About the Author
Ashtyn Newbold discovered a love of writing early in high school. Inspired by regency period romance, she wrote her first novel at the age of sixteen. Because she can’t vacation in her favorite historical time periods, she writes about them instead. When not crafting handsome historical heroes, she enjoys baking, sewing, music, and spoiling her dog. She dreams of traveling to England and Ireland. Ashtyn is currently studying English and creative writing at Utah Valley University. She lives in Lehi, Utah with her family.
1. Whom or what inspired you to become an author?
I've always loved storytelling and reading, but I always felt inspired to write after I finished a series or book that I absolutely loved. I wanted to create something that would make others feel the way I felt whenever I read something I loved. My first attempt at writing a book was when I was twelve years old, and I didn't make it very far. A few years later when I was fifteen, I gave writing another try after my English teacher assigned a creative writing paper that reminded me how much I loved writing. I had recently been introduced to the Regency period and as a romantic, I knew I would combine the two and write a regency romance. The book I started that year was published in 2016.
2. What authors do you enjoy? Do these authors inspire your own writing?
Of course I was inspired by Jane Austen and all the amazingly entertaining movie adaptations of her books, and Georgette Heyer. Also contemporary writers like Sarah Eden, Jennifer Moore, Julie Klassen, Julianne Donaldson, Jodi Hedlund, and Josi Kilpack to name a few. Seeing the works by contemporary writers motivated me and assured me that publishing a book in that genre was possible.
3 .When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Did becoming an author ever cross your mind?
I guess being an author might have crossed my mind, but my interests changed a lot over the years. I always had creative pursuits though, such as singing, acting, art, baking, and designing. I'm so glad I was inspired to write. It's another creative outlet that I now find to be the most rewarding and fun.
4. What inspired the idea for Lies and Letters?
After I received a publishing offer for my first book, Mischief and Manors, the wheels started turning again. I was focused on revising my first book and submitting to publishers and hadn't written anything new for a long time. I love when writers have characters cross over between books, so I started to consider the characters in my first novel and which of them had the greatest story to tell. As readers will notice, I chose Charlotte Lyons, one of the most unlikeable characters from my first book. I started to think about why she was so selfish and snobby. What was her upbringing like? Who was her greatest role model and influence? I wanted to give her a chance to redeem herself and to grow. That's when I started dreaming up Charlotte's story. She would be faced with hard things, pushed to new heights, and have her beliefs challenged and her eyes opened. By the end of the story I just loved her and the change of heart she had. I hope others will too. :)
5. What do you want readers to take away from reading Lies and Letters?
The wonderful thing about books is that everyone will feel something unique and draw different insights from them. As I was writing this story I took away important lessons about friendship, kindness, redemption, and love. I love to hear what readers have to say. My wish is that the reader will feel happy and giddy when they read Lies and Letters. I want them to feel connected to the characters. It's my dream that they'll still think about the book after turning the last page.
6. When you are not writing, what hobbies do you enjoy?
I love anything creative! I love baking, sewing, singing, reading, and watching all my favorite movies over and over--North and South, Harry Potter, Leap Year, and The Count of Monte Cristo are definitely on the list. I love reading outside in the summer, going to the pool, and spending time with my friends and family.
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