Wednesday, September 10, 2014

When You Make It Home by Claire Ashby [Blog Tour, Author Interview & Giveaway]

Genre:Women's Fiction, Contemporary
June 2014
Published By:  Red Adept Publishing
WebsiteClaire Ashby

When You Make It Home

                                     Where to get:

Meg Michaels, a bookstore owner, has already walked away from two cheating exes. She’s learned her lesson and has her mind set on success—until she gets knocked up. Embarrassed and unwilling to discuss her situation with friends and family, she wears layers to hide the pregnancy.

When Meg gets sick at a party, she’s mortified. Even worse, Theo Taylor, the guest of honor, discovers her secret. Theo, an Army medic wounded in the war, agrees not to reveal her condition, and the two forge a bond of friendship that blossoms into love.

Theo is soon filling all of Meg’s late-night cravings—and not just the pregnancy-induced ones. But can their love overcome all the obstacles that stand between them and creating a happy family?

I'm excited to welcome Claire Ashby with her debut novel "When You Make It Home. Thanks for the interview Claire. Let's get right into it.

What inspired you to write this book?

Here I was, busy working on a book, and Meg was just this really cool side character. She’s this go to girl for everyone else’s problems. I’d planned on having Meg’s book next, but I loved writing her. I thought, what’s the worst thing to happen to a girl like her? Someone who works so hard to hold up the image of having her act together? And I instantly knew that unplanned pregnancy after the falling out of her engagement was exactly where she’d never expect to find herself.

How did you come up with the title?

WHEN YOU MAKE IT HOME was not the original title. While working with my editor, we came to the point in the story where Theo is talking about this tree that was in front of his childhood home. He tells Meg that when he came home from Afghanistan, the tree that had stood in his front yard his entire life was gone. It had been torn out during a storm while he was away. Theo doesn’t recognize his home at first, without the tree there. He knows it’s his home, but it doesn’t feel like the same place anymore. My editor and I decided we wanted to come up with a title that reflected that scene.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Yes, absolutely. Family is not always where you expect to find it. The world will tell you: this is what a family is, but our society has redefined the meaning of the word family. Family is whatever you call home. The key word here is: YOU. So I ask my readers, what do YOU call home? 

What books have influenced your life most?

This is a tough question for me to answer because as I change different books influence me. I don’t know if I’d honestly say any book influences my real life, but my writer life, sure. I read all kinds of books for different reasons. The last books that have influenced me were A Grown Up Kind of Pretty and Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson. Well, and Between, Georgia. JJ, as I like to call her, can spin a web.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Well… I think that’s obvious by the way I fangirled that last answer.

What book are you reading now?

I’m reading Deeper, by Robin York. I love the NA genre. I wonder where it’s been all my life? Anyway, Robin York is amazing.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

No, but editing and revising can be addicting. I could rewrite this book every day for the rest of my life. If you are doing this to your book, walk away, my friend. Walk away.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Yes, I made up stories and I had to write them all down to keep them in order.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

The biggest challenge is always trust. Trust that it’s working. Trust that you’ve done enough. Trust that you haven’t done too much.

Who designed the covers?

Glendon Haddix from Streetlight Graphics designed my cover. I’ve never actually spoken with him because he works directly with the Red Adept Publishing staff. He has no idea how many times I’ve told people I love him.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Letting go. Eventually you have to let go and accept that the story is done.

About the Author

Claire Ashby was born and raised in the heart of Atlanta. At a young age, she began keeping journals and over time embellished the details of her quiet days. Eventually, she let go of reality altogether and delved completely into the world of fiction.

When she’s not reading or writing, she spends her time watching extreme survival shows and taking long walks after nightfall. She has an unnatural love of high places, but still regrets the time she skydived solo. She believes some things are better left to the imagination. She resides in Austin with her family and a pack of wild dogs.

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