NaNoWriMo Interview #2: Ashley Tahg

Hey, guys! I had the pleasure of interviewing the lovely Ashley Tahg. (A wonderful girl, to be sure. You all should go check out her blog.) So, read on and enjoy!
What music do you listen to when you write?
It really depends on what exactly, for example, last NaNo I listened to a lot of Blackmore's Night, since it fit my novel at the time.  This NaNo, I'll be listening to the PoTC soundtrack, as well as rag tag mixture of other movie soundtracks.  I do have AWOLNATION's Sail in my list as well. 

What food/drinks do you eat/drink while writing?
Chocolate, skittles and Tea, preferably Earl Grey or Irish Breakfast.  But, I might add a bit of Jasmine to the mix since a balanced diet is a recommended thing. ;) 

Which movies/TV shows do you watch when you need to take a break?

I really don't know! I'll probably abstain from movie/tv watching as much as possible, since I can easily become uninspired/inspiredforotherthings when watching those, but I see myself doing quite a lot of book reading when I need to take a chill, and around the 16th, I'll be seeing Thor in theaters, so there's that.

How do you conquer Writer’s Block?

My philosophy, when stuck by the block, is that I've been pressuring myself too hard, be it over a plot hole I hadn't foreseen, or getting to that word count goal, and that I need to take a step back and relax. Granted, during NaNo, there will be a lot of pressure, but when I feel my head beginning to ache, I'll probably take the day off.  I'd rather tack the remaining words on to the next day and take the time to listen to music outside of my novel playlist and maybe go make some cupcakes, or even work on one of my non-nano novels.  I'm really just laid back on how I deal with it.

Do you write caffeinated or un-caffeinated?

Oh no caffeine for me.  It gives me a sugar rush that results in more dancing than writing, and a skull splitting headache in the end.  In the end, it does me more harm than good.  I'm really good at pulling all-nighters without it anyway, so, I'll just go decaffeinated.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

Ready for a list?
Mirriam Neal (I beta read her novels and oh world, you are in for a treat after she publishes more of her novels!) 
Robin McKinley (she has really inspired my walk as a writer) 
John Flanagan (His skill at writing wit and smart talk remains to be something I seek to learn)
Amanda Sun (she still has a bit of becoming to do, but she really knows how to spin an entertaining story that keeps you reading)
and Chautona Havig (This lady knows how to pump out those novels! And she has a finger in so many genres, and has a real knack for writing books that never fail to cheer me up when I'm blue. When I'm sick, I delve into her books) 

What’s your novel about (either NaNo Novel, current piece, past novel, etc.)?

I'll talk about my NaNo novel, since all my other books are too numbered to speak about in one post and not monopolize your time. 
If I were to sum it up in a dreadfully short sentence, I could say, "Freed slave joins pirate crew to extract revenge for family's death", and while that suffices, it has a far too business like feel to it, wouldn't you agree? 
In Sails of Blood, Ababou, the FMC, is captured by slavers with her brother and sister when she is only 18, and is forced to one by one watch her family die before her eyes while she is left alone, chained in a hold.  
She is eventually saved by a tall, curly haired gentleman pirate (modeled after Tom Hiddleston in his appearance in Return to Cranford) who lets her stay on his ship until she can format a plan for what she wants to do.  She decides to stay on and use him and the crew of the Belladonna to get revenge on the slavers who ruined her life and her family. 
But she doesn't see quite how expensive the road of revenge is, and her new companions will slowly pay the price.

If you could give just one writing tip for NaNoWriMo, what would it be?

Don't freak out.
I know, it feels like a big undertaking, but in reality, if you keep your head on your shoulder, and take it in stride, you can totally do it.  People will be telling you how stressful and intense it is, but just keep calm and reach that wordcount and you will be perfectly fine. Maybe a little sleep deprived, and you may feel a bit anti-social, but you can do this thing. 
And then, if I may, a second tip, is find someone to talk to throughout the month.  Never devalue how life saving a fellow nanoer can be, someone to ask about your word count, and keep you excited. 

What’s your favorite part about NaNoWriMo?
The connection with other writers.  Its like, this big huge family reunion, and it brings writers together in so many marvelous ways.  Romance writers are word warring with Sci-fi writers, and you meet all these new people.  I know, its funny that an event known for making hermits out of writers, that I would say the socialization is the best thing, but it really is.
Last year, an internet friend of mine added me to a group she created for NaNo, and we've remained a tight knit group (not without our scuffles, granted. Don't get me started on the time we all got mad at each other over the American vs. British guys debate.  It was intense) and we've encouraged each other all through 2012 and 2013, and I'm just so very grateful for my writing group.  I've no idea how I could have made it through without them.

Where do you get your inspiration from, or do you just write without it? Both?

Music, music videos and Pinterest.
All it takes is a pin, and boom, story idea. and I've made so many blooming novels from kpop music videos. It's crazy.  I'm almost to the point where I can't watch kpop music videos without being fully prepared to have a new novel. 
And then, there have been so many times I've heard a song that has applied to my current novels, and I find ways to include all the new ideas it gives me in, even if the ideas are as minute as a sweater color, or as large as a new character. 

Have you done NaNoWriMo (including camp) in previous years? If yes, how many times have you done it/won?

I've never done camp, since summer is always just a really busy month for me, but I have done NaNoWriMo.  Last year (2012) was actually my first go at it, so I'm fairly a newbie, but I'm already a hardcore NaNohead, and I really just can't see why I would ever skip this event.
I won last year, reaching 50,002 words before realizing I had won, and then I stopped and haven't written anything in that novel since.

What’s your favorite writing website/blog?

I really love Go Teen Writers, it has been a lifesaver twice over.   I also kinda have a mini obsession with Imagine your OTP, since it's given me so many cute and fluffy scenes for my own characters. You just have to be very very careful, since it has some pretty dirty things, as some people enjoy writing dirty slash fiction.

Do you have an author who you look up to? If so, whom?
Robin McKinley. Oh my word that woman writes gold and magic. If I could only write half as beautifully and perfect as she, I would be content. 

Where can you be found on the NaNoWriMo website (if you don’t have an account, that’s fine)?

I can be found right here, thank you for asking. ;)  I'm totally open for buddy requests, just drop a hint on who you are (or, more than a hint would be nice. I'm not the best at decoding vague references) and I'll add you back!

Where can you be found otherwise?
I can be found at my blog, Cheery-O!, and I have a Pinterest.  I'm also writing a role play novel with a couple writing friends, and while it is in severe need of a new chapter (I'm working on ratting on the girl responsible for that) might as well share a link to The Incantevole Tales as well.

Awesome! Thanks so much for doing this, Ashley! It was fun.
Happy writing!
Bekah Joan

1 comment:

  1. It makes me feel so much better to know that other people find so much inspiration from Pinterest. I look at a quote, and I'm like, "I like dat. I make dat into new character." Then I'm thinking, "I am so pitiful. I can't come up with anything on my own." xD

    I totally agree with having a writing buddy, even if you're not doing NaNoWriMo (I'm not). It's so much easier when you have someone yelling at you (in a friend-like way ;) ) to get back to your writing. xD


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