MY INTERVIEW WITH ABBEY LEE NASH

MY INTERVIEW WITH ABBEY LEE NASH

 

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What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?

My name is Abbey Lee Nash, and my novel Lifeline is YA contemporary.

 

Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?

Lifeline is the story of popular high school senior Eli Ross who has what looks like the perfect life. He’s captain of the lacrosse team at LionsHeart Academy, and he’s dating Savannah, the hottest, most popular girl in school. But that seemingly perfect life comes crashing down when Eli overdoses at a party and is sent to LakeShore Recovery Center, an inpatient substance abuse treatment center where he’ll spend the next twenty-eight days. 

In rehab, Eli meets Libby, the sharp-edged artist, whose freshly tattooed scars mirror the emotional scars Eli has been trying his best to ignore. But Eli soon learns that if he’s to have any chance at a future, he’ll first have to confront his past.

Like many families, my family has been touched by opioid addiction. My younger brother has struggled with addiction for a very long time. Similar to Eli, my brother and I grew up in middle-class suburban areas; both of our parents are educators with master’s degrees. But addiction doesn’t discriminate by age, gender, race, or socioeconomic status. In writing Eli’s story, it felt important to create a character who seemingly had everything going for him—athletic prowess, popularity, and a loving, supportive family—and yet still suffered from the disease of addiction. It’s my hope that Lifeline can help to reduce the stigma that often surrounds addiction by starting conversations that will hopefully lead to increased awareness, prevention, and hope for the possibility of recovery.

 

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What kind of research did you do for this book?

Because of my brother’s experience, my family has visited several recovery facilities, so I had some personal background to begin with. I have also participated in Al-Anon and Nar-Anon meetings. These meetings offer help and hope for the family members of those with addiction. In addition, Dr. Steven L. Jaffe at Emory University in Atlanta, GA gave me permission to use his Adolescent Substance Abuse Intervention Workbooks, which are used in recovery centers and group homes, to help inspire the counseling sessions and group therapy at Lakeshore. He very kindly sent me those and other resources, so I had more than I needed to inform the story.  

 

What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?

In addition to my own writing, I teach Writing and Literature at Bryn Athyn College. Because my work day starts early, I try to carve out writing time before anyone else in my house is awake. I have found that establishing routines around my writing time can help me keep that time a priority. I always write on the same spot on my couch, wrapped up in my grandmother’s quilt, with a lit candle and a hot cup of coffee. The coziness invites creativity! As for writing goals, I try to write at least 1-2 pages a day. However, I have two very active kids and a busy family life in addition to my day job, and I believe that busy working writers need to be realistic and gentle with themselves when it comes to the goals they set. Even a paragraph is better than nothing!

 

 

Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?

I am working on a new book—a YA romance that is not yet titled. Stay tuned!

 

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Where do your ideas come from?

Ideas are constantly flowing in—from conversations I have with people to stories I hear on the news. I think most writers can relate to that! I have an “Idea” notebook, and I jot everything down. For an idea to take root, however, it has to resonate with me on a personal level. Lifeline was inspired by personal experience; there are elements of my WIP that deal with some health challenges I have had to overcome. No matter what genre I am writing in, my hope is that the realistic issues I explore, and their subsequent outcomes, will resonate with all readers.

 

 

 

What is the hardest part of writing for you?

Trudging through the murky middle!

 

What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?

I love them! I’m one of those people that goes to the movies early to watch the trailers for upcoming movies. In the same way, a good book trailer makes me so excited to read an upcoming book. Make sure to check out my book trailer for Lifeline {here/below}.

 

 

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

My children, of course. No matter what I write, my kids are the best things about me, and I get the most joy in watching them do the things that they love and achieving their dreams.

 

What’s the best thing about being an author?

When someone has read my book and enjoyed it or been personally impacted by it and takes the time to tell me about that experience, I am incredibly humbled. I write because I love to do it, because I can’t not do. The fact that my writing might impact others is the absolute best part about it.

 

 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Hopefully with a few more books under my belt!

 

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Have you always liked to write?

Ever since I was little. My grandmother gave me my first journal in second grade and told me I should start journaling—I’ve been journaling ever since, and it has been a hugely important part of my writing process.

 

 

What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Don’t write for the “current market”—write YOUR story, the story you need to tell, because chances are it’s exactly what someone else needs to read.

 

If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?

Do I still get to love books? If so, I’d probably still be a teacher. I love sharing my love of literature and exploring new avenues of thought and analysis with my students.

 

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Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?

When Lifeline was first released, I did, but I realized that I would make myself crazy trying to keep up with them all. As a writer, or any kind of artist, really, you’re never going to please everyone, and you’ll lose your art and yourself in the process of trying. I do my best to keep that in mind if I come across any negative reviews.

 

 Where did your love of books come from?

My parents always read to me when I was little—I’m sure that played a big part of it. I remember that when I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe for the first time, I realized that a story could have layers of meaning beyond the words. That was definitely a pivotal moment for me as both a reader and a writer.

 

Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?

I love John Green, Jennifer Niven, Rainbow Rowell. I love that their writing meets readers where they are, that they are not afraid to go to dark places, that there is poetry in their words, and that, as a reader, you can cry and laugh in the same chapter. My all-time favorites are The Fault in Our Stars, All the Bright Places, and Eleanor and Park.

 

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Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?

I can’t pick—it would be like choosing between my children. 😊

  

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Both. A particularly long writing or editing session can exhaust me, but an hour or so in the morning gives me just the right amount of energy for the rest of my day—like a brisk jog or the perfect cup of coffee.

 

What is your writing Kryptonite?

My kids, my dog, TV—you name it. That’s why I write in the morning—if I write in the afternoons or evenings, there’s way too much other stuff going on in my house that distracts me.

   

 

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Where can your fans find you and follow??

Twitter @nash_abbey

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/abbeynashbooks/

Website http://www.abbeynash.com

 

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Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️

 

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