Wouldn’t You Like to Know. . . Ashley Poston

Stacey Hayman

Ashley Poston, our current author, has the charm and style of a lovely southern lady, which may be due in part to being born and raised in South Carolina. The only child of two working parents–a numbers kind of guy and a wordy kind of lady–Ashley has always appreciated the support they gave her but didn’t mind a little alone time so she could focus on her writing. With a wide array of interesting jobs, from hotelier to freelance book cover designer, Ashley’s degree in English from the University of South Carolina gives her academic street cred when it comes time to share her Sailor Moon fanfic. Unafraid to spend serious effort perfecting her video game skillset in between writing popular teen titles, Ashley dreams of the day when she and her cat Paprika can hop on a dread pirate ship for their next big adventure.

SH: When I was a teenager, people would describe me as a: (jock, band geek, popular, goth, other, none?)
AP: I was definitely a band geek! I played the clarinet in the high school marching band, so that took up half of the school year, and during the other half, I was a techie in the theater department.

SH: What is the best/worst thing that happened to you in high school?
AP: Oof, that’s a hard one. The best was every moment in marching band. The days were long, and we practiced right beside an onion field (and onion fields in a South Carolina heat wave are never pleasant to smell), but at the end of those four years, we were all a family. I can’t
explain it. We didn’t medal my senior year, but we ran screaming off that football field as if we had anyway. Because, truthfully, what mattered most was marching beside friends who’d gone through the same pit of fiery hell as you and surviving.

SH: What is your favorite childhood book? Favorite food? Favorite band or album? Favorite television show?
AP: Favorite childhood book was this ice skating series—it was called the Silver Skates series. I loved them so much!
Favorite food is peanut butter. Always peanut butter.
Album? Motion City Soundtrack’s Even If It Kills Me. I listened to it so often in high school, I can tell you the tracklist order.
And favorite television show? I am a huge nerd for Star Trek. I grew up watching The Next Generation. Data is so bae! Much android.

SH: Is there a story from your childhood that is told most often, either by you *or* about you?
AP: I’m usually the one telling the stories of all my friends. My parents love to tell the story of the time they took me to Disney World, and in the signing line for Rafiki and Baloo, “The Bare Necessities” came on the intercom and my mom started dancing with Baloo! My five-year-old
self was so mortified that I dropped my signing pad and went screaming out of the line. To this day, I still haven’t gotten Baloo’s signature.

SH: Was there any class in high school you regret paying too little, or too much, attention? If you could add one class to high schools across the country, what would be the topic?
AP: I regret that I spent too much time writing fanfic than listening in math class. If I could go back, I’d pay a little more attention to probability and statistics and geometry. Turns out, it’ll help you in the long run when you’re writing sci-fi.
A class I would add to every high school in the country? Hm. I was fortunate enough to take astronomy when I was in high school, and I loved every moment of it—not just because I’m a space nerd, but because I think knowing that we’re just on a small rock in a vast and
ever-expanding void really puts things into perspective.

SH: When asked what you wanted to be when you grew up, what did you say? Were you telling the truth?
AP: I always wanted to be an Egyptologist. I still love anything and everything involving the history of civilizations surrounding the Mediterranean. Sadly, I never became one—but one of my friends did.

SH: Is there a book, besides your own, of course, that you think everyone should be reading?
AP: Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. It should be a staple in every book lover’s repertoire.

SH: If you could be a character from any book, including your own, who would you want to be? Why?
AP: Going back to Howl’s Moving Castle, I would love to be Sophie. She’s genuine, witty, and resourceful—I love her dearly.

SH: One of your books has been selected to be made into a movie, which book would you want it to be and who would want in your cast?
AP: Geekerella would make a pretty fantastic tv show. Mae Whitman as Elle, Dev Patel as Darien—although they’re both a little old to be playing teenagers. We can pretend it’s still the 90s when that was cool.

SH: When you’re done writing for the day, or taking a little “me” time, do you have a hobby or special treat you indulge in?
AP: That’s definitely a must! I love to sit down with a good video game to unwind, but I’m also a graphic designer so sometimes I’ll just design bookish quotes and stick them up on my yalitquotes.tumblr.com page.

SH: Do you have any favorite family traditions that might need some explanation to outsiders looking in? Do you remember how they started?
AP: Christmas is always a . . . thing. My dad goes all out every year. He starts decorating the house in mid-September. The day after Thanksgiving, a whole bunch of us gather in the cul-de-sac and give him a drumroll (a la National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation) and he
lights up the house. It’s a spectacular sight. Our electric meter goes from zero to DEAR GOD, IT’S CHRISTMAS in zero-point-two seconds flat. It’s the best.

SH: You get three wishes, what are they? (Yes, you can wish for more wishes but are you *that* person?)
AP: Oh, boy. Can I go super sappy for this? To be honest, I’d wish for a cure for cancer. I’d wish for clean drinking water for everyone. Then I’d wish to set the genie free because that’s the only third wish that’s allowed.

SH: What three words would you use to describe yourself? What three words do you think other people would use to describe you?
AP: Hufflepuff. Nerdy. Enthusiastic.

SH: What’s your biggest pet peeve?
AP: I really don’t like when people are superbly late—a little late is fine, but super late with no head’s up? That’s just rude.

SH: If you could have any superpower, what would you choose and why?
AP: I would love to be able to waterbend like Katara in Avatar the Last Airbender.

SH: You are sitting down to dinner with five people, living or dead, who you find fascinating. Who is at the table and what are you eating?
AP: I find so many people fascinating. Maybe Lord Byron? Mary Shelley and her brother, Percy. Oh! Our late Princess Leia, Carrie Fisher, and the spectacular Diana Wynne Jones.

SH: Do you have a phrase or motto that inspires you?
AP: In my college ring I have the phrase “Let It Be” carved into the inside. It reminds me every day that you can’t change the past. What’s done is done, and there’s no going back. So stop looking there. To take a phrase from Walt Disney, “Keep moving forward.”

SH: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten, at any age?
AP: It’s not the quantity of friends, but the quality. A whole bunch of friends helping you bury a body will attract attention, but just one will efficiently help you dig the hole, stay quiet, and won’t rat you out.

Geekerella

SH: Are you a big fan of food trucks? If you had your own truck, what kind of food would you sell and what would you name it?
AP: I loooove food trucks, and I love peanut butter. So I’d own a PB & J food truck, and call it U Jelly.

SH: Have you ever been to a con of any kind? Is so, which one(s) and what others would you like to attend?
AP: I’ve been to quite a few cons. Dragoncon, New York Comic Con—I love them all for different reasons. The smaller cons are more intimate with artists, while the bigger cons attract more stars. I’ve never been to San Diego Comic-Con, though. Someday, I’d love to go.

SH: How do you think the Starfield movie was received by fans, by critics, and by Elle? Do you think there will be a sequel (to either this book or the fictional movie)?
AP: Spoilers! Without giving too much away, I think the Starfield movie was received as well as the original Star Trek reboot—which will probably give Darien different problems down the road. But that’s what fanfic is for, right?

Radio Hearts Duology

The Sound of Us

SH: What would you do if you found a mega-popular pop star hiding out nearby? Maybe that would depend on who would you hope to find?
AP: Oh, my goodness, I’ve never answered questions about The Sound of Us before. I love this! I was actually just talking to a friend about the new Harry Styles album. More specifically, the song “Carolina” . . . which is about a girl “from the Carolinas.”  The Sound of Us is set in Myrtle Beach, so theoretically, in some alternate universe, Harry Styles could have fallen in love with a girl from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I’m not saying I’d want the popstar-in-hiding to be Harry Styles but . . . I mean . . . I wouldn’t say no.

SH: If you started a band, what kind of music would you play, what would be the name of the group, and how famous would you want to become?
AP: I would start a nerdcore band. We would sing covers of TV and movie songs. We’d call ourselves DYNTB, after the Labyrinth song “Do You Know the Babe?” (What babe? Babe with the power. What power? Power of voodoo. Who do? You do! Do what? Remind me of the babe.) I don’t think I’d want to become too famous, though. Maybe just in small nerd-circles, and do gigs at con after-parties.

SH: What do you think Junie and Roman are doing five years after the story ends?
AP: They would be living in LA, sharing a flat. Roman would be gearing up for his new band’s first nationwide tour. But one evening, Junie drags him out to the Santa Monica pier. There’s a pretty hoppin’ food truck that they must check out.

We Own the Night

SH: If starting a band doesn’t appeal, maybe you want to be a radio DJ instead? What kind of music would you play and what would be your rockin’ DJ name?
AP: I’d play a lot of indie rock as DJ HUFFLEPUFF.

SH: Have you ever had a secret admirer? Or have you been a secret admirer of someone else?
AP: Oh, isn’t that every girl’s dream? I never had one myself, but I was one-half of the manpower behind someone else’s secret admirer—I wasn’t the one who got the date, though.

SH: What do you think Micah, Ingrid, and Billie are doing five years after the story ends?
AP: Micah is still in Steadfast, Nebraska, while Billie and Ingrid are enjoying a balmy Santa Monica evening by the pier, chatting up an ex-pop singer and his fiancé while they stand in line to LA’s hottest new burger truck Char-field. Look to the grill. Aim. Press Ignite.

Books by Ashley Poston
Geekerella. Quirk Books, 2017. 319p. $18.99. 978-1-5947-4947-6. VOYA April 2017. 5Q 4P J S
Radio Hearts Duology
The Sound of Us. Bloomsbury USA, 2013. 250p. ebook 978-1-6196-3470-1 .
We Own the Night. Bloomsbury USA, 2016. 250p. $15. ebook 978-1-6196-3784-9.

Ashley Poston Online
Author Website: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4279769.Ashley_Poston
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