Interview with Ashley Abbiss

What do your fans mean to you?
Fans are everything. Without them, I don't have a career!
What are you working on next?
I'm currently working on a new series, probably just two books, about Irilayne, the runaway princess. Irilayne was born a princess, but she hated every moment of it. So when her father wanted to betroth her to a man she couldn't stand, she ran away. But now, her father has been assassinated and her brother, the next king, has disappeared. Suddenly Irilayne realises that she has to go back. She has to find her brother, she has to save her country. She thought she didn't care, but she does, very much...
Who are your favorite authors?
David and Leigh Eddings (probably my biggest inspiration)
Anne McCaffrey
J.K. Rowling
J.R.R. Tolkien
Christopher Nuttall
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Writing, what else?
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I can't really answer that, because I have way more than five. Let's try series instead. In no particular order:
Harry Potter
The Lord of the Rings
The Belgariad
The Mallorean
The Pern books
They're all amazing, wonderful, magical worlds. Pure escapism, I guess, but also great works of imagination.
What is your writing process?
My stories are essentially character-driven. I generally find that a character arrives in my head, and that's the start of everything. For instance, I'm currently working on a series about Irialyne the runaway princess. I started out with a picture in my head of a young woman standing on a hill with a basket over her arm. That was it. The next step was to find her a name. I find the character hangs on the name. Once I have that, the character kind of fills out and becomes a person. Then, I sit down and start writing. You'll read advice that tells you you must sit down and plot everything out before you start writing. That may work for some people, but it doesn't for me. In fact, I simply can't do that. David Eddings, in the introduction to the Rivan Codex, claimed you can't create a fantasy world without extensive planning and note-taking. He's wrong, I do it the other way all the time. In fact, again, I can't plan it out in advance. It just doesn't happen for me. My stories happen as I write them or they don't happen at all. Often, they even surprise me.
How do you approach cover design?
I design and make my own covers, and I simply try to design something that would mke me want to take a closer look at the book if I was the one shopping. Simple.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up, and still live, in New Zealand, home of the All Blacks rugby team, Lorde, and the flightless bird known as the kiwi, which is also what New Zealanders call themselves, incidentally. I'm not sure that that directly influences my writing, since I write fantasy, although it obviously affects my view of the world, and that must spill over into my stories to some extent.
One way in which it does impact my work is that I write British Commonwealth English. I know some Americans complain about that, but this is my background, my culture, and why should I change it? I'm sure we're all cosmopolitan enough to deal with a slight variation in spelling or an odd turn of phrase. Besides, if I'm doing my job right, you shouldn't even notice the spelling!
When did you first start writing?
I've always loved creative writing, but I didn't start really trying to write seriously until my teens. Then, for several years, nothing happened. I couldn't seem to get the work to flow. That was until I started writing fantasy. Suddenly, I knew I'd found my medium. I'd come home.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I live down here in New Zealand, a long way from the major markets. Sure, we have our publishing industry, but mostly they prefer to publish New Zealand content, which my work isn't. I tried sending it to various publishers over the years, but they weren't terribly interested in someone from way down here. So, indie is the way for me. I like having creative control, I like being able to update my books easily. I like the idea that I can sell my books at a reasonable price without all those overheads. I don't think I'd change now even if a publisher offered to take me on.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I just love to tell stories. The characters I imagine take on a life of their own and become my friends.
Published 2016-07-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Rainbow Mage
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 143,200. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: July 7, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » General
When a dragon bit her, Aralaiah Sentin became a ‎Dragonesque, part-human, part-dragon. Now, Aralaiah ‎has discovered a new, more efficient way to do magic; ‎one that promises to raise the standard of magic ‎throughout the society. With war looming, she races to ‎educate every Dragonesque in this new method before ‎they have to fight. But then, the enemy learns of this ‎revolution, too...‎
Sorceress of Dawpenel
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 162,240. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: May 12, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » General
At the end of Goddess of Destiny, Tassi was told ‎that, according to prophecy, she must face Othran, the ‎leader of the New Elithimites, and either kill him or die ‎in the attempt. No ifs, no buts, no maybes, and definitely ‎no choice; that is her destiny. It must happen. But, can ‎she cope with that knowledge? Can she survive the ‎quest? Or will it be the end of her? ‎
Rainbow Dragonesque
Price: Free! Words: 167,670. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: April 14, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
When Aralaiah Sentin is bitten by a dragon, ‎everything changes. She changes. She has become a ‎Dragonesque, part dragon, part human. Join her as she ‎struggles to find a place for herself in a world where she ‎no longer fits. Can she make a place for herself in the ‎strange world of the Dragonesque, or is she doomed to ‎live as an outcast forever?‎
Series: The SuperReceptive. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 126,640. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: February 26, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
When Mewla is abducted, it becomes apparent that ‎all the Urzites are in danger. Criminals intend to capture ‎them all and sell them. Since Mewla is the only one who ‎can identify the kidnappers, it’s going to be up to her to ‎lead the way as the team sets out to trap the gang. The ‎brat cat will have to leave her spoiled kitten ways and ‎grow up a little if she hopes to save her friends.‎
Series: The SuperReceptive. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 135,500. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: January 21, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
The team is passing the town of Mennon, where ‎Hartan Igellson, the man who hurt Naya so badly, lives. ‎The Urzites dispatch Hoo and Hervin as spies to find out ‎where Hartan lives, with the intention of paying him a ‎visit one night. But, what they find in Mennon is far ‎worse than one rogue Warden. And Hoo will be right in ‎the thick of the action. She can give us a bird’s eye view.‎
Goddess of Destiny
Series: Daughters of Destiny. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 116,660. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: December 1, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » General
Tassi is heading home to Falodirian to go through ‎Transition, her initiation into adulthood. Meanwhile, the ‎goddess Warin must get Niari and Keladryn together as ‎ordained by the great Plan of the gods. The 3-week trip ‎to Falodirian seems the perfect opportunity. It should be ‎a simple task. But with the rather dubious help of her ‎Uncle Atrios, simple is likely to become complicated ‎very fast
Series: The SuperReceptive. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 136,170. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: October 6, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
First, Naya told how she became a Warden. Then, ‎Slink the fox told of their first days as a team, adjusting ‎to having their own person at last, and their time at ‎school, learning to be an efficient team. Now, Stumpy ‎the donkey takes over the narrative as the team finish ‎school and undertake their first mission. Can Stumpy ‎find his confidence and the courage to face the ‎challenges ahead?‎
The Beggars of Nebreth City
Series: Daughters of Destiny. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 122,100. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: August 11, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » General
The Queen of Nebreth has been shot, and Tassi has ‎been blamed. Some are suggesting that Niari and ‎Carlitha put her up to it. Now, all three women are on the ‎run, because if caught Tassi at least faces summary ‎execution. So why are they all living as beggars in ‎Nebreth City, right under the King’s nose?‎
Series: Irilayne, Runaway Princess. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 162,800. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: June 17, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » General
The runaway princess is back in her cage. As Irilayne ‎works to help her brother consolidate his rule and adapt ‎to being back in her old life, news comes that Lord ‎Griblon is back in the country. His plan of conquest by ‎marriage can still work. Once again, the net is closing ‎around Irilayne. And this time, there’s nowhere left to ‎run.‎
Series: The SuperReceptive. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 133,850. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: May 1, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
In ‘Naya’, Naya related how she became a Warden. ‎Now, join Slink the fox; a bit of a rascal, somewhat ‎greedy, rather highly-strung, and locked in an ongoing ‎battle with Mewla the cat, as he takes up the tale and ‎tells the next part of the story in his own words, as the ‎team begin their training and settle into life as Assigned ‎Urzites.
Series: Daughters of Destiny. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 117,450. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: March 3, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » General
‎‎15-year-old Tassatina loves to listen to the ‎minstrels. ‎She loves the songs about Niari and ‎Carlitha and their ‎adventures. Now, Tassi’s ‎idols are coming to town, ‎and the King has ‎organised a parade. When there’s an ‎incident during the parade, she ends up holding ‎Carlitha’s horse for her. All her dreams are coming ‎‎true! But, sometimes, you really should be careful ‎what ‎you wish for.‎
Series: The SuperReceptive. Price: $0.99 USD. (Free!) Words: 139,970. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: January 1, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
‎“There’ve only ever been a few SuperReceptives. You can’t just sit here selling vegetables ‎and ignore such a great gift.”‎ ‎“Watch me,” I said. “Just because I can talk to more animals than someone else doesn’t ‎mean I’ll be a better spy, does it? I don’t want to be a spy.”‎ ‎“You will regret this decision,” he said as he stepped outside.‎ ‎“I somehow doubt that, Hartan, but I’ll take the risk.”
Jesus Christ – Who He Is, What He Did For You, Why You Should Care.‎
Price: Free! Words: 2,470. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: October 22, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Christianity, Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Faith
Do you really know who Jesus is?‎ Do you know what he did for you?‎ Do you know why you should care?‎ The Bible tells us that what you decide to do about Jesus is the greatest and most important ‎decision you will ever make.‎ So take five minutes to read through this very simple and short summary of who Jesus is ‎and what he has to offer you, and at least make an informed choice.‎
The Ancient Shrine
Series: Daughters of Destiny. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 203,380. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: October 28, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » General
“Oh no,” the goddess cried. “Mother! Mother!” Destinies are going awry, and as goddess of destiny it’s up to Warin to fix the problem before something drastic happens. Meantime, in the world, a new religion has arisen and one of its major aims is to kill Niari and Carlitha. It’ll have to be stopped if the ladies are to survive. But can they all find the answers before something dreadful happens?
Series: Irilayne, Runaway Princess. Price: $0.99 USD. (Free!) Words: 209,840. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: September 26, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » General
Irilayne hated being a princess. So when her father tried to betroth her to Lord Griblon, she ‎ran away. Now her father has been killed, her brother the new king is missing, and Griblon is ‎claiming the regency as her betrothed. He has the signed betrothal document, but Irilayne ‎knows she didn’t sign it. Can she find her brother and save him, her country, and herself before ‎Griblon finds her?
The Temple of the Damned
Series: Daughters of Destiny. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 149,010. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: July 16, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » General
A year ago, Niari, Carlitha, and company found the Collar of Volandris, the last Collar of Phaleran. Prophecy ‎says that the collars must be taken to the Temple of the Damned so the events that must happen there may take place; events that will determine the very future of their world. ‎But certain signs had to be fulfilled first, so they hid the ‎collars and went home to wait. ‎Now it’s time.
Voices from the Grave
Series: Daughters of Destiny. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 146,970. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: July 16, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » General
Life is good for Niari and Carlitha, sorceresses and heroines of the Battle of Nebreth City. ‎Their brother is king, the economy is improving, the mood is optimistic. Then a ghost ‎appears with a message from the gods. The Cult of the Earth Mother is back, and Niari, ‎Carlitha, Friend, and their companions must confront them once again as the two sides race to ‎find a fabulous magical artefact.
The Collars of Phaleran
Series: Daughters of Destiny. Price: $0.99 USD. (Free!) Words: 177,260. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: June 3, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
The Collars of Phaleran is an epic fantasy adventure in the best tradition of sword and ‎sorcery. Here you’ll find legendary lost magical jewels, animals that talk with humans, a quest ‎of the gods, a cartload of magic, and even a dragon, though he may not be quite what you ‎were expecting. Plus, of course, two young women struggling to be strong and courageous in ‎the face of impossible odds.‎