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Ashley Poston: On Love, Death, and Books

Author Ashley Poston discusses how she combined her love of ghost stories, romance, and books into her new romance novel, The Dead Romantics.

Ashley Poston writes stories about love and friendship and ever afters. A native to South Carolina, she now lives in a small grey house with her sassy cat and too many books. You can find her on the internet, somewhere, watching cat videos and reading fan fiction. Follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Ashley Poston: On Love, Death, and Books

Ashley Poston

In this post, Ashley discusses how she combined her love of ghost stories, romance, and books into her new romance novel, The Dead Romantics, her advice for other writers, and more!

Name: Ashley Poston
Literary agent: Holly Root
Book title: The Dead Romantics
Publisher: Berkley
Release date: June 28
Genre/category: Romance
Previous titles: Geekerella, The Princess and the Fangirl, Bookish and the Beast, Heart of Iron, Soul of Stars, Among the Beasts & Briars
Elevator pitch for the book: When a disillusioned ghostwriter who no longer believes in love returns to her family’s funeral home to bury her late father, she finds herself haunted by the ghost of her very hot and very recently deceased editor.

Ashley Poston: On Love, Death, and Books

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What prompted you to write this book?

I’ve always loved ghost stories—especially ones with romances in them, and at the time I was grappling with the loss of a very dear family member the year before. I was stuck a bit in my career, and I wasn’t sure where I wanted to head next.

So, I wrote The Dead Romantics initially for myself and included everything I love about ghost stories and romance and books about books into it. I wrote it as a comfort, and I’m really happy that other people are finding comfort and laughter in it, too!

How long did it take to go from idea to publication? And did the idea change during the process?

I think the idea came to me around January 2020. I sent it to my agent—and she immediately fell in love with the story, and soon after Amanda Bergeron at Berkley read it and understood it on a core level. Her edits and ideas really made this book what it is—she has a fantastic eye for character and tension, and the book wouldn’t be what it is without her!

But overall, The Dead Romantics hasn’t changed very much between inception and publication—well, aside from the fact that in January, for about a week, it was a fanfic!

Were there any surprises or learning moments in the publishing process for this title?

You know, for the first time—not really! Since I have quite a few books in my backlist, they’ve all run the gamut of “what can go wrong” so this time around, nothing really took me by surprise! Besides, my publisher has been an absolutely dream. I love my team at Berkley, they are really excellent humans!

Ashley Poston: On Love, Death, and Books

Were there any surprises in the writing process for this book?

I am being incredibly honest with this answer when I say: I was surprised about how many terrible, awful, no good, very bad puns you can make about death. And I am fairly sure I used every single one of them in The Dead Romantics!

What do you hope readers will get out of your book?

I hope readers will find joy and comfort in The Dead Romantics. It’s a little bit sad, and a little bit funny—but things kind of have to be, to find those good goodbyes.

If you could share one piece of advice with other writers, what would it be?

Write the book you want to see in the world. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel—that’s impossible at this point, anyway. What makes your book different and unique is the fact that you, with your experiences and your humor and your heart, are writing it. 

Writing Women's Fiction | Writer's Digest University

You’re not sure how to describe women’s fiction, but when you read it, you know that’s the kind of novel you want to write. They’re the stories you relate to, that grab your heart and your imagination. They make you feel as if you know the characters, as if you’re sharing the journey. But how can you be sure that the story you write fits into the genre you love and captures and keeps your reader’s attention. By identifying the essential elements that make up women’s fiction, gaining the insight to see inside your main character, and honing the skills needed to bring women’s fiction to life on the page.

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