Ashley Poston is the author of Bookish and the Beast. Her book re-imagines “Beauty and the Beast” through the dual perspectives of small-town girl Rosie Thorne and Hollywood royalty Vance Reigns. Ashley lives in South Carolina. YEM was able to speak with Ashley about how she got the idea for the book, what her writing process was like, and some of her personal favorite books.
Young Entertainment Mag: Was writing something you always knew that you wanted to do?
Ashley Poston: Yes!
YEM: Can you tell us about your book Bookish and the Beast?
Ashley: It’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling set in a small-town, about finding out who you are and who you want to be, and the books that shape you along the way.
YEM: How did the idea for this book come to you?
Ashley: I absolutely adore the fairytale, and all the different iterations of it, so it felt natural to close out Once Upon a Con with my personal favorite!
YEM: When you write your books is there something specific that you make sure to incorporate into all of them?
Ashley: Yes! I love writing diverse and queer characters who just are. Queer characters don’t need trauma to be included in a story, and their value in a narrative shouldn’t hinge on it.
YEM: What is something that you hope your readers will gain from reading your books?
Ashley: Joy. Happiness. Comfort. The feeling of curling up with a thick blanket near a crackling fire.
YEM: What does your writing process like?
Ashley: I usually find my characters first, and the story evolves around them.
YEM: What are some of your personal favorite books?
Ashley: Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson, Legendborn by Tracy Deonn.
YEM: How did it feel when you put your first book out for an audience to read?
YEM: What is some advice you have for others who want to be authors as well?
Ashley: Try, try, try. Keep writing — and write books you want to read because you’ll have to read that sucker a thousand times before it’s published, so might as well write something you love!
YEM: What part of the writing process is the most fun for you?
Ashley: I love all of it! But I think I really love the “ah-ha” moments — those breakthrough scenes when I finally find the story I’m trying to tell. Gives me chills every time.
YEM: Who are some of your writing inspirations?
Ashley: I have so many, but my biggest inspirations are the fanfic authors who write 500k+ fanfics purely for the love of the story and the fandom and the characters. That kind of dedication is always awe-inspiring to me.
YEM: What are some book genres you hope to be able to write in the future?
Ashley: The sky’s the limit! I want to try everything!