I have told all of you about some amazing authors who I have met in March from the Authors in The City book signing. These women are amazing and one who I connected with was Ashley Hampton. She is such a sweet and amazing woman and can seriously talk about anything. It has been such a pleasure to be able to help her promote her books and all the awesome new releases she has going on! So without further ado, the wonderful Ashley Hampton!
First off, tell us a little bit about yourself.
This question is always so hard for me to answer because I’m never quite sure how to explain “just me.” I have been fortunate enough to have a lot of different experiences and been able to choose which I enjoy the most to do as work. I work as a psychologist as my “full-time” job. After hours, I am a writer and a photographer. I’ll be officially opening the photography side of my publishing company late this summer, which is so exciting for me.
I love music, good food, fast cars and motorcycles, being close to the water, and my cat Gemma. I’m a simple person trying to work hard so I can play harder.
Now for the questions:
How did you decide to go from psychologist to writer?
I am a psychologist during the day and a writer every other waking minute whenever the bug strikes. Sometimes it’s on the back of receipts and napkins and sometimes it’s 2,000 words typed on my iPad or phone. So I try to do both. Sometimes that combination is quite successful, and sometimes it is a huge flop.
How was it releasing your first book?
Nerve-wracking. Exciting. Scary. Fun. The first release went by in a blur, and there were plenty of things I wanted to improve for the second release. Some I did for the release of book 2, and there are some things I’m still hoping to improve upon with the next release. I don’t think the emotions will ever change though.
I have a shelf of signed books in my living room, and I’ve placed my books on that shelf too. Sometimes I look and see my book on the same shelf with Colleen Hoover and Kim Holden (yeah, they’re alphabetized), and I wonder how it all happened. Sometimes it seems so surreal.
What books have most influenced your life most?
I grew up reading. I always had a book in my hand or in my purse. I preferred reading to most other hobbies and generally to most social events. I counted down the days to the release of the Nancy Drew books and the Baby Sitters Club books. Those two sets I still have in my original paperbacks. I can’t bear to think of giving them away or selling them. After those, I would probably say S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, Wilson Rawls’ Where the Red Fern Grows (still my favorite all-time book), and of course Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger.
I entered the indie world almost four years ago as a blogger, not really understanding the difference between indie and traditional publishing. What I did love were the connections I could make with the authors. There are several indie authors that have influenced my life, both with their books and in their friendship.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging while writing?
Everything. Can I say everything? lol. With my first series, some of the characters are based on people I’ve known or have come into contact with in one way or another. While the stories have drastically changed from my initial notes and the original people, I sometimes find it hard in my head to let the characters speak and follow their lead. The next series I have planned (a gritty MC series) is not based on any one person, so I’m hoping that makes it a bit easier to write.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Give us some recommendations!
Oh my gosh. There are so many awesome authors. New? Hmmm…I have been pretty horrible about reading while I write. (And that’s another challenging thing about writing – not having a lot of time to read.)
I love Victoria Ashley when I want a HOT book with well developed characters. When I want to read a story that is written in a style reminiscent of the classics, I will read LB Dunbar or Hollie Westring. I can’t wait to read the new rom-com from TK Leigh, The Other Side of Someday. I tend to stay away from dark books. However, I read Kitty Thomas’s Comfort Food, and it left me with the worst book hangover I’ve ever had. It took me three weeks to read another book, and I still think about the plot from Comfort Food. It’s been a year since I read it.
I read very few traditionally published authors any more. I recently found Samantha Chase and Kelly Moran, and I loved both of their books. They tend to be written from the third person point of view, so it’s a good shift in my reading sometimes.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you. Thank you for your support, your encouragement, and your patience. For those of you that support the indie community and haven’t read my books yet, thank you too. I’ve met some of the best people in this community that have become great friends. I feel lucky to be included, as most days I can attribute a lot of my smiles to reader, author, and blogger friends in this community. ❤
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Website under construction – but hopefully up soon: www.underdogphotoandpublishing.com