December 9, 2014

Becoming Nikki Blog Tour~Interview with Ashely!

Hi everyone! I'm participating in the blog tour of Ashley Elliott's new novel, Becoming Nikki, and she has been kind enough to answer a bunch of interview questions from me! Her blog is:  Do check it out!

Here's the synopsis for her book (and the cover is on the left. Isn't it gorgeous?):

What would you do if you were given the opportunity to rebuild a broken relationship? 

Alec and Nikki Scott are the perfect ice dancing duo, executing flawless technique and brilliant performance abilities each time they compete. No one doubts their camaraderie, not even their closest friends.

But looks can be deceiving. Off the ice, their relationship is in shambles. Ice dancing is the only thing they have in common anymore... and Alec wants to quit.

Just as Nikki feels like their relationship can't get any worse, an unexpected tragedy crashes into her life. She's left struggling with a difficult choice as her opinion of her brother slowly starts to change.

Whatever she decides, she knows her life will never be the same.

Now on to the questions-and answers! :)

1. What inspired your novel? (like, how did you get the idea for the story and such?)
Well, it all started when I discovered ice dancing while watching it during the 2010 Winter Olympics.  Meryl Davis and Charlie White were instantly my favorite and I started thinking about how much it would take to get to the Olympics.  I also had come up with the idea of a broken sister-sister relationship (which slowly morphed into a brother-sister one) around the same time, and, as I started developing the plot of that novel, the ice dancing part eventually fused with it.

2. Did you cast your novel with actors/famous people and if so, could you share a few members of the cast? 
Heehee.  I love character casting.  I started casting the actors who played Nikki and Alec and most of the other characters when I first started writing Nikki.  I think the original actors have pretty much stayed the same.  I found Alexis Bledel after watching a few episodes of Gilmore Girls and I found Jonathan Rhys Myers after watching August Rush (both of which I liked a lot but can’t really recommend because of Content).

3. Who's your favorite character in your novel and why?
Oh my stars.  That’s like asking if I have a favorite book or movie or CHILD (even though I don’t have any kids).  *sigh*  If pushed, I think I’d say Nikki, basically because she’s so much like me, it’s crazy.  I’m not as much as an introvert as her, but I’m definitely an introvert.  We’re both germaphobes, we both love to dance, and we both love to sing.  She’s enthusiastic and shy, just like me.  And she’s got a few of the same issues as me, too – we both have a hard time letting go of grudges and forgiving after someone’s wronged us.  But, in the end, we both eventually learn to forgive and forget.  (Dylan’s my favorite guy character, though.  He. Is. Awesome.)

4. What was the hardest part in the process of creating this book (writing, editing, etc.)?
Definitely the research.  I’ll let you in on a little secret – I don’t ice dance.  I can barely ice skate.  I never let go of the rail, and I’m afraid of falling and breaking my hip like an old lady.  It’s actually really embarrassing.  Anyway, I had to dosooooo much research for Nikki.  I watched literally dozens of ice dancing videos, read a few articles, and even got on an ice dancing forum.  It was really intense.  But, of course, I loved every minute of it.  And I still like to watch videos of Meryl and Charlie, but I have to limit myself.  ; )

5. Is this your favorite story that you've ever written?
BLAH.  Again with the favorite child question!!!  : D
Ummmm...  Would it be terrible if I said no?  It was my favorite when I started writing it, then I started my next novel (Sneakers and Hot Fudge Sundaes, which I still haven’t finished), and that became my favorite, then I started another novel (The Art of Letting Go), which, I’m fairly certain, is my favorite novel so far, basically because it’s the most depressing, deepest, and heart-wrenching story I’ve ever written.  But if you ask me what my favorite novel is when I start my next novel, it’ll probably have changed to that one.  : D
So, basically, the short answer is: No; my favorite novel is whichever one I’m working on at the moment.  : )

6. If you could have only one person in the world read your book, who would it be?
Hmm...  Probably Maia and Alex Shibutani.  They’re an ice dancing couple (and, thus, count as one) who are also brother and sister, like Nikki and Alec.  (And, no, I didn’t name Alec after Alex.  I didn’t discover the Shibutanis until late last year.)  I’d want them to read it because I want to know if I’ve gotten all of the ice dancing and siblings-who-ice-dance facts right.  ; )

7. Do you need absolute silence to write or does your inspiration flow with music and outside noises?
I love to write with music in the background, and I also love to write without listening to music.  (Because, sometimes, I’ll sing along with the music – even if it’s a soundtrack.)  I have five siblings, so it’s hard for me to find a quiet moment!  And, when I do find them, I seize them.

8. If you had a to spend a week snowbound in a log cabin with one of your characters who would you choose?
HA!  Um, I think I’d probably pick Natalie.  We’d watch period dramas together and laugh and take silly pictures of ourselves and eat junk food and have a great time.  It’d be fantastic.

9. Do you prefer to make people laugh or cry through your writing?
Hmm...  Probably both.  : D  My passion is writing, and, if possible, I want to move people through my writing.  And if they laugh or cry because they’re moved, that’s awesome.  : )

10. Any inspiring advice for other writers?
WRITE!!!  There’s a time for finding out whether to end a sentence with a preposition or not, pinning writing quotes and writing inspiration on Pinterest, and reading books about writing.  But there’s also a time for sitting down, turning off the distractions, and actually churning out a few (thousand) words.  One of my favorite authors, Robert Whitlow, wrote in his novel The Living Room, “Remember, a writer isn’t a writer except on the days when she turns on the computer and cranks out at least a few decent paragraphs.”  To which I reply, AMEN!

Thanks so much for answering my question, Ashley! And congratulations on your new book! I can't wait to read it. :) Don't miss the chance to win a free signed copy of her book! Here's the link:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ashley Elliott is a writer, reader, musician, photographer, tree-climber, and Leaguette. She speaks fluently in movie quotes and spends most of her time fangirling over her latest obsession. In her free time, she enjoys laughing with her friends, laughing over Christian indie films (but secretly loving them), and laughing with her five crazy siblings. Ashley is a homeschool graduate and is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Humanities through CollegePlus. She lives in Georgia with her parents and siblings, and doesn't have any pets.


  1. Thanks so much for hosting me! The Christmas-y feel of your blog is BEAUTIFUL, by the way!!!!! *sigh* I love Christmas. : )


    1. My pleasure! Aw, thank you so much. :) I love Christmas too. It's my favorite holiday!

  2. Great interview! Becoming Nikki sounds highly intriguing!!

    (And Natalie, I love the new winter header.... Lovely! ;))

  3. The book sounds fantastic! What a wonderful interview. :D

  4. Heidi~ Thank you so much! I know, doesn't it? I can't wait to read it. :) I want to apologize on taking so long on my email reply-it will happen, I promise! :)
    Melanie L~ Yes! It does sound fantastic! Thanks for commenting! :)

  5. Hi! I've awarded you over at my blog, please have a look:)


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