Welcome to my spot on the Falling In Between Blog Tour. For my stop on the tour, I got the chance to interview the utterly charming Devon Ashley, author of the YA novel.  For those who haven’t heard of the book yet, here is a blurb about it so you can get familiar with it. I’ll be doing my review shortly.

Finally! A private conversation. And all I had to do was throw myself off a cliff, drown in a pond in my undies and let him put his hands on my breasts to bring me back to life. Yay me…(yeah, that’s sarcasm)

Yep, that pretty much sums up the most craptastic night of Jenna Baker’s life. She drowns after jumping off a cliff, meets a hotty named Chance in the pearlescent in-between and is brought back to life by her soon-to-be boyfriend Robert.

Just when things start to move forward with Robert, the guy she’d been crushing on for a year now, in walks the man of her dreams – literally. Chance suddenly appears in her dream every time she closes her eyes. So it’s Robert by day and Chance by night. One in the real world and one in the dream world. What could possibly go wrong?

Absolutely nothing – until she comes face to face with the guy she met in the in-between, and realizes her romantic rendezvous with Chance may be more than just her imagination.

Interview with Devon Ashley

Welcome to Pretty Opinionated, Devon. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Hi Nikki! I’m a thirty-something gal living in Texas with my hubby and son. I’m a writer (duh!), a wicked knitster with a yarn stash that seriously fills every cubby in my home, a swimmer/water polo player, avid reader, food lover (okay junk food lover) and a super mom.

How did the idea for Falling In Between first come to you?

LOL. I’ve been trying to figure this out for myself. I’ve actually had the idea for this novel marinating in my head for a few years, and now when I look back, I can’t for the life of me remember how it all came about. It’s possible it came from a dream I had cause a lot of my other book ideas have come from those. Sometimes just seeing a commercial or part of a show will inspire something crazy too.

In the book, Jenna basically meets the guy of her dreams quite literally in her dreams (aside from their initial meeting in the netherworld between lives). Have you ever met someone in your dreams that you wish you could bring into the waking world?

(Excuse me while I get the vision of Freddy Krueger and A Nightmare on Elm Street out of my head!) All right, there may have been a few love interests that popped into my dreams through the years who I would have loved to make an appearance in the real world. If only…(but shhh! Don’t tell my hubby!!!)

As a writer, I am my own worst critic. I have yet to finish a book because I go back and edit it to death before I even get halfway through. What was the hardest part about writing Falling In Between for you?

Absolutely nothing. 🙂 My urban fantasy novels take a lot longer to write, like six months. Falling in Between took me less than six weeks. I think it had a lot to do with really relating to my characters and getting a kick out of their interactions. For some reason this novel was completely easy…which was really weird. Maybe it’s a sign that this is the genre I was meant to write!

Do you have any ritualistic writing habits? Like certain music that has to be playing, or a specific location that you have to sit in to concentrate?

Well, I typically place my bum on my comfy, squishy sofa and I have a playlist for each book that has certain songs to set the mood for me. And an endless supply of coffee! And M&Ms – my happy food.

In addition to writing spectacular YA fiction, you also review books by both big-name and indie authors on The Crazy Dream blog.  Do you have a favorite indie author?

Well, I don’t know if I’ve written something spectacular but I sure hope people like it. 🙂 Over the past year I’ve met two other indie authors who I really liked: Rebecca A. Rogers (Silver Moon trilogy and Under the Stars) and Constance Sharper (Airborne saga).  These gals are creative and super nice. That’s why I chose to team up with them to share the blog Dark Horse Indie to spotlight other indies. It’s always good to find other writers so you can bounce ideas off and critique each other’s work.

Indie authors are making amazing progress in today’s publishing world, but they still face a number of challenges compared to those fronted by big-name publishers. What do you feel is the biggest challenge they face?

Getting their books out there. Setting up distribution is easy enough but it really only gets them on internet sites. Getting your books on actual shelves is incredibly difficult, and since most Indie authors have to use print-on-demand publishing, they don’t get the low publishing rates that allow them to put really low prices on their books. And since Indie authors are individuals and not publishers, they won’t find too many bookstores willing to stock their book without the author paying for the books in advance. It’s a shame, cause there are a ton of Indies out there worthy of the bookshelf.

According to your Good Reads profile (yes, I did my homework), you share your birthday with Jane Austen, who happens to be your favorite author. If you could ask Ms. Austen any question, what would it be?
 
Which book did she re-read the most, and did any of the books she ever read inspire her to become an author herself?

Do you have any words of advice for writers working on their first novel?

Edit, edit, edit. Then hit up your beta readers. Then edit some more. Indies already get a bad rep cause the marketplace is filled with books that authors just whipped up and threw out there to make a few bucks…and it makes us all look bad. But there are a ton of really great indie authors out there that chose not to go the agent/publisher route and not just because they couldn’t find anyone to pick up their book. I’ve learned to give myself at least six months once I’m finished before I publish. It gives me time to step away from it so it’s fresh for final edits, and it gives me plenty of time to get it out there and set up a pre-release blog tour to build up some buzz.

How can readers connect with you? 

I pretty much only hang out at these sites. Quite frankly, I don’t have time to take on any more at the moment. 🙂

 
Devon is holding a giveaway for a signed doodle-graph copy of Falling In Between during the blog tour, so be sure to head over to her site and enter!