Happy Monday, book peeps!
I hope you had a great weekend! Life is slowly getting back to normal here in Ottawa. Our health officials have given us the green light to expand our social bubbles, so we actually got to celebrate my dearly departed brother’s birthday in person and I got to hug my mom for the first time since her birthday in early March. Needless to say, having a “new normal” gathering was good for the soul on a day we really needed a little extra TLC.
I’m over-the-moon excited about today’s author chat! It’s been pure joy getting to know my talented fellow 2020 Debut author and wonderful friend, Ashley R. King, over the past several months. Her novel Painting the Lines will be out in the wild in AUGUST (buy links AND cover reveal coming soon in July), so here’s your chance to get to know a little more about lovely Ashley and her tennis romance! This has awesome summer read written all over it and I can’t wait to dive in soon!
Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us, Ashley, and huge congratulation on your debut! xo
AK: Tell us a little about yourself.
AK: Hmmm…where do I start? Well, I’ve been married to the love of my life for 12 years (together 14). He’s my number one cheerleader and supporter, and I’m so thankful for him. We live in Georgia, along with our cat child, Cleo, who is absolutely spoiled rotten and adorable as all get out. I’m a middle school English and Language Arts teacher and love what I do. I’ve wanted to become a writer since elementary school and have always written short stories, screenplays, and novels. When I’m not writing or teaching, I like to hang out with my husband. We enjoy traveling—my favorite place in the world is Italy. I also enjoy reading, playing tennis, hanging out at the beach, and watching period dramas.
AK: What’s the premise of your book?
AK: The two main characters of Painting the Lines have experienced the loss of their dreams—Julian is a washed-up tennis player, and Amalie is a writer that’s down on her luck. Both of them are spinning their wheels, so although they hate each other, they must work together in a last-ditch effort to achieve what they’ve wanted for so long. And if they fall in love along the way? Even better.
AK: What inspired you to write it?
AK: I am a huge tennis fan, thanks to my husband. He played tennis all of his life and even played for his college. The more I learned about it and played it, the more I began to love the sport—there’s just something about the symphony of sounds, the squeaking of the shoes on the asphalt, the thwack of the racket. I began reading a lot of sports romance novels, and I noticed that there weren’t a lot of tennis romances out in the world, so I thought, well, why not write one?
AK: What are you most looking forward to this debut year? And conversely, what are you most nervous about?
AK: I am most looking forward to having my debut out in the world. This has been a dream of mine since elementary school, and there was a time when I didn’t think it was going to happen because I kept getting rejections for my previous novels. I kept going, didn’t give up and now I’m here! To finally see a book of mine published is a dream come true.
I’m most nervous that people won’t like it! I had a nightmare about it the other night actually, lol. I know not everyone will, but I hope that, for the most part, readers will enjoy it. My family and friends have advised me to step away from Goodreads once it comes out, which probably isn’t the worst idea for a person like myself!
AK: What authors do you admire and/or have influenced your development as a writer? Please feel free to add specific books, we love recommendations!
AK: There are so many authors that inspire me! The first would be Jennifer L. Armentrout. I was in a huge book slump back in 2009 when I picked up the first book in the Lux series and just fell in love with her writing style and characters. My husband actually arranged for her to call me on my birthday the following year and that was just a surreal experience. We talked about her books and about my dreams of becoming a published writer. She was so encouraging and so sweet! A few months later she happened to be doing a book signing in my state and I just had to go meet her in person. She was the absolute best—she gave me a hug, remembered our phone call, and wrote in one of my books, “Keep Writing.” That inspired me more than she’ll ever know because that’s all I’ve done since and thankfully it’s led me here. She’s truly amazing.
Other authors that inspire me are Karina Halle, Mariana Zapata, Alisha Rai, Tessa Bailey, Natasha Boyd, Kerri Maniscalco, Alyssa Cole, RS Grey, LJ Shen, Lisa Kleypas, and yes, of course, Jane Austen.
AK: What are you working on now?
AK: I’m currently working on Book 2 of the Ace of Hearts series (tentatively named The Wilde Card), which will be out January/February 2021. This book follows Amalie’s older sister, Simone. I’m also working on revising a project I wrote back in 2014 titled Letters of a Dying Misanthrope. Once I finish with that, I plan to work on a gothic romance, which is one of my favorite genres to read.
AK: What question do you wish I had asked, and answer it!
AK: Oooh, that’s tough because all of your questions were awesome. Here’s one question that I’ve thought about just for fun, so why not answer it here? 😊
If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?
This is too easy as I’ve given it a lot of thought. I would pick a dark-haired (not that the blonde hair wasn’t stellar on him), Henry Caville for Julian. He’d have to grow a little scruff though because Julian doesn’t shave a ton unless it’s for a big event. For Amalie, I would pick a red-haired Lily Collins. I love her in any film she’s in, but especially Love, Rosie. I think she could bring that strong, independent spirit of Amalie’s to life.
Release date: August 25, 2020
Amalie Warner wants another shot to prove that she can be a successful writer. After hitting the bestseller’s list nine years ago, she’s lost her spark. Feeling pressure from her father to leave her writing behind and to work for her family’s lucrative hotel business, she’s desperate to find inspiration for her next big idea, something that challenges and excites her, something real.
Enter Julian Smoke, a failed tennis player making a dream run for the US Open. After a chance meeting at a bar, Amalie hates him instantly. He’s cocky and arrogant, but Amalie knows his story could be her big break. Could he be more?
Everyone knows that in tennis, love means zero, but these two are about to change that.
Perfect for fans of The Hating Game and Wimbledon.
Where To Get Your Copy: Buy links not available yet (hopefully in late July though). 😊
I do have a Goodreads link for the novel: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49114881-painting-the-lines
Let’s Get Social:
Publisher’s website: https://cityowlpress.com/