The Leaf, fiction, Issue 31, June 1, 2015
Birthday? August 8, 1980
When did you start writing? Once I learned to read, I don't believe there was ever a time when I wasn't writing.
When and what and where did you first get published? My only previous credit for fiction is in the Northridge Review at California State University Northridge.
What themes do you like to write about? In short fiction I think I gravitate towards themes of identity, anxiety, and stranger unnameable emotions or experiences. I tend to start with a concept or a feeling and try to find a way to express it through story. Other times I get an idea because I had a weird interaction on a bus, so there's no telling. In novels I want to create epic adventures with high concepts, big themes, and characters that teenagers will write three paragraph hashtags about. I dig smart asses, nerds, rogues, robots, dopplegangers, and everybody eventually being forced to make an impossible choice.
What books and/or stories have most resonated with you as an author? Why? How do these stories and their characters find expression in your work? I've always read from a variety of genres and styles. I'm never able to quite settle on favorites or stick to one type of thing. I'm sure I've been as influenced by Star Trek novels and Harry Potter as I have been by Kafka or Fitzgerald or Vonnegut. I think every bit of media you consume and everything you experience is going to seep into your artistic consciousness, and hopefully the percolation over time makes some decent coffee.
Erin Ashby experiences existential dread on a daily basis at her dull office job. When she's not pondering that crisis or re-watching The X-Files, she's working on YA speculative novels and short fiction. You can find her at various pubs in East Hollywood, California ankle-deep in the red ink of her writing group cohorts. You can also follow her on Twitter at @spoonflipper.