Thursday, March 28, 2013


Author bio:
John Ashley lives with his family on an apple orchard in Western Arkansas. He is currently a senior at Booneville High School and plans to attend Harding University in the fall of 2013. With a spectrum of interests as broad as the worlds he writes about, John Ashley enjoys everything from the great outdoors to amateur astronomy. He is currently hard at work on the Xavier Series, piloted by his very first novel, The Scrolls of Xavier.

Personal favs:
Drink – Frozen lemonade
Food – T-bone steaks
Vacation – Panama City, Florida
TV show – Pawn Stars
Movie – Braveheart

Book title:

The Scrolls of Xavier

Brief synopsis of your book:
In the year of 2067, a new world is discovered amidst the dark expanses of the universe. Harvesting the resources of this vast planet, known as Xavier997, may be the only hope a post-apocalyptic Earth has for survival. Upon arriving, however, the explorers of this promising new world soon discover that the treacherous and, most shockingly, inhabited realm of Xavier may also lead to mankind’s final undoing. 
In order to shed light on the dangerous secrets of this world, Captain Michael Dawn must lead a team of earth’s most skilled soldiers across its globe in search of five mysterious items known as the Scrolls. What seems like a routine mission, however, goes terribly wrong as Dawn and his team quickly realize that Xavier does not give up her treasures without a fight. To find the Scrolls, Captain Dawn must risk everything, including his love, his career, and his life.
Without the Scrolls, mankind's final hope is lost. With them, it might be even

Current book or project you’re working on:
The Seas of Darkness book three in the Xavier Series

What was the inspiration for your novel?
Before The Scrolls of Xavier, I had started several stories, but none of them ever made it past the first few pages. With this one though, it was different. The story resonated well with me, and I found myself daydreaming about it all the time. Before I knew it, I had played out the entire novel in my head. From there, it was just a matter of getting it written down.

Please share three interesting facts about your book which are not covered in the synopsis.

1) Forbidden love between Captain Dawn and a CIA agent Ashley Collins plays a key role in the story.

2) Defending the Scrolls are Xavier’s deadly indigenous known as the tribes.

3) The mission that Dawn leads is a joint operations undertaking, meaning that there are a cast full of soldiers from all different countries.

Do you have a favourite character from your current novel?
From my most recent novel Before the Storm, I would have to say Director Vizvant is my favourite character. His part is brief, and he’s certainly not one of the good guys, but I found writing his cynical and wickedly humorous quotes to be quite entertaining.  

If you could pick any well known or famous author to review your book who would you pick and why?
That’s almost a frightening thought, considering that other writers are always much more critical than normal readers, but given the choice, I would have to say H.G. Wells (ignoring the fact that he died in the 1900’s). I would love to hear what someone as influential in shaping the genre of science fiction thinks of my work.

What, or who, inspired you to write?
It’s hard to say, as I really can’t point to any one person or thing. I think it was just the need to craft stories, the joy I got from doing so, and the fact that my imagination was bursting at the seams that got me into writing.

Did you do any research for your most recent book?
There wasn’t any one subject that I needed to master in writing it, but then again, I can’t think of a day that went by that I didn’t look something up on the all-knowing Google. I guess in that respect I researched quite a lot.


What genre does your book fall into?

Which genres do you enjoy reading?
Almost anything that catches my eye, but I particularly enjoy books that fall in to the genres of horror, science fiction, and action/adventure.

What is the first book you remember reading, that affected how you thought or felt about something?
When I was a little kid, my mom suggested I read a book called Rackety Tam by Brian Jacques. After finishing it, I went on to read every book in the Redwall series. Those wonderful adventures forever changed how I looked at reading, opening my eyes to the power a good storyteller had.

Which three authors have inspired you the most, and why?

1) Brian Jacques, because he sparked my creativity and got me reading.

2) Orson Wells, because his books were the first that I read of any literary merit.

3) Stephen King, because he taught me how to develop characters, describe a scene, and, most of all, keep a reader entertained.

Have you ever had a book you enjoy re-reading?
I don’t really read books twice. Once I know how it ends, it’s just hard for me to get into it again. That being said, I have re-read several of Brian Jacques’ books when I was younger, and I could probably read The Hunger Games or 1984 over again too.

Do you read a book, while you are writing a book?
Not very often. If I get into a book while I’m writing, not only does it detract from my writing time, I often find the voice and style of that particular author slipping into my own work. While sometimes this can be a good thing, other times our styles are so different that I have to rewrite that section to make it match the rest of the book.

The process:

How many books have you written? Which book is your favourite and why?
Currently, I have written two, both in the Xavier Series. Of those, I think that the second one Before the Storm is my favourite, simply because I had a much easier time writing it seeing it was my second time around.

Is there anything that helps get you in the mood to write?
Soft music and a few minutes of daydreaming always does the trick.

What were three challenges you faced when writing your book?

1) Making things work out is often hard for me. I have a terrible habit of writing characters I don’t intend to die into terrible situations without having any idea how I will get them back out.

2) Time constraints plague me, and I’m sure this is common problem with many authors. Balancing school, marketing, writing, and everything else life throws at you is no easy task.

3) Editing. I don’t suppose this is really a challenge, I just hate it. It’d certainly necessary though, and along with my group of beta readers, I feel as if we do a great job.

What lessons have you learned as an aspiring writer?
Hard work is the key to success. Talent alone won’t cut it. The most talented man in the world couldn’t accomplish anything without work and drive and struggles. I think a lot of people don’t realize this.

Do you have any tricks, outlines, or methods that help you overcome writer’s block?
Before I start a new chapter, I always make a brief outline, just to get my thought process going. Other than that, lots of daydreaming and maybe some discussion with friends helps me overcome writer’s block.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned, either in the self-publishing or traditional publisher, route.
In self-publishing, I’ve learned that being a good marketer is just as crucial as being a good writer. It’s sort of sad, but unless people know about your book, it won’t get read no matter how good it is.

What is your favourite thing about being an author?
Hearing back from people who’ve read and loved my books is the most amazing thing in the business.

When people know that you’re an author, what is your least favourite question that they ask you?
Being self-published, it always irks me when people ask who my publisher is. It’s certainly not their fault, but for some reason it gets on my nerves.

How can people connect with you?


Where can readers find your book?

Signed copies can be purchased at

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