Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Story Time with Ashley Weis - Interview & Giveaway

My goodness, it's giveaway central here on Writing Roseanna lately, isn't it? Lucky you. ;-)

Today I'm so happy to welcome Ashley Weis to my blog. I met Ashley at the ACFW conference last year--we saw each other at the airport in Baltimore but didn't realize we were headed to the same place until we got out of the SuperShuttle at the hotel together. We quickly compared schedules and realized we'd be flying home together too, so decided to sit together on the flight back from Denver.

That three-plus hour flight turned into a definite God-thing. Ashley's husband is now the designer of the WhiteFire book covers--so kudos on the awesome image of A Stray Drop of Blood goes to him--and Ashely herself was sweet enough to model for us, so the Abigail you see on my cover is actually her. =)

Ashley's debut book is releasing in September, and I know this is a book that digs deep into the heart. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy! It didn't take much conversation to realize that Ashley is a woman of incredible talent and passion, and I'm honored to help her in promotion.

Ashley's offering a complimentary copy to one lucky reader. To enter for a chance to win it, please leave a comment below with an email address. You must be a follower to enter.

~*~

About Exposed
(from Ashley's website)


Porn shreds the Happily Ever After page from the story of marriage. Then, it goes back to the beginning to tear out page after page on the way. When it’s trashed all of the marriage it can, it perforates the heart and with the gentleness of a murderer … porn rips out love.

That's the story of Jessie and Ally Graham, a married couple struggling to cope after porn rips their marriage to pieces. They are not perfect, but they are real.

As you follow the story of Jessie and Ally you will also read the story of Taylor Adams, a young girl who naively falls into the porn industry and discovers how harmful it can be.

Throughout the pages of Exposed you will see the aching truths hidden behind the porn industry’s mask. Taylor's story is not reality for every porn star, but it is for many. I have chosen to omit language and details to protect the minds of my readers, but the porn industry can be much, much worse than it is portrayed in these pages. Also, the wife’s story may seem melodramatic to some, but it is loosely based off of my story and the story of many women who write to me. No story is the same and some may be better or worse than the lives I’ve chosen to show in these pages, but for many of us … these stories are painfully real.

~*~

What's your latest book?

Exposed: A Novel (Winslet Press) September 2010

I'm so excited about this book! What's your favorite part of the story?

Well, ultimately I’d have to go with the ending. I love the redemptive qualities of it. But there are pieces throughout that stick with me. I love a lot of the flashbacks of Ally and Jessie’s marriage. Their romance is beautiful.

Guess you can't go into too much detail about that ending, huh? ;-) What was the hardest part to write?

Honestly, this book flew right outta my fingers! It lived inside of me and needed to breathe, so it never gave me time to slow down. I’d say, for me, the emotional parts were difficult to write though. My critiquer (Mary DeMuth) always told me to elongate those scenes. I guess naturally I didn’t want to “go there.” But Mary helped bring it out of me.

Critters are invaluable like that--and if Mary critiques half as well as she writes, she's definitely worth listening to! What do you hope your readers will get out of the story?

Truth, even when it hurts. And that there is beauty after rain and purpose in our suffering.

Ah, "Beauty After Rain" is your tagline--love that. Is there a theme to this book?

Redemption. Love overcomes all things.

What's your favorite genre to write? To read?

To write? Not women’s fiction, believe it or not! I like to write non-CBA contemporary fiction. And I like to read contemporary fiction. I’m not a huge women’s fiction fan, even though I ended up writing a novel that is 100% women’s fiction.

Just goes to show that you never know what the Lord might impress upon you, eh? What are you reading right now—and what do you want to read next?

Actually, I’m reading nothing but the Bible. I’ve read so much lately. I just need a break to focus on Him. I just finished Mary DeMuth’s beautiful novel, Life in Defiance. Gina Holmes’ Crossing Oceans. Those were both amazing novels. Next, I want to read something different, something unique. Not sure what that is yet.

Have you tried Lisa Samson? I have a feeling you might like her stuff. But let's shift it up a bit and ask a fun question: What would your dream office look like—and what does your REAL writing environment look like?

Oddly, they are the same – my couch!

Sweet! Is there any one thing or reference you keep handy when writing? Anything you kept around for this particular book?

Mary DeMuth. =)

Can we pick her up at the local supercenter? ;-) What lessons have you learned through the publication process that you wouldn't have guessed as a pre-published writer?

Phew. That people aren’t always what they seem. That it’s much more businessy than you initially think. How much an author is required to market their own book even with a publisher. All of it. The entire process. All of the querying, the rejections, the process the board goes through, agent details¾all of it. It’s a whole new world, a new fantastic point of view!

Are there any people (family, writing group, editors) who you rely on when writing?

Mary DeMuth is my super woman. Susan Meissner critiqued for me as well. But no family, no writing group, no friends. Just Mary and good ol' Sooz.

Those are some impressive critters! Aside from writing, what takes up most of your time?

Oh, I don’t know … changing diapers, feeding babies, staring at walls wondering what my name is, cleaning the floor, enjoying the invention of the Sleepy Wrap, our design business, emails from women who are healing from their husband’s sex addictions, etc. We are super busy people. We often lose our brains under couch cushions.

LOL. I know that feeling! If someone were to give you $5,000 to spend on anything you wanted, what would you buy? (No saving of gifts to charities allowed!)

An orphan.

Well sheesh, that's a make-me-teary-eyed answer to a supposedly-silly question! What a loving heart you have, Ashley! What writing goal have you set for yourself that would be the hardest (or unlikeliest) but most rewarding to achieve?

I really have no idea. I guess I’m always reasonable. Shocking.

Do you remember where you were when you got your first or most important call about a book contract?

The time I called myself and said, “Hey, self, I’m publishing your book for you.”

Is that what you meant? Haha!

Well, knowing a bit about the actual thought process that brought to you that point, I know that probably was a big moment--when the decision was made! Any funny family stories about living with a writer?

Sure. The morbid thoughts. Always imagining life if my husband dies. Zoning out at restaurants and hearing my husband say, “Are you being a writer again?” Oh, the list goes on.

What are you writing right now?

My grocery list. Seriously. I’m done writing for now. I need to focus on my young family and our design business. But there is a book in my heart inspired by Tupac Shakur. It would be ABA and it’s about the ugliness of racism, the beauty of people throughout history, and the heart of a drug dealer. For now, though, I’m taking a break for a few years to chill out and write for enjoyment. Although I may do some non-fiction books for More than Desire, the blog I have for women healing from the shadows of pornography.

Any upcoming releases we should keep our eye out for?

My grocery list?

LOL. Yes, be sure and publish that for us. =) Is there another author who has greatly influenced your writing?

Charles Martin. But Exposed is written in a different tone than what I’d write if it were contemporary fiction, instead of women’s. I think I have a general “voice,” but really … I have many, many tones and sometimes I allow myself to be more poetic than others. For my next book, from the POV of a drug dealer … it’s going to be tough to make it sound all Charles Martiny. =)

~*~

Thanks so much for visiting, Ashley! As everyone can see, Ashley is a woman of great heart, great depth, and great love for what the Lord has put in her life. Please check out her website at www.ashleyweis.com.

She's taking pre-orders for Exposed now, and you can enter into a fabulous contest she's running if you visit www.exposedanovel.com.

Void where prohibited. Entry into the contest is considered verification of eligibility based on your local laws. Contest ends 8/23/10. Winners will have two weeks to claim prizes.

21 comments:

  1. That is so neat about the connection you two made, Roseanna and Ashley. What a God thing!

    No need to enter me as I can't wait for this book and am already on the review list. I'm glad to see someone writing about this topic in the CBA, too. Great pick, Ashley, I loved Life in Defiance...then again I think I already shared that with you.

    And Ashley, tell your husband awesome job on Roseanna's cover. I love it!

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  2. Your cover is beautiful, Ashley, and the book sounds like a thought-provoking read. I'm excited to experience it!

    Stephanie at StephanieMorrillBooks dot com.

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  3. What an amazing post. Thanks, Roseanna. What an awesome ministry God has led you to, Ashley. Bless you.

    kristengjohnson (at) gmail dot com

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  4. Great interview. I can't wait to check out the book.

    Amy S.
    artsyrockerchick at aim dot com

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  5. A subject that needs to be discussed. Please enter me.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

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  6. I loved Ashley's answer about reading nothing but the Bible right now. Such a great example! :)
    I would love to read Exposed!
    bluerosesheart(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  7. Thanks so much for this giveaway!

    allisonsbj3(at)gmail(dot)com

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  8. I loved the comment "What are you writing now?" "The grocery list!!" How normal!! I see your Hubby is very talented too!
    I would love to read your book!
    Carman Sent me!

    alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  9. Thanks for the sweet mentions, Ashley! You rock!

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  10. This sounds like a very interesting book! I would love to win this book. Thanks for the chance. Carman sent me.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

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  11. Thanks everyone! :) Wish I could give free copies to all of you!

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  12. Wow! Talk about a charged story! I would love the opportunity to win one. Thanks!

    latawniakintz[at]gmail[dot]com

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  13. I am so looking forward to this book! More than Desire has helped me so much. I love how God puts people like you two together to share with each other and then with us! So exciting and warm and awesome! Thank you for opening up your heart so we can also have courage to open up our hearts to others and God and learn to Love like Him <3
    Melody Burdette
    melodyburdette@yahoo.com

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  14. This sounds like a great book! Please include me. I am a follower.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

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  15. Well done interview, Roseanna. Ashley, you show tremendous faith and trust in Jesus to write about such a difficult subject. I would definitely enjoy reading this book. Redemption is a big happy gift to receive and I so like reading of those redeemed. I read that you are also the model for the cover of "Drop of Blood." What an honor to be that beautiful model. Please add me to the giveaway and I appreciate the opportunity to win this excellent story.

    Blessed Be in Christ,
    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

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  16. Enter me please.
    cparkins14 AT teancum.net

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  17. Please enter me in your book giveaway. Thanks

    true_sheila at yahoo dot com

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  18. I'd love to be entered into the giveaway! :-D Sounds like a great book - I enjoyed reading the interview!

    Katie M

    legacy1992(at)gmail(dot)com

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  19. The cover is simply gorgeous! Breathtaking! Thanks for the lovely interview, can't wait to get my hands on Exposed! :)

    Please count me in for the giveaway. You can reach me at luvpinkpanther@gmail.com

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  20. this sounds like a fabulous book...thanks for the chance to read it :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  21. I think this would be a good, eye-opening book to read...maybe not easy, but good!!

    derekannette at gmail dot com

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