Author Interview: Ashley Poston

Hello readers!

Back in April, we were lucky enough to have YA author and self-proclaimed nerd Ashley Poston visit our store! We were celebrating the release of The Princess and the Fangirl, the second book in her Once Upon a Con series–a fantastic series of geeky retellings of fairy tales. Local romance author Casey McQuiston joined in to interview her, and it was a great night of hilarious con tales, stories about writing, and tidbits of books to come.

We borrowed some of Casey’s questions and added a few of our own to construct an interview by email so that everyone who missed the event can still experience a little bit of the absolute awesomeness of Ashley!

.

You’re delightfully unapologetic in your status as fandom nerd (we are too!). Is there a moment in your past or a fandom that you’ve been a part of that you can pinpoint as the moment/reason you wanted to be a writer?

Thank you! FELLOW NERDS UNITE! Honestly, I don’t think there was a specific moment when I was like, “Yes, this is my destiny,” but it was more of a gradual thing. I first started writing through fanfic (mostly Yu-Gi-Oh!, Inuyasha, and Sailor Moon), and over the years I started wanting to write my own stories, too. I’ve always found solace, a home away from home, inside a story, and I’ve always told stories–so I think it was always something I knew I wanted to do, but not something I thought I would be able to. And here we are! And yeah, I totally still write fanfic.

The Once Upon a Con books are each an updated version of a classic fairy tale (Cinderella and Prince and the Pauper, respectively). These two tales in particular work extremely well in the fandom/comic-con setting, and almost lend themselves to the whole celebrity/fan interaction theme that you’ve explored with such aplomb. Was that something about those two fairy tales that drew you to updating them? Are there any others you want to take a stab at? 

It’s no surprise that I freakin’ LOVE fairytales–and retelling a fairytale feels like writing a fanfic of my favs, but just in an AU setting. Cinderella was always one of those fairytales that I adore–and also one that’s been done quite a few times, and done well! So I knew, if I was ever gonna tackle Cinderella, I wanted add something new to the collection and that was quite daunting. Then Geekerella kinda fell into my lap, and it was fate! Prince and the Pauper is the same way. For the third Once Upon a Con series, I’m taking a stab at Beauty and the Beast, which also lends itself well to the celebrity/fan mashup in a surprising way. I cannot wait for y’all to read it next summer!

You are no stranger to fanfiction, and it even features in the Once Upon a Con books. Have you learned any tips or tricks about writing from fanfic that you’d want to share with new writers? 

Try everything! Don’t be afraid to experiment, try new POVs or different tenses. Explore the characters, put them in different situations. Just go wild! Fanfic is meant to be a celebration of what you love, so celebrate the heck out of it and don’t read the flames.

One of our staff’s favorite things about PRINCESS is the LGBTQ representation (is it spoilers to say #JessperForever!?), and we love that all of your books have some element of queer rep. Is that something you go into each book consciously deciding or having planned, or does it happen more organically during the writing process? 

JESSPER. JESSPER IS THE BEST COUPLE NAME EVER I AM ADDING THAT IN THE THIRD BOOK. GOODNESS THAT’S GOOD. Honestly, for me it’s quite organic. I like playing with the dynamics of characters, so if two characters just happen to have amazing chemistry, you bet they’re gonna smush faces at some point. The only outlier was Jess, because I knew I wanted to write her with my orientation — demisexual — because when I was a teenager, it would’ve meant the world to me to see myself in a character, and to realize that there wasn’t anything wrong with me — that I wasn’t broken. I was — am — enough.

Jess and Harper end up at a hotel room party, Elle and Dare dance at the cosplay ball, Imogen sneaks into the hotel swimming pool after hours…What’s the wackiest comic con shenanigans you’ve experienced? 

Well, there was that one time I found an Assassin Creed meet-up and asked everyone to assassinate me. Those photos were kinda amazing.

What’s your quirkiest writing habit? 

I tend to write the last line first. I hardly ever know how a story begins, but I always know how it ends!

What author, dead or alive, would you most like to have dinner with? 

Diana Wynne Jones. I would just want to sit down and thank her.

.

Thank you so, so much for answering all our questions, Ashley! You are wonderful.

Readers, you can find out more about Ashley and her books on her website.

You can purchase Geekerella, Princess and the Fangirland Heart of Iron online by clicking their titles in this sentence, and you can pre-order Heart of Iron‘s sequel, Soul of Stars, which doesn’t come out until July 23rd, and get 15% off that pre-order!

Happy reading!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s