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Interview with Ashley Stoyanoff

Hey guys!

I had an interview with Ashley Stoyanoff, author of The Soul's Mark series. If you don't know who Ashley is, there's a bio written by herself. Enjoy! :D

Author Bio:

I live in Whitby with my husband Jordan and two cats. Interesting fact: Whitby was ranked 16th in Canada’s best places to live for 2012. I am glad to call it home, as it is a quiet little town that lies on the outskirts of Toronto. 

I do many things, most of them simple and relaxing, and some people (my husband in particular) may even call them boring. Most recently, I decided to fill my life with things that I enjoy. The hustle and bustle of city living can get the best of all of us so I say we all need to stop and smell the roses. Enjoy the simple things in life. That being said, what I actually get paid to do is work at Great-West Life as an Investment Coordinator. 

I started writing in high school and promptly dropped it when life took over and I got a job. It’s funny how the things you love get pushed aside when pesky little things like paying the bills come up. Not long ago I took a hard look at my life and it hit me… all I do is work, work, work. So I pulled out my notebook and started writing and it was then that The Soul’s Mark was born. 

I also enjoy reading. When I’m not writing or working, you can find me curled up with a good book. Give me romance and a supernatural twist and I’m sucked in until the last page. 

My favorite authors are Charlaine Harris, Amanda Hocking, and Rachel Caine. I can and have read their works over and over. 

I really enjoy live theater. There is just something so magical about watching a live production, without all the photo shop of the movies. Jersey Boy’s is my absolute favorite, and I love singing along to every song. 

The most important thing in my life is family. My father used to tell me this all the time and when I was younger I swore he was wrong. Boys and friends were the most important thing EVER! But as I stepped into the real world I suddenly realized how truly right he was. Family will always be there, supporting and encouraging you but friends and boys come and go. On the family note, I have an older sister, Jonel, and two younger brothers, Cody and Travis. I am proud to say that my parents Jo-Anne and Nelson are definitely my heroes and I strive every day to be as truly amazing as they are. 



When did you first start writing?
For as long as I can remember I loved to write. I’ve always found it therapeutic, whether it’s a diary entry, a story or just jotting down random thoughts.

Did you ever realize that you wanted to become a writer and if so when?
When I finished college, I dropped my writing because, well, life took over and I got a job. It’s funny how the things you love get pushed aside when pesky little things like paying the bills come up. I was stuck in traffic one day contemplating my life, and it hit me … all I do is work, work, work. As soon as I got home that night, I pulled out my notebook and started writing, and it was then that I decided I wanted to become a writer.

Why did you decide to self-publish?
Simply because I wanted to keep control over my work, that and some of the best books I’ve read to date are independently published.  The publishing world is really changing.  Independent publishing is growing and it doesn’t have the same stigma attached to it as it once did.  Indie authors are hitting the best-sellers lists and in December 2012, the New York Times even reviewed a self-published book.  The industry is changing and I figure that we must change with it.

Where do you find your inspiration?
My biggest inspiration and influence would have to be my Mom.  If it wasn’t for her, I probably would have never finished any of The Soul’s Mark books.  When I got stuck on a plot twist, or a character name, or really anything I needed to talk through, she was there. She encouraged me along the way, and her belief that I could write always pushed me through all the bumps in the road.

Is there a certain playlist you like to listen to while writing?
Nope.  I like absolute silence.  The odd time I may put on the radio while I’m writing but it never stays on for long.  I get distracted and want to sing along, and then before I know it, I’m typing the lyrics instead of the story.

How do you think you would react if a movie director asked to turn one of your books into a movie?
Wow, this is a tough one.  I think I’d probably faint.

How do you come up with the names (setting, character names, etc.)?
The names were the hardest to come up with.  Amelia’s name changed about 10 times before I found the perfect one, and so did Mitchell’s.  I remember going through a phone book and searching names online.  For awhile, none of them felt right.  It wasn’t until I stopped thinking about the names that the perfect ones came to me.  As for the setting, it just happened, or maybe it only seemed that way because I had such a hard time with the names.  :) 

What's the weirdest thing that you've ever done?
Hmmm … The weirdest thing that I’ve ever done would have to be the time I eat a chocolate covered cricket by accident, thinking that it was a chocolate covered almond.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
I’d like to pass on the best advice I have ever received on writing.  It was from Stephen King’s book On Writing.  

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There's no way around these two things that I'm aware of, no shortcut.”
― Stephen King, On Writing



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