Meet This Author: Ashley M. Coleman

Q: When did you first begin writing stories?
Almost as early as I can remember holding a pen. I remember storytelling being a thing for me extremely early on. My mom was always an avid reader, so we read a lot of books. She would buy me journals and that was where I would start writing little stories
of my own.
Q: Was it scary diving into the book publishing world?
It wasn’t scary; I would say that it was a learning experience. But I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a great team that has made the process of publishing a debut novel a very exciting opportunity.
Q: How did you get into the romance genre? 
When I pitched the book, it was initially as women’s fiction. But I feel like that’s such a close cousin to romance. I think I’ve always loved a good love story. Although a lot of my affinity for romance comes from film, there are great writers like Alexa Martin, Jasmine Guillory and Denise Williams whose work I enjoy.
Q: Who was your favorite author when you were younger?
There are so many, but I would have to say two that made me feel like maybe I could write stories of my own one day were certainly Terry McMillan and Diane McKinney-Whetstone.
Q: How would you describe your writing style in three words?
Conversational, witty, and heartfelt. (Love this question!)
Q: What themes will readers find in your debut? 
Some of the themes I think you’ll find are strong female friendship, complicated but nurturing family structure, and the conflict of being open to love while also chasing a dream.

Q: What inspired you to write your latest release: Good Morning, Love
 In many ways, Good Morning, Love felt like the book I’d been writing since I started working in music. But if I had to pinpoint it to one moment, I was intrigued by this thought of “what happens when a playboy falls in love?” That led me down this road of exploration and into these two characters of Carli and Tau.
Q: What future projects are you currently working on that you can share with us, readers? I’m looking forward to a short story called “Breakfast for Dinner” that I will have featured in The Heartbeat newsletter. It’s free, weekly short stories celebrating love curated by fellow writers Hannah Orenstein and Georgia Clark.
Q: Do you outline your stories, or do you just dive into writing?
I do a hybrid of both. For the most part, I like to start by diving in and seeing where it takes me, but I always come to a point where I have to slow down and begin to outline. I like to dive deeper into my characters and essentially create beats to hit for the narrative arc.
Q: What is your go to beverage when working on your writing? 
Hot tea! I love a jasmine green or a peach oolong. Something about the warmness, having to let it cool, feels like it gives me time to think about what I want to write.
Q: What is the writing and publishing process like for you?
I’m not sure it’s anything too out of the norm. Writing is just sitting down with my laptop and getting to work. Sometimes I like to switch it up and write at a coffee shop or co- working space. But for the most part it’s hammering it out right at my desk. I tend to have a small notebook for each project I’m working on. Occasionally, I’ll write out particularly emotional scenes by hand. And publishing has been revision, revision, revision.
Q: For aspiring writers in your genre, what advice would you give to them?
My advice would be to read as much as you can and write. Like honestly, tell the story that you want to tell and make it the best you possibly can.

Q: Tell us about your main characters in Good Morning, Love.
Carlisa “Carli” Henton is this fiercely independent and driven young woman making a
way for herself in New York City. She is an account manager by day and a
singer/songwriter by night who has calculated every step of her journey until she meets
Tau Anderson. Tau is a rising R&B star who is hitting his stride. He’s confident, rich, and
looking for more in life outside of fame and fortune.
Q: Where can readers find you and your books online?
You can find me tweeting way too often at @ashleymcoleman_ and through my website

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