I've been writing for as long as I can remember. I'd make up stories and attempt to write them down, but I didn't write a story longer than a paragraph until I was 10 (that I can remember).
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I do, actually. I wrote it when I was 10 years old. It was a 'novel' about four pages long, with each 'chapter' a paragraph long. It was about a girl named Amber Sandloddenzalet, and she was obsessed with becoming popular.
What is your writing process?
When a really good idea comes to me, I write it down. Then I let it stew inside my head for a while, until I have a good idea of what should happen in the story. Then I plan out the book or series. Once I start writing however, the characters take on a life of their own. They end up where they should, but how they get there is up to them.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in South Auckland, New Zealand. It's typically a pretty rough place, although I was fortunate enough to live in the nice part. Unfortunately, I did pick up the bad language (swearing & slang) and sometimes that comes through in my writing. I try to edit it out but sometimes I do miss things.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
For me, the greatest joy of writing is an escape from my life. If I am sad, angry, tired or just not happy, I will write. It lets me be who I want to be, as well as dictate what happens in my imaginary world. It's like a daydream that I can keep revisiting.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The latest book that I published, as of the 19th of September 2013, is Rebel With A Cause. When I began writing, I was obsessed with the movie '2 Fast 2 Furious' and began creating my own world of street racers. The main character, Kaitlyn, is stubborn, feisty, and everything I wish I could be.
The book I am working on at the moment, The Second Venefica, is a fantasy novel of wiccan ways, greek and egyptian mythology, and a highly exotic setting. I've been working on it for 5 years. The Second Venefica is my baby, so to speak. The first draft was 20,000 words, and now I'm on the third draft, aiming for 80,000 words. It's everything I find exciting, and the main character is more like me - a romantic at heart who has to fight for what she wants and is extremely stubborn. She also values history and family, which sometimes pulls her in two.
Describe your desk
A mess. A complete and utter mess. Every time I clean it up it gets messy again. It holds my jewellery, my laptop, dictionaries and thesauruses, as well as a few pieces of makeup and some card games. My desk is home.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
If I'm not writing, I'm either at Uni, on Facebook, doing homework, reading a book, or playing the sims.
What do you read for pleasure?
I absolutely adore fantasy. The Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead is one of my favourites. The Morganville Vampires is another series that I can't stop reading (go Shane and Claire!) as well as the Harry Potter Series. I grew up with Harry Potter so of course I love to read it.
Who are your favorite authors?
J. K. Rowling, Rachel Caine, Richelle Mead, Sophie Kinsella and Fleur Beale.
What do your fans mean to you?
I love my fans. I don't have many at the moment, so I love getting to know them. My fans are people who take the time out of their busy lives to read what I create, and for that I am grateful. If you are a fan but don't know how to get in contact with me, you can find me on Facebook (Ashleigh Neame Author), Twitter (@AshleighNeame), ask.fm (MissMunkii), YouTube (Ashleigh Neame), Google+ (Ashleigh Neame), Instagram (ashleighneame), and Tumblr (Munkii).
What are you working on next?
My next project is my NaNoWriMo 2014 project. It's called Crystal White. I'm not saying anything about the plot, but I will say it's a fantasy novel.