1. For all those not aware of your awesomeness, what should we know about you?
My name is Ashley McLeo. I'm a fantasy fanatic and author of The Starseed Trilogy. It's my goal to weave what I call "smart magic", mythology, and history into every piece I write. I have a very soft spot for witches. Also, I'm training to become a yoga instructor, which is super fun and keeps my body moving after all the sitting of writing!
2. Why do you write?
I used to have the day job that I hated. It left me bored and uninspired to go into the office every day. I started writing because I thought I needed a creative outlet and it grew into much more than that. It grew into a love I never knew I had. Don't get me wrong I've always loved stories and have been a prodigious reader my entire life, but I never knew I wanted to write them until I did. Now I write because I love entertaining others with my stories, almost as much as I love writing them.
4. What does a typical writing session look like?
Usually, I grab a cup of coffee or tea and sit down on my couch with my laptop and start working. Sometimes, when it's not too hot or cold or I just need absolute quiet, I go to my writers garret (yes, I really do have an adorable, tiny, attic office but the insulation is terrible!). I write until I hit a point where I'm not sure where it is I'm heading and then I get up to make more tea or grab my phone and play around on Twitter (terrible habit!). When I really need to get stuff done I keep my phone in a separate room because as they say, out of sight out of mind. I can write up to 3 hours a day right now, but can edit far longer.
5. What are you currently working on?
I'm currently working on two projects. The most important is book three in The Starseed Trilogy, tentatively titled Rising of Three.
The second project is a side novella to that same series titled Siren Falling, A Starseed Universe Novella. Right now, I'm having an easier time with the novella than tying up my series so I tend to gravitate toward that.
6. What do you love about this piece of writing?
For Rising of Three I LOVE getting into Sara, the third and youngest sister's head. I split the series to add a POV in each book so I feel like I know Lily (book one - Prophecy of Three POV) and Evelyn (added in book two - Souls of Three), Sara's older sisters well by this point, but Sara has always been the hardest to crack. My readers tend to agree she is the most mysterious. Sara’s past is murky and she had no real family until now. I've always known Sara's primary issue/character arc but it's been a pleasure to dive deeper into her mind.
For Siren Falling I'm really enjoying living Selma's life through her! She's a siren descended from the sirens of the Odyssey and is fed up with living on the tiny Spanish Island of Menorca. She wants to move to NYC and live the big life. So she does and chaos ensues when she uses her man enticing powers a bit too much in the Big Apple. Selma is sassy, fun, and a bit selfish which is enjoyable to write.
8. What is the hardest thing about writing?
For me, it's my tendency to just start. I make my story lines very complex and even the smallest mention can come back and mean something big later on. I really should plan/outline but until now I haven't. I'm a recovering pantser trying to become a plotter (starting with Siren Falling).
9. Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
JK Rowling. Man people don't realize just how smart she really is. Besides writing good children's books that even adults loved, she's an amazing business woman. To retain the e-book rights to a series as large as the Harry Potter series when you know your publisher would die to have them (and probably was willing to give her tons of money for them) was an incredibly smart, strategic move on her part. I believe her business acumen was pretty unforeseen in an industry where most writers just take the deal they're offered. I think that's why she is where she is today. I need tips from her!
Not to mention, she seems like a good human being with such an interesting life story. :)
OK, I’ll stop fan girling now . . .
10. If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself as a new writer?
Write Prophecy of Three and Souls of Three completely before you release them. Also, outline the entire series! I was a pure pantser for The Starseed Trilogy and while it's worked out this time, I'm NOT doing that again.