Indie Author Spotlight: Ashley Craig
Meet brand new Indie Author Ashley Craig! She said my three favourite words (fairies, fiction, shiny!) so I just had to invite her here for an interview. Settle in with some marshmallows and coffee and read on to find out all about her!
Tell us a little bit about yourself? How long have you been writing?
I'm from the Appalachian Mountains in the eastern United States. I grew up in a rural area where I constantly explored the forest and let my imagination run wild. I read fairy tales and imagined all kinds of fantastical stories in my youth. I was a very imaginative kid! I started writing stories, poetry, and songs in my pre-teen years. I became involved with journalism for my high school newspaper, then majored in English in college; with the schoolwork and time constraints, I had to step back from creative writing for a while. I was still always writing but it was always for class. A couple of years ago, an idea came to me and caused me to pick up my creative pen again. Malaki Mayhem grew from there. It is the first book I've published so I'm very excited to share it! I work full time as a paralegal and am taking online classes to get my paralegal certification so unfortunately writing has to be a spare time project for me, but I'm hopeful to have more time for it once I finish up the classes. I've already got an idea for a new book featuring Maddox, who is a character in Malaki Mayhem!
What is Malaki Mayhem about?
Malaki Mayhem is a fantasy adventure romance. It's set in a magic realm filled with traditional mythical and legendary creatures, as well as a few creatures of my own inspiration. There are fairies, sylphs, nymphs, shifters, Malaki (of course), and more. The story begins with the heroine, Ela, waking alone in the middle of the forest with complete amnesia and no magical powers. Woodland fairies discover her and take her in; she tries to make a new life with them as a human unexpectedly dropped into a magic-filled realm. Eventually, rumors begin circulating about a proclamation banishing all non-fairies from the kingdom in which the woodland fairy village is located. This would obviously affect Ela, a human. As she begins working on a strategy to combat this banishment, Maddox--a mountain fairy knight who reports directly to the rulers of the kingdom, King Phoenix and Queen Ara--arrives in the village. He is on his way home after being away for an extended period. Maddox takes one look at Ela's blue hair and aura and claims she is actually Queen Ara. They determine that an impersonator must have cast a spell on her and took her place as queen, causing this uncharacteristic proclamation. The story continues as Ela, Maddox, and their companions attempt to stop the banishment and imprisonment of all non-fairies, expose a royal impostor, and reunite the kingdom.
How did you find the Indie publishing experience?
I published through Kindle Direct and found it to be fairly easy and straight-forward. Malaki Mayhem was actually an impulse publish for me. I'd considered going the more traditional route of sending my manuscript out to publishing companies, but I wasn't sure where to start. I found the traditional process a little complicated and kept putting it off. Recently, I saw an advertisement for Kindle Direct, read up on it...and published my book the next day! I am entirely new at this and am still learning, but I think with a little hard work the Indie process can be completely worth it.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Get your words on paper. Draft one doesn't have to be perfect; you can go back and revise once your draft is done--but you have to do it first! If your muse temporarily gets distracted by something shiny and you find yourself with writer's block, try browsing online for ideas (Pinterest is both my friend and my nemesis...I've wasted a ton of time on there but also stumbled across a ton of inspiration) or join writing websites/facebook groups. What ultimately matters is that you keep at it!