Nikki.  I think the original actors have pretty much stayed the same.  I found Alexis Bledel after watching a few episodes of Gilmore Girls and I found Jonathan Rhys Myers after watching August Rush (both of which I liked a lot but can’t really recommend because of Content).

What scene was the most fun to write?
Hmm... Basically any scene that Natalie and Nikki were in together. I just let them go at it, mentioning all of the period dramas I could. : D

How about a scene that absolutely ripped you apart while you were writing it?
Definitely the initial accident scene. I literally couldn't reread it for months after I wrote it. (But it's nothing compared to one of the first scenes in The Art of Letting Go, the novel I'm working on now. UGH. FEELS.)

Did you plot out the story before writing it or did you just sit down and write?
I plotted out the main storyline, but I basically let it go wherever it wanted to. I hate outlining. XD

What was the most unexpected part of writing Becoming Nikki?

Hmm... Probably the fact that I became a bit of a germaphobe after writing Nikki. *nods* Yes, Cosette, this is true. It was bad. I got out the first 50k words of Nikki during Camp NaNo and, after being stuck with Nikki (who is a bit of a germaphobe) for 30 days... I became a bit of a germaphobe. I keep a little bottle of hand sanitizer in my purse and one in my car. True story.

What is an interesting piece of trivia about Becoming Nikki?
The chocolate cake that Nikki gets from Ferguson's is based off the AMAZING flourless chocolate cake that I love from Alpine Bakery in Alpharetta. Totally worth it if you're ever in North Georgia. (I did an entire post on Nikki Fun Facts on my blog, so check it out if you want to know more random stuff about Nikki!)

Becoming Nikki is self-published, isn't it?  Why did you choose self publishing?
It is! I chose self-publishing because it's easier than the traditional route. Heh...heh... I think I'm going to try the traditional route with my next novel, though. Yay! We'll see how it goes. *crosses fingers*

Do you have any interesting writing quirks or behaviors?
HA. Yes. Most definitely. One of the biggest is that I'm horribly handicapped whenever I try to write in a public environment because I pull faces as I write them, in order to write them well. Yep. So since I can't do that while I'm out because that'd be WEIRD, I always have to go back through the sections I wrote while in, say, Starbucks, splay the emotions on my face, and re-write parts so it's better. That, or hide my face whenever I do it. XD

Is there one question you've always wished an interviewer would ask you?

What do you want to do with the riches you'll get from selling all of your NY-Times-Bestselling books? Because I've got PLANS. My siblings gave me a list of things they want (including a Lamborghini and a water bed), and I'm going to buy various houses, too. It'll be great.

What is one thought you hope readers will take away from Becoming Nikki?
To look at relationships differently. Imagine you're in Nikki's shoes. Ask yourself what would you do if you were given the chance to rebuild a faltering relationship? Then do it. Everyone will benefit, and you'll all be better for it.

Thanks for interviewing me!!!

Thanks for stopping by, Ashley!

For more information on Ashley and Becoming Nikki, visit Ashley's blog.

Miss Melody Muffin


  1. Thank you so much for hosting me! I enjoyed it!!!


  2. I loved this interview! The questions were so creative!

  3. Loved this!! It really sounds interesting...love your reason for self publishing ;).


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