I’m delighted to welcome New York Times Bestselling Author JENNIFER ASHLEY to Rakes and Rascals today for an exclusive interview.
It’s great to be here! Thanks so much for inviting me.
Could you tell us where you were born and what it was like growing up there?
I was born in Chicago, and I can’t tell you a thing about it, because we moved when I was 18 months old. That was how I grew up. Moving! My dad was a minister, and he had to go where there were churches that needed him. Then he joined the Air Force as a chaplain, so then we moved all over the world.
Growing up like that is hard, because you have to leave all your friends a short time after you make them; you don’t get to do a lot in school because teams etc. were chosen in the spring of the previous year, and I’d always be new in the fall.
On the other hand, travelling the world is not a bad thing. I was recently looking over photos of the years I spent in Japan, thinking how lucky I was to have gone there and learned so much. I think everyone should live for a time outside their native countries. Your perspective on everything in life shifts. My peripatetic life also made me very self-reliant and resourceful.
How would you describe yourself – temperamental or easy-going?
Both! Certain things can really upset me beyond reason. I try not to inflict myself on other people when that happens. I can also be quite easy-going. Many people think I’m kind of a workaholic, but I can stop, sit down, sip an iced tea, and do absolutely nothing for a long stretch of time. I love it.
When it comes to food do you like sweet or savoury or both?
I’m not sure. I don’t like overly sweet foods, so I’ll choose savoury. I like very artisan cheeses, for example, and bread with lots of grains in it.
What is your most treasured possession?
My husband. Well, he’s not exactly a possession, but he’s the most treasured thing in my life. Otherwise, it’s my dollhouses (and I can’t pick one out of the many I have!). I build these houses for fun—a way to be creative outside writing. However, it’s another way to indulge my love of history, when I research architecture and furniture of a certain time.
The Interior (kitchen) of a half-inch
A quarter-inch scale house my cat is
If you were able to afford a second home anywhere in the world where would you choose and why?
Hawaii. I love it there. When I first arrived on Maui, when I’d never been there in my life, I felt like I belonged there. It was very familiar. Whenever I go, I settle in, and cry when I leave. So maybe one day, I’ll live there.
Finally, what has been your most embarrassing moment?
I had to think about this but I’m going to choose something that happened when I was fourteen. I’d had a substitute teacher in one of my classes, who was a bit eccentric. While waiting for the bus after school, I went on and on with great wit about this teacher, saying mean and sarcastic things about her, as only a teen who thinks she’s very smart can.
I turned around, and her daughter was standing right behind me—she’d heard every word. Now, I liked her daughter very much, and I’d hoped we could be friends. But she’d just heard me stand there and say unforgiveable things about her mother, and I knew I’d blown any chance I had at making a friend. It says a lot about the other girl’s character that she just let it go and didn’t rip me a new one or try to hit me.
Granted I was fourteen, first month of high school, and quite full of myself, but it taught me a valuable lesson – I had no business dissing another person who was just trying to get through the day, no matter how “weird” I found her, no business spouting my opinion at the top my your voice in public, no business doing it where her daughter could hear and be upset.
From that day to this, I have never done it again.
Thank you for taking time out to be here today and sharing these interesting facts about yourself, Jennifer.
Thank you! It was fun.
If you would like to find out more about Jennifer and her books, here are the links: