The Author Spotlight Questions and Answers is here with a new addition - this time we have a post from Ashley Rich, who is talking about her new book LAVANDER FIELDS, and life in California.
Who are you and where do you call home right now?
I am the wife, and I am the mom, but there are a few hours each day when I get to be simply, Ash. I enjoy dumb puns, quick wit, and a good scare. We call northern California home, and while we love all the perks of our surrounding mountains and lakes, the constant heat is wearing us all out.
Tell us about your latest book: your inspiration for it, how you got through your most difficult challenge in writing it, and what you love about it?
For the last fifteen years, I’ve worked for a busy ophthalmic practice. Our patient demographic’s approximate age group is geriatric. Some of the patients come in routinely, and the staff and I got to know them pretty well. I’ve seen a lot of patients crumble to various age-related ailments and it broke my heart every time. As a writer’s mind is apt to do, I let my thoughts wander, and before I knew it, I was knocking up Alzheimer’s patients and trying to make the best of it on paper. If I could somehow use this debilitating disease to give the afflicted a second chance. Give life instead of take it. And just like that, Lavender Fields was born.
The most difficult part about writing Lavender Fields was the believability. While it isn’t entirely impossible for an eighty-eight year old to become pregnant, it is highly improbable. I spoke with some medical professionals and was able to make it work.
What I loved about writing Lavender Fields was the magic of it all. Taking something seen as only a negative, a burden, and turning it into a doorway to give a second chance. I’m all about finding the positive in even the direst of situations.
What are a few of your hobbies?
I read. I write. I play Fortnite and Zelda. This Fortnite thing happened by accident. My son is at that age where hanging out with mom is no longer cool. One day, curiosity got the better of me, and while he was at school, I decided I was going to play, and surprise him when he got home. I figured even if I was awful, he’d get a laugh and maybe we could play together. I ended up loving it. Whoops. I also enjoy walking the local trails, hitting those step goals.
If you had your own food truck, what would it serve?
Angel food cake. No extras. No whip cream. No Strawberries. Just plain angel food cake. And candy-covered almonds. And on Tuesdays, there would be tacos.
What do you want to get better at doing, writing-wise?
I really would like to improve my world building. Setting up the surroundings is a chore for me. I want to get to the action, the dialogue, the character building. I tend to rush the setting to get it out of the way. I’m working on it.
What TV series are you into right now and why?
We are trying to watch Lost in Space on Netflix as a family, but it’s not as good as we had hoped. We typically don’t watch television. Youtube, however, is always on. Motorcycles or video game streams. I listen to whatever my husband or son is watching while I read.
What movie do you quote the most?
Pretty in Pink. “Blaine? His name is Blaine? That’s a major appliance, that’s not a name.”
What do you collect, even a little bit? Tell us about your favorite one.
I used to collect turtles. Plastic ones, ceramic ones, crystal ones, but that faded into Unicorns, and now I’m onto flamingos. Currently, my favorite flamingo “thing” is an awesome tumbler-cup my parents gave me for my birthday. Since it has been in my possession, I haven’t used another cup for a cold drink.
What’s your preferred genre of book when you just want to escape?
I want to be scared. I enjoy horror, buts its hard to find a really scary read. You can’t really get the jump factor into the written word, but I’m always on the hunt. Does anyone have any recommendations? :)
What do you like to do on vacation?
Read with my feet in some water. Edge of the pool, in a lake, or the ocean. But I only want my feet wet. LOL I also like to find local bookshops and walk as much as possible.
Is there another genre you’ve been itching to write in?
Urban Fantasy. I’ve got one in the works now. I’m loving it so far, its soothing the itch.
What unusual object do you like to bring with you if you leave the house?
I stuff my purse with napkins because apparently putting the travel pack of tissues I purchase is too hard. (Sneaks away to put tissues into my purse)
If you had a champion racing pigeon, what would you name it and what would its tagline be?
Pigeoto. You can’t catch him at all. ( I like Pokemon, its how I get my steps in.)
Finally, give us one recommendation for something - movie, TV, game, food - that you enjoyed recently.
This one is easy. Go and see A Quiet Place. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a movie that good.
About Lavander Fields
Esther has lost her grip on reality. She suffers from Alzheimer’s and often visits her delusional world of Lavender Fields. There, she is young again and full of life, free from aches and pains. In her fields she falls in love with her literal dream man, and a heated romance ensues.
Lexi, no longer able to care for her sister, Esther, hides from her guilt behind the inherited family trait, alcoholism. When Esther begins to claim the fields are real, Lexi dives deeper into the bottle, shying away from her husband who needs her, and missing out on the last few moments with the sister who raised her.
Gemma, Esther’s head nurse finds herself stuck between the drunken wrath of Lexi and her ornery patient. When Esther starts rambling about Lavender Fields, babies, kissing men, and claiming pregnancy, Gemma must interpret what parts of the delusion are fantasy, or if it is only a darker side of reality.
After a series of events, the three women, Esther, Gemma and Lexi must find a way to work together in a touching tale of second chances, family drama and miracles.
The column will continue soon...Stay tuned for new installments!