Indie April Interview: Ashley S Morgan, author of Torn

Today's Indie April author is Ashley S. Morgan, author of Torn, (review here). Ashley has answered a few questions about herself and her book and these answers are great, so check it out!



Hi Ashley, thanks for stopping by today, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
My day job is teaching and freelance editing. I have the most adorable black lab in the world named Kaylee who always gets me up on time in the morning; when she’s ready to be fed and walked, she’ll come up to my side of the bed and start licking my face:) I can’t function without coffee. During my days in Montreal as a grad student, there was this amazing bakery just down the street from me where I’d go every morning and get a fabulous latte and a chocolate croissant. Then, if I had time, I’d wind my way up the mountain to the lookout point where I could take in a spectacular view of the city. I’m living in Toronto now, but I’ve kept the habit of hitting a local cafĂ© for my first latte of the day. It’s a little indulgent, I know, but I really love my morning ritual of bantering with the barista, and then walking through the neighborhood with Kaylee, coffee in hand, my brain starting to buzz from the caffeine as I take in all the sights and sounds around me.

Can you describe Torn in three words?
Moody. Intense. Mysterious.

Where did the idea behind Torn come from?
For me, a book always starts with a single vivid image. In the case of Torn, the creation process began with this image of a teenage girl racing down a hill on her bike, eyes closed, arms stretched out, and the wind whipping through her hair. The first question that came to mind was “Why is she being so reckless?” The answer to this question was “Because she feels trapped and thrill seeking is her way of briefly experiencing a sense of freedom.” This answer let to several other questions, and, bit by bit, I came up with Isadora’s backstory.

In this initial vivid image of Isadora on her bike, Tristan, the love interest, was already there too, coming to her rescue when she fell off the bike. While creating Isadora’s backstory, I also started asking myself: “Who is this guy?” “How does he clash with her?” “How does he help her grow?” As I started answering these questions, the plot of Torn began to take shape.

Who is your favorite character in Torn?
Definitely Tristan. He’s the kind of guy I would have loved to have dated in high school. He’s gorgeous in an edgy and rugged kind of way, and he’s confident without being cocky. He also has an amazing ability to read people, he’s fiercely loyal, and he really challenges Isadora to grow as a person. In other words, he’s mature and wise way beyond his years.

What advice would you give to anybody who is planning on writing a book?
Read as much as you can. And I don’t mean leisurely reading. Sit down with a book, pencil in hand, and really take the thing apart. If a particular passage strikes you as vivid, try and analyze what the author is doing to achieve this effect. Also, before you start writing, spend a lot of time sketching out both your characters and your plot. It will save you a lot of time and headaches later on. You’ll also find that with a great outline, you’ll write faster and better. Picking up a couple of craft books to read before you begin is also a good idea.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I’m a bit of a shutterbug. I love to wander around the city, snapping pictures of crazy graffiti, old clock towers, crowds on the move, or really anything that catches my attention. As a freelancer, my schedule is flexible, so on some days I’ll head down to the art gallery and take in an exhibit in the middle of the day. I’m also a bit of a foodie. I enjoy checking out new restaurants with friends, and I particularly hold dear the ritual of Sunday morning brunch. Luckily, I’m also a big runner and swimmer, so all that good food doesn’t result in an expanding waistline. I’m also fond of taking little weekend trips up north to my cottage where I can relax with friends, go canoeing, enjoy a hot chocolate on the sunny deck, and just generally slow down and recharge.

What YA books are you most looking forward to this year?
I was really excited when Pandemonium came out. I think Lauren Oliver is one of the most gifted Young Adult writers around. I love her complex characterization, attention to detail, and lyrical prose. Most of the books on my ridiculously long to-read list have already been out for a while. Next up is a YA classic, Winter Girls by Laurie Halse Anderson, and then I’ll be reading Fever by Lauren DeStefano.

Thanks for stopping by. Do you have any last words to say to my readers?
Thanks for reading guys! And thank you so much, Jade, for being such a generous and gracious host! You can find Torn in the Kindle Store. The cover for the book has changed – I think the new cover is more true to the story. You can find me at www.tornbyashleysmorgan.com or connect with me on Facebook. I look forward to hearing from you!

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