“Ash Gray is a dragon with minuscule spectacles perched on her nose, living in a wonderfully dank, musty cave far away in an alternate universe. She types her stories with gigantic claws on a ridiculously small typewriter before sending them through a membrane and into your dimension for your enjoyment.”
That’s my standard bio that you will find on various websites and at the back of my books. People over the age of seven probably realize I’m not really a purple dragon and that it’s just my self-indulgent gimmick.
I have a BA in English Literature because it was my dream to one day be a grumpy librarian telling the kids to shh. At some point I retired to an alternate dimension instead (that part is true) where I live with my three dogs and my turtle. If I ever figure out how to get rich here, I’ll get a giraffe.
How many books have you written?
Way more than I have published. Everyone goes through a phase when they’re first learning and they make nothing but crap. Writers do it too. The ones with more time do it a lot.
I did it a lot.
Experience of the publishing process:
In the beginning it was naturally very difficult because I had to learn how to format ebooks, instead of formatting like my book was going to print.
Then I had to brave the dark and frightening world of finding cover art, which was really hard because so few cover artists make covers with people who look like my characters. Such cover artists barely exist.
Your working process:
Every day I wake up, and whatever story is on my mind, that‘s what I work on. I tend to write a lot of stories at once, so whichever series I work on depends on my mood. If I’m tired of looking at The Prince of Qorlec and want nothing more than to hurl it out a window, I work on something else.
I’m really boring. I don’t have a process.
I guess I’m expected to list some books that inspired me, but they don’t. It’s my own dreams that inspire me. I wake up with ideas all the time and later they become books. My series Dreamweaver is actually based on a weird vision I had while I was awake and working on a different book.
I grew up reading things like Clive Barker’s wonderful portal-fantasy-type books. When I say I “grew up” I mean that I read them when a teenager, things like Imajica and Weaveworld.. Ironically enough, he started writing young adult fiction (Abarat) when I was an adult. So I wound up reading YA when I was older because of him.
I’m also influenced by Shakespeare, Melville, Dostoevsky, the Bronte sisters, Ursula K. Le Guin, Dr. Suess, Frank L. Baum, Lewis Carroll, Mercedes Lackey, Michael Ende, and mostly recently, Octavia Butler.
Do you use social media to promote your work? If so, how?
Social media is for promoting yourself, not really your books. It’s a place to let readers get to know you and create a bond.
I really, really don’t like social media, so I don’t use it either personally or for promotion. People can read my movie reviews and get to know me through my public diary, which I link in every book I publish.
Advice for other Indie writers:
Don’t give up. If you really care about writing, don’t let anyone stop you.
Any tales of woe?
Lots of them. Being an indie author or an author in general isn’t exactly easy. An author’s entire career is 90% rejection and now because of the internet, it’s also 90% trolling and abuse. But I won’t bore people (more) with my whining.
Favourite writing quotation:
“You just have to trust your own maddess.” – Clive Barker