Two events of significance occurred during of the birth of Ashley L. Knight in 1977. One was the VC10 jet flight time record from London to Bahrain was smashed by her father in his determination to be by her side and the appearance of brilliant meteor showers over the desert island that was witnessed by her godmother. Raised in Bahrain, the legendary kingdom of Dilmun, Ashley grew up on the shores of the Arabian Gulf, white haired and blue-eyed, swimming in the warm tidal shallows with her mother at seven days old as all baby mermaids are raised.
Moving away from the gathering war storms of the Middle East conflict, her family settled in mountainous Idaho, USA, to the seasonal rhythms of ranch life. Ashley's love of horses and riding skills found her representing major rodeos as an elegant Rodeo Queen and striking spokesperson.
By 15 years Ashley was already enrolled in university in Idaho where she majored in English/ Writing Emphasis, with a minor in Biology. Her English language skills resulted in a coaching job from her professor for new writers at university. College summers were spent with her younger sister at the ranch riding by the Little Salmon River or at Disney World as an intern in their summer program. Talented in poetry and lyric writing, Ashley began to compose and perform her own songs at an early age, taking formal voice training at college and competing in singing talent shows. Currently, she is the lead vocalist of a rock band in Boise known as Pile of Bones.
A chance meeting in downtown Boise brought love's destiny to her life. Greg and Ashley were married in McCall by the glacial blue waters of the lake. Inseparable, they now have two small children of their own.
Ashley continues her love of water legacy with release of her first published novel 'Fins' in 2010 and has completed the sequel 'Fathom' due for release in 2011. Ashley lives in Idaho and is currently writing the third story of the mermaid trilogy.
I met Ashley on Goodreads where I helped promote her insanely awesome FINS trilogy. Trust me, these books are unlike anything you've ever read before! I've read both FINS and the upcoming sequel FATHOM, both of which are fin-tastic reads, and I can't wait to read the third and final book, FOREVER. Recently, Ashley agreed to participate in an interview, and here's what she had to say!
What inspired you to write FINS?
A picture of a mermaid & a merman entwined in a kiss. I was a bit bored one day & typed in "pictures of mermaids" on Google & began sorting through the pages upon pages of irritating junk that came up. Once in a while some really beautiful pictures came up but then I saw it & it was as if a computer download hit me. The whole tale smacked me upside the head. I grabbed a pen & wrote as much as I could. I'll send you the picture.
When did you realize FINS was going to be a trilogy?
Immediately. I told my publisher right away what I wanted to do & she agreed it was the only way to go. She even hinted at furthering it - making it a series, but I'm not sure I have the stamina for say, 10 FINS books. I don't want it to get old.
Which character do you identify most with?
This'll make you laugh - Élan actually. Morgan's dialogue is how I think, but I am a mother & I always saw myself more as her. Funny huh? I think most authors identify with the main character. Élan is a healer & has The Love -I was going to be a doctor - studied medical books since I was 6. I love that she is a doctor without going to school. That'd be really nice!
If a producer decided to pick up FINS, would you rather see a film version or a television series? Do any actors/actresses resemble any of your characters?
Great question! I'd be honored to have FINS on film at all. My big fear would be to have it cheapenedso I would be very concerned with the who, what, when, where, etc... would be dealing with it. The worst thing would be to have your heart/art/work crushed by someone who just couldn't care less. As far as the characters, my fans on Facebook all wanted to know who the characters resembled, so I finally gave in & tried to pick people who I thought were as close to how I imagined the characters. For instance: I think actress Robin Wright Penn resembles Élan. Brandon Routh resembles Tammer. Michael Pare from the 1980's movie Eddie & the Cruisers resembles Thayde & (Garrett you'll have to put that girls name in here since I don't remember her name!!) resembles Morgan. Troen looks like Chong from the 80's movies Cheech & Chong. If your readers type in "FINS Trilogy" on Facebook & like the page, they can see all the pictures of actors & singers, models, etc I chose that resemble my characters.
How do you feel about all this attention mermaids are suddenly getting in the media?
I'm a little bummed actually. What with vampires getting all the attention, I was thinking "Oh! I'm going to be the sole writer who'll being mermaids forward!" What a joke! Great minds must think alike. I must see the silver lining... hmmm... It means that should FINS shine through, it truly is a great book. :-)
In FINS, your mermaids have a dazzling array of magical powers, and the color of their tails is directly related to the power they wield. What powers/tail color would you want to have if you were a mermaid?
I'd want Morgan's tail as she ends up being "special". It'd be great to have her powers, don't you think?
What do you hope readers will take away from your novel after reading it?
I hope that with FINS, they will simply fall in love with the book - that they'll think "wow! That was different!" With FATHOM, I truly hope that there will be at least a few teenagers that will think "I feel like that every day. There IS a way I can get through this, that I can feel better?" I went through a lot when I was a teenager & didn't have an outlet that I felt was supportive & helpful enough for me. I'm surprised I'm alive today. Though the book is a bit darker, it is filled with hope & better answers & I hope that if it helps even one person, it will have been completely worth all those hours writing it.
Finally, what other projects - if you’re at liberty to say - are you working on besides the FINS trilogy?
I am working on three books at the moment! Talk about overload, but it gives me things to jump to when one subject gets old. FATHOM is set to be released in May & is the stepping stone to FOREVER which I'm hoping to finish next year.
My second book I'm muddling around with is another YA book called Falwyn - a tale about a very strong minded princess that falls in love with a commoner who is accused of murder. But, he's not human - he's a Falwyn - half human, half fairy!
The third is an adult book about a Navy Seal returning from war in Afghanistan to his regular machining job. But this time he's dealing with PTSD. How can he hope to return to regular life & function normally?
Go to ashleylknight.com to learn more about Ashley and her amazing books! Ashley said her website is going under construction during the month of May to get ready for the publication of FATHOM, and she apologizes for any problems you may experience while checking it out.
So, immerse yourself in FINS and FATHOM. FINS is out now and FATHOM will be released the last week of May!