Who Is Mistral Dawn?

Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter! :-)) where she works as a hospital drudge and attends graduate school. Taken By The Huntsman is her first effort at writing fiction and if it is well received she has ideas for several more novels and short-stories in this series. Please feel free to visit her on FaceBook or drop her a line at mistralkdawn@gmail.com

Friday, March 9, 2018

#Interview With Ashley Uzzell!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Please join me in welcoming the wonderfully talented Ashley Uzzell, today! Ashley, will you please tell us about yourself and how many books you have written?

Ashley: Hello, my name is Ashley Uzzell and I write family friendly fiction. Poetry, children’s books, young adult romance, and clean romance are my specialties. My daughter, Kyra, is my co-author and illustrator of our Spunky’s Magical Adventures series. I currently have eight books published and have participated in three anthologies.

Me: Wow! Sounds like you've been a busy lady! What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

Ashley: My most recent publication is called Winter Wishes of the Heart. This is a book of four short stories that take place during the winter season, some during holidays. I wrote each story at different times, only realizing after the third one was written that I had a kind of theme going. Short, sweet stories about family, friends, and finding love? Sounds like a nice holiday collection. So that is what it became.

Me: It does sound like a nice holiday collection. :-) What are you working on now?

Ashley: I just finished the second draft of a middle-grade fantasy adventure. This will be the first in a new series aimed at eleven-year-olds and up. It’s a bit darker than our usual children’s stories, but still fun to read. Basically, five children become stuck on another planet that is similar to Earth. They have no idea when they will be able to return home, so they have to figure out how to survive there. The first book is an introduction to the characters and the world itself, but ends on a cliffhanger. The series will be full of action, adventure, and lots of magic!

Me: Oh, no! The dreaded cliffhanger! ;-) What authors, or books, have influenced you?

Ashley: I read a wide selection of genres, so that would be a long list! As far as children’s books, I adored Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series. Her ability to create a complex world alongside our own fascinated me when I was younger. Natsuki Takaya’s Fruits Basket mangas really showed me that gray area between good and evil and how most characters reside there, unawares. Her books illustrate how changing your entire mindset can positively affect your life.

Me: Nice! What are you reading now?

Ashley: Right now I am reading Zahara by Mara Reitsma and One Snowy Night, an anthology of short romance stories.

Me: Hmmm...I think I'm sensing a theme. ;-) For those who might consider reading your books, what would you tell them to expect?

Ashley: Our books are an enjoyable escape from reality that often include magic, love, cats, or even cupcakes! There is a little something for everyone.

Me: Cats! Who would ever write about cats? ;-) What is your favorite part of being an author?

Ashley: I would have to say that my favorite part is creating new worlds that I can dive into at any moment, and sharing these worlds with others. Also, that feeling of accomplishment when you finish something new. It’s like when an artist paints that last stroke on the canvas or the mother holds their baby for the first time. Yes, I just compared writing a book to having a kid. Our books are our children and we hold them dear.

Me: I agree, I love the world-building aspect of writing. Do you have a day job as well?

Ashley: I am a stay at home mom. I am also co-founder of a new publishing company starting up this year called Hollow Hills.

Me: Congratulations on your new venture! :-) What is the hardest part of being a writer?

Ashley: The hardest part about being a writer, to me, is getting others to take you seriously. I think many people see what I do as a useless hobby, which is frustrating because this is not a job to be taken lightly. That would be the equivalent of the child who dreamed of becoming an astronaut actually becoming one when they grew up, only to have others tell them they need to get a real job. What we do is actual work that we spend hours, days, and weeks on. This is a real job, just as much as any other.

Me: Amen! What genre do you place your books in?

Ashley: We write in various genres, and some of our books don’t fit comfortably in just one. I like genre-spanning books, myself. We don’t need no stinkin’ labels!

Me: Ha! Definitely! It's so much more freeing that way. :-) Is there anything else you'd like to tell your readers?

Ashley: Keep reading! I hope you enjoy our books, so please let us know that you do. Leave reviews whenever you can, whether it is just one line saying you loved it or that you hated it. There are so many amazing indie authors out there for you to discover, so be sure to try a new author at every opportunity.

Me: And so all these fine folks can do just that, are there any links you'd like me to post? ;-)

Me: Perfect! Thank you so much for dropping by, today, Ashley. And thank you everyone else who joined us.  Don't forget to check back tomorrow for the latest in Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)

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