Interview with Ashleigh D.J. Cutler

Published 2020-04-03.
Who are your favorite authors?
C. S. Lewis - Narnia and "The Screwtape Letters" are a huge inspiration. J. R. R. Tolkien - "The Hobbit" remains one of my favorites. Terry Brooks - "The Word and the Void" is one series I want to finish one day. Rachel Roberts - "Avalon: Web of Magic" is for younger readers but I still love it. The list goes on.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans are everything. I wouldn't be here without them, and I know it. If the day ever comes I forget that, someone better knock some sense into me. I know of a few who will.
What do you read for pleasure?
Fantasy mostly. Fanfiction, my friend's writing - some of them leave me feeling like a hack. I'm a sucker for Beauty and the Beast type stories, for the gentle giant. I read books about wolves simply because I'm the wolf freak. Fiction is my sanctuary.
When did you first start writing?
As soon as I could hold a pencil. I was "telling stories" as soon as I could talk. Most of those early ideas have survived and evolved into the projects I'm working on today.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Honestly, no. I remember lots of books I read around age three and so on, but the biggest impact any book had was just that you could hold a whole world in your hands between the pages. I wanted that power, to take people to the places and meet the people that existed on in my mind. I still fall short but I try.
What can you tell us about your most recent releases?
"Rise of the Dragonfly" has been both therapy and a learning curve. It's a spiritual coming of age, good vs. evil, you hope the heroine can make it through story. Some of the characters made me want to scream as I wrote their parts, they are just that annoying. I'm really pleased with it though.
Can you tell us about your current projects?
Of course. Right now, I'm working the first book in "The Windwater Pack" series, "Spirit Brother", and a planned standalone titled "Branded By Tears". I'll return to "Rise of the Dragonfly" one day once those are finished.
What is your writing process?
Complicated. I start with an idea, then I plan out the story in my head as best I can. I'm prone to overthinking every problem and detail sometimes. And I need music. Without a "soundtrack" I usually have issues and the story doesn't turn out as well. I went over my process in this post here:
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I like to take people and introduce them to people and places I've seen - though they're only in my head. Writing and reading is magic and no one can convince me otherwise.
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