The Nocturnal Fey Interviews: Ashley Drew – Author of Never Stop Falling + Giveaway
March 31, 2016
A San Francisco Bay Area native, Ashley Drew currently lives in Los Angeles. When she’s not going cross-eyed after writing for five hours straight, or burying her nose in a book, you’ll find her sprawled on her couch watching General Hospital, having alien conspiracy discussions with her husband over a bottle of bubbly, and dancing to Taylor Swift’s 1989 album with her daughter.
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First of all, thank you for having me! I love connecting with bloggers and readers about my book, so I truly appreciate the invitation!
I wish that I could say that some sort of personal experience in my life inspired this story (because wouldn’t that be so romantic?!), but sadly, I can’t! I think there is something so beautiful about second chance romances and friends-to-lovers stories that I wanted to incorporate these two themes into mine. One day, the idea just kind of popped into my head and I started to play around with it. I did find ways to weave in little touches from my personal life into the story, such as the setting. I was born and raised in Santa Cruz, California, and I hadn’t ever read any stories that took place there. Santa Cruz is a small, beach town south of the San Francisco Bay Area, and it is the picture perfect backdrop for a romance. But other than that, the story is purely fictional.
It’s funny that you ask this question because I actually wrote a post on my blog a while back about dream casting my book and how difficult it was for me to find the perfect Nick! Cori, on the other hand, was really easy. From the moment I started writing, I pictured the actress Phoebe Tonkin as her character. To me, Phoebe has that look that says “feisty,” and Cori certainly is feisty! It took me a while to find the perfect Cooper, but when I finally did, model Jeff Kasser totally fit the role! As for Nick? To this day, I can’t dream cast him. There were a few celebrities that I thought might fit: a young Henry Cavill or Scott Eastwood, perhaps. But then I thought about it more, and I just thought they were both too rugged to be Nick. And then I thought maybe Ryan Guzman might fit, but nope! I think the reason why I have such a difficult time dream casting him is because to me, Nick is perfect, and there is no person in the world that could fill his shoes!
The premise of the story came to me back in 2008, and I wrote a few chapters. Then, life happened, and I just stopped. Finally, in January 2014, I revisited those chapters, and I told myself that I had to finish it. Between a full-time job and raising a family, there was never going to be a right time or enough time, so I had to make the time. Because I was only able to write in the evenings after my daughter had fallen asleep, it took me just over a year to write the first draft, and another year for all of the editing and re-writes.
The hardest thing I experienced while writing Never Stop Falling was making sure that my characters stayed consistent throughout the story. There were so many moments in which I’d be writing a scene, mostly toward the end, and a character would say or do something that they wouldn’t have said or done at the beginning of the book. I wanted my characters to feel real, and that was the hardest part about writing this book.
Surreal. That’s the only way I can describe it. After I had read The Notebook, I knew that I wanted to write a book that would elicit out of people the emotions that I had felt after reading it. So I added it to my bucket list, that I would write a book one day. What started off as an item on my bucket list is now an actual published work that people all over the world are reading! It’s pretty awesome.
I love it! It definitely is a full-time job and entails quite a bit of work, but it’s been great so far. Never Stop Falling is my first book, and I had always known that I was going to self-publish. Some of my favorite authors started out as indie authors, and although it may not be the easiest route to take in the publishing world, I don’t regret my decision.
Yes! I am currently working on my second manuscript which is also going to be a New Adult romance. I’m super excited about this book because it’s definitely going to be a different type of read than Never Stop Falling. Writing this story is coming to me so naturally that I’m hoping I’ll have a first draft by the end of the summer.
I’ve had some readers tell me that they’d like to see a book or two about a few of the side characters from Never Stop Falling, so I may revisit that at some point. I never thought about turning that book into a series, but who knows!
I can honestly say that I am not a fantasy or sci-fi kind-of-girl! I do have a few fantasy books on my TBR list that I haven’t tackled yet, so I’m definitely not opposed to reading that genre. I might consider writing a Young Adult book in the future, possibly even a Middle Grade story.
I love this question! I have so many favorite authors that I’d love to collaborate with, but these would be my top three:
1) The queen herself, Colleen Hoover – This woman can do no wrong, and I love every single book she has written. Colleen is one of those authors who writes a book, and I’ll add it to my TBR list even before the blurb comes out. It would be a dream to collaborate with her! That is, if Tarryn Fisher will let me. J
2) Robin Hill – Robin is actually a writer friend of mine that is currently writing and publishing her erotic romance novel, Waiting For the Sun. She beta read Never Stop Falling for me, and when I started beta reading for her, we found that we have very similar writing styles. It’d be a collaboration of sweet and sexy, similar to Christina Lauren! Which brings me to…
3) Christina Lauren – I absolutely adore the Beautiful Series and Wild Seasons Series. Yes, there are already two authors behind the name, but surely, three minds are better than two!
1) New Adult Romance – I have so many! But definitely November 9 by Colleen Hoover
2) Contemporary – Me Before You, Jojo Moyes
3) Chick-Lit – Something Borrowed, Emily Giffin
I don’t have much free time, so when I choose a book, I want one that’s going to make it worth my while. I want all of the feels. I want to be satisfied at the end of it, because I’m committing hours to this one story. There are millions of books out there to choose from. So, to all of the readers who have read my book, and to those who I hope will pick it up one day, choosing it out of the millions of books out there, I just have this to say: thank you. Words cannot express my gratitude.
She didn’t expect to fall for her best friend.He was always waiting to catch her.Corinne Bennett lives in the moment. Whether she’s skydiving out of an airplane, or setting off on the road to anywhere, she’s ready to dive into the next adventure. That is, if best friend and always-by-the-book Nicholas Kelley doesn’t put his foot down on her wild stunts first.When Corinne gives in to her growing feelings for Nicholas the summer before their freshman year of college, she takes the ultimate risk, making this one adventure he has longed to explore with her.But the moment they take that irrevocable leap, a shocking revelation blindsides Corinne, exposing her vulnerabilities, baring her fears, and shattering her beliefs about love. With their future—and more importantly, their friendship—now clouded in doubt, she must decide if love is really worth the risk.Because when it comes to love, you never stop falling.
So once again, thank you so much, Ashley Drew for this wonderful opportunity and for lending us a bit of your time for this interview. You’re trully wonderful! I’m really hoping to have another interview with you in the future. Maybe after release of your new book? Also, congratulations again to you and Never Stop Falling. xoxo