Teen Press Corps Members Colleen and Victoria Interview Author Ashley Poston!

by Colleen Wyrick and Victoria Novoa, BookPeople Teen Press Corps

Teen Press Corps: What is your most embarrassing high school moment that you can remember?

Ashley Poston: Ah, I have too many! Ooohh there’s a lot of them. Oh wait! I was in marching band right? And this was like, before the actual classes started, and it was my sophomore year? Yeah, and the clarinets, I played clarinet, and the clarinets were lined up right beside the tubas. And we were all, like, walking backwards, right? And so Jerry, my tuba friend, he slipped and fell. Then he knocked the person beside him, I think it was Brian, down who knocked down the next person, next person, next person. And then I heard my leader go ‘STOP!’. And so I turned around and I like, whipped my clarinet and knocked my friend in the teeth and knocked him back. It was the worst.

TPC: What was your favorite book as a teenager?

AP: Um.. the Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathan Stroud. I love it so much.

TPC: So do you ever go back and reread it now and then?“

AP: I…I do because Bartimaeus is like so snarky and I love all the little footnotes and it was my very first realization like ‘Yes. I want to be a writer’.

TPC: What is the craziest book idea you’ve ever had?

AP: I had this like mermaid idea where like all these mermen rode types of like, mammal fish. You know, dolphins or killer whales, and there was a school of mermaids who sat on big humpback whales and it was just the weirdest thing. And I was like ‘Let’s…let’s not do that. That might be a little strange.’ Yeah that was definitely the weirdest idea.

TPC: What is the longest piece of work you’ve ever written on a whim?

AP: Oh, that was probably the first book I ever tried to write, I called it Dreamer. Because you have to have generic, fun titles like that. And it was just like this 300,000 word epic that was about this boy who would like read books and those books came to life. Because I also loved Inkheart. So, yeah…that was my idea behind a 300,000 word epic.

TPC: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers that you don’t typically hear?

AP: Hmmmm…I don’t know if it’s weird or different but if you’re writing a book and you’re having a hard time, change the font. Yeah…I wrote an entire book in Comic Sans, I mean, just change it up so you’re not seeing the exact same thing.

TPC: What is your favorite writing snack?

AP: Um… probably either Twizzlers or Doritos….or both. Both is good.

TPC: The cover for your book, Geekerella, is absolutely gorgeous but I was wondering if you went through other cover designs or titles before the final ones were picked?

AP: I actually had no say in the cover whatsoever. I was like given this final cover like ‘Hey surprise!’ and I was ‘Oh my gosh I love it!’. I just saw it and started crying. And I didn’t have any say in the final title either. It was picked for me. I had titled it To the Stars, then they were like ‘No, let’s call it Geekerella it works better’ and I liked it too. So I’m happy with the title and happy with the cover.

TPC: If you could have any of your characters write your life story, who would it be and why?

AP: I’d want it to be Sage because I think she’d write it with a certain dead-pan flare that I would really like to read.

TPC: What is your favorite thing about Austin?

AP: I really like the food. I live in South Carolina so there are no good taco joints. Everyone has told me about Torchy’s here though so I will have to go.

TPC: Which book was more of a challenge to write; Geekerella or Heart of Iron?

AP: Heart of Iron, definitely. Because I grew up in fandoms, I was an only child so I lived in them. I learned from the fandom communities who I was. So Geekerella was just so easy to write because I went through a phase for a few years where I didn’t know who I was anymore, and Geekerella came and I was like ‘Oh, I remember that. Okay, yes!’ So Geekeralla was just me finding myself again so it was really fun.”