Today I have the pleasure of speaking with author Ashley Chunell
. Thanks for taking time to talk with me today Ashley
To start, please tell us about your newest release A Melody in Harmony
"A Melody in Harmony" is my first GLBT novel that I wrote at the beginning of this year. I became very interested in TV shows with gay characters and gay couples and I was given the idea to write a book about a gay couple a few times, but wasn't sure about writing another book after I released my first novel "Masterpiece" last year. One night, I came up with the idea of two gay, male characters and that's when Noah Nash and Ronan Shea were born.
What was your inspiration for A Melody in Harmony
I had two goals with this story: to showcase the love these two young men share for each other and to shed light on the bigotry and hate that still unfortunately exists in the world. A lot of the gay-bashing and homophobic remarks that are mentioned in the book are actually things I've heard and seen in real life, which makes it even more real to me.
What is your favorite line from the novel and why?
I don't know if I can pick a favorite line from something that I wrote. To those who have read the book, what is your favorite line?
Did you have the title for this book from the start, or did that evolve with your writing?
It definitely evolved from my writing. I had no idea what the title was going to be for the longest time, but I knew I wanted it to relate to music because the main character is a pianist. Essentially, Noah and Ronan are the "melody" and throughout the book, they strive to live in harmony. It's kind of a play on words.
What has surprised you most about the publishing business and why?
I actually self-published both of my novels through CreateSpace.
If you could go back and do one thing over, what would it be and why?
With "A Melody in Harmony?" I don't think there's anything I would do over. I honestly love the way the entire book came out and I'm very proud of it.
Do you have a particular goal that you wish to reach, in terms of writing?
Honestly, writing is just a hobby to me. When I wrote "Masterpiece," I did not plan for it to become what it did. Same goes for "A Melody in Harmony," except my goal was for it to become a novel, though I wasn't sure if it would even be as long as "Masterpiece" and it ended up being almost 10,000 more words!
Are there any occupational hazards to being an author?
Definitely. I think it's hard in the beginning to get yourself and your writing out there and you should definitely have a backup plan.
What things do you find yourself doing that you said you'd "never" do?
With my writing? Well, with "A Melody in Harmony," there are a few things. One is that, I personally never swear or curse, but my characters say "hell" a few times. That's one thing I never thought I would put in my writing, but I just thought it fit for my characters. I may not swear, but I think these characters do. Another thing is something that I debated about doing and finally decided to put it in there, which is having the gay couple sleep together. Again, it's not me, but it's something I think my characters would do.
What do you do to relax?
Write! Writing and listening to music are the most relaxing things.
What are some of your hobbies?
Like I mentioned before, writing is definitely a hobby. I also love dancing. I dance a lot of Hip Hop and ballroom and I absolutely love it.
Do you have any nicknames?
Usually people just call me Ash. Sometimes people call me Amber, which is my middle name. And my sister calls me D (long story).
If you could be any super hero who would you be? And why?
Hmm, I've never really thought about it. I was really into superheroes when I was younger. I always really like Jubilee from X-Men. It'd be cool to shoot sparkles from my hands and she's Wolverine's sidekick!
What writing project are you working on now?
I'm actually in the process of writing a sequel to "A Melody in Harmony." This is the first I'm talking about it and I definitely did not plan on writing a sequel, it just sort of happened shortly after I published this novel. I'm really excited for it! I'm not sure when it'll be finished or released, so for right now I'll just be focusing on the release of "A Melody in Harmony."
Is there anything else you would like to add today?
Thank you so much to everyone for the support and for buying my books. It really means a lot and I hope especially "A Melody in Harmony" is able to help teenagers and young people of the LGBT community.
Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions for us today Ashley
Thank you so much!
Interviewed by: Tammy