Monday, September 10, 2012

Interview with the Author: Ashley A. Torbeck

I got the opportunity to sit down with Daughters of Night: Sanctuary Ashley A. Torbeck to talk about her new book, explore her writing habits, and pick her brain about stuff!

Ashley, let’s get right into this. How long did it take to write Sanctuary?
It was about two years. I didn’t exactly time it, so I don’t know for sure. I just kinda sat down and started writing. It just kind of fell into place.
Think back to the first moment you realized you had your story.
(she is giggling)Alright, you got it? (she is still giggling and nods yes.)
Now what were you doing and where were you at?

I was in the shower. I don’t know why but I was standing there in the shower and this random image of a red Ferrari popped into my bed. I’ve never even seen a red Ferrari before so I was like, okay…why am I thinking of a red Ferrari? And then I got to thinking about where it was, and by the time I got out of the shower I had the whole plot of a story and I was like “Wow, this is kinda cool! I can really make something of this.”I got out of the shower, sat down at the computer and I started writing and the next thing I know I had twenty pages.

 So Gaivyn was your first character then?

Technically yes. Because I was trying to figure out, well, once I thought about where the car was, I was like, “It would totally be out of place if the car were in a trailer park. So let’s put it there.” So then I was like, why is there a candy apple red Ferrari in a trailer park? Of course a cute guy has to be driving it.

That is so neat! I’ll admit, I have developed entire chapter outlines while swimming or showering too. Water must be an amazing relaxation and thought-provoking tool and if you got it, use it, right?

So I’m not the only one. Whew! I get my ideas from dreams too. It sounds cheesy but I have some really messed up dreams. I won’t go into long detail about how messed up they tend to be but we’re talking dead bloating babies…it gets really, really weird.

Do you ever consider writing short stories from your dreams and later use them, or work them into your books?

I have a collection. I have considered taking them and maybe compiling a collection of short stories or something but I’m focusing on the series right now. Maybe entwining them later…I haven’t really considered it yet.

So we may see an anthology out of you based on all your crazy dreams.

Maybe. (Laughing)

So, is there a better time of the day where you have success writing? Where do your best writing inspirations come from?

I just converted our front bedroom into an office. If I actually sit at the desk, leave the television off (it can’t even be muted because it WILL distract me), lower music playing in the background. I have a playlist on Spotify that is titled writing songs. It’s a wide variety. It changes my mood enough to where I can…music really talks to me so when it comes on, like Marilyn Manson, it’s all dark and screaming, and I’m like…”yeah”.

So no certain preference for music?

No. I have all kinds. There is a lot of Nickleback on there.

How often do you change or switch up your music?

I don’t really change it. More like I add to the list. I just created it about a couple months ago so I am just adding for variety.

So, Gaivyn was your first character but who is your favorite character?

Damien. (Laughs and blushes.)

That’s why Damien is continuing into the next book?


Now Damien wasn’t in the very beginning or much of the book at all. Was he a character in your mind early on?

That’s the weird thing about writing, or at least my writing. I can’t stick to an outline. If I write an outline out, I’ll get angry and start all over again six times. If I just sit down in front of the computer and write what pops into my head while I’m going, I edit it less and get more down. There have been times where I wrote an entire chapter and looked at it and then decided I hated it and threw it all away. On average though, if I stick to an outline I’m gonna hate the book.

And Damien?

I didn’t actually come up with Damien until the part I started introducing the members of the group, and once I started describing him, I was like, “I like this guy.” I wanted him to have something major. The ending of the book was something completely different.

Damn you Damien!

I know, right? (Laughs) I wasn’t going to have anything really major going on with him in the second book, but a friend of mine was reading the first and she was like, “Well, what about Damien?” And I was like, “You like him too?” So I completely changed the ending so that it left this cliffhanger. And he has a really huge role in book two. BUT it’s not at all like anybody thinks.

No spoilers I take it.

The second book is a bit more complicated. It’s written from the point of view from three or four people. I’ve had to work at it because it’s all new to me. Right now I’m separating things into individual lives.

So your writing skills have advanced since the first book? I mean multiple plot lines…

Oh yeah. There’s definitely a lot of things going on. I know what direction I want to go with book two but I have no idea how it’s going to end just yet.  So it’s a surprise to me as well.

That’s understandable. I was going to ask whether you used an outline but you already explained your thoughts.

I’m sorry. I know…I ramble a lot. (Laughing) I do outline my characters. I feel I have to know who my characters are. When I’m writing I keep characters, notes, and facts that I’ve researched beside me.

Do you have pictures of what you think your characters look like? Not just in your mind but in print?

Not at all. I do everything when it comes to imagery in my head. I can’t, because to me, they are mine. Nobody else has them. At least they’re mine until others read the book. But I am making these people up. There can’t be pictures of them anywhere. They can’t possibly exist in real life. I hope when it’s made into a movie they will let me pick who plays because I am going to be so picky. (Laughing)

So you are already working on the second book. How far in are you?

I have like 90 pages or so.

Do you write every day, I mean EVERY DAY?

No. I can’t. If I make it into a job I’m gonna hate it. So there are days when I sit down and I’m like, I’m not feeling it. So I’ll go watch TV or play on Facebook. Twitter. Reading blogs. Within the last week, I’ve found it hard to find time to write. I’m so busy doing research and other things.

Well, you are working on your book. Just not writing it every day. You have to market yourself, gain publicity. We understand that.

Well, I try. I’ll be honest. There are times where I hop on the internet and just play the games. I had to give my brain a break.

Care to give a small teaser…other than Damien.

There’s a lot of people being introduced.

Right. And we aren’t supposed to have favorites right? But we do…

Um…well, one of my favorites is Conner. He is kind of the…..doesn’t have a stable family life, he’s an outsider. He gets lucky and manages to land the girl, but only for a short period of time.

So we’re going to be rooting for Conner?

Well, yes and no. He does make some bad decisions, falls into some bad luck. There’s a lot going on for him. I think people might like Conner…but I think he’s one of those characters people are going to like to hate.


There is a lot going on. The thoughts going through my head have been overwhelming at times.

Do you keep notebooks or…

I don’t write any of it down.

Aren’t you scared you’ll lose a valuable piece to the story?

I do type of notes from time to time if it’s really important. Oh and Carmen and Gaivyn are still going to be in book two, a lot. There is a lot of interaction between them and the new players.

So last question. Do you know how many books we are going to be seeing in the Daughters of Night Series? Are you going to stop at one point?

There are so many aspects I want to explore and I don’t want to throw them all into one series or into one book. There is the potential for a third book in the series. It may end up being just the two but who knows.

Wow. It’s all so exciting. Well, on behalf of Bite My Book, I’d like to thank you so much for giving us this interview. I’m very excited to read book two. Is there anything else you want to mention?

Yeah. Buy my book! (Laughing) No really. The books are available on Amazon, Kindle, and Nook. And I am thrilled that you are going to showcase my story on your site. I was so nervous about the interview but you are a cool cat. It’s been a fun time.

Well Ashley, I want to thank you again for talking with me. I’m sure you’ll share the excitement and let us know when book two is ready!

I definitely will!



1 comment:

  1. Thank you again for meeting with me! Reading my answers, I think that coffee was more potent than I gave it credit for! It was definitely fun, though, and very cool of you to post this.