Author Interview with Alli Frank + Asha Youmans

OUR BOOK OF THE MONTH AUTHORS!

We are back with another incredible author interview with the ladies behind this month’s Ashley Brooke Book Club selection, Tiny Imperfections!

Have no fear, if you haven’t finished the book or scooped up a copy yet we made sure there are no spoilers in this one. So feel free to read without anxiety, but seriously, you’ve got to pick this one up ASAP! 😉

I loved hearing from these smart and accomplished women and I’m endlessly fascinated by the relationship between co-authors, so interviewing them was so much fun. I think writing a book with a friend would be SO MUCH FUN!

So without further ado…

LIGHTNING ROUND Q&A:

WHAT ARE YOU READING RIGHT NOW?

ALLI: Untangled by Lisa Danmour.  I have a 12 year old daughter starting to try on tween behaviors for fashion.  I’m trying to get ahead of the game.

ASHA: I’m just starting the first of Alexa Martin’s The Playbook Series, Intercepted.

WHAT WAS YOUR LAST AMAZON PURCHASE?

ALLI: Elmer’s glue sticks, coloring pencils and Vitamin B12 spray. Two daughters and a mama keeping up.

ASHA: Printer ink. I have two college age sons and my husband is an attorney. Our printer gets a workout.

WHAT’S YOUR STARBUCKS ORDER?

ALLI: So boring.  English Breakfast tea.

ASHA: Grande Caramel Frappuccino in a Venti cup with extra whip cream. I know how to live!

WHAT IS YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE?

ALLI: Acting like I’m doing the family a big favor by taking our dog, Georgia for a long walk but what I really need is a BREAK!

ASHA: Rap music. I play the base hard and the volume pumped; it helps me de-stress.

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE CELEBRITY OR FICTIONAL CHARACTER?

ALLI: I’m not so original, but I have to be true, Michelle Obama all the way.

ASHA: Storm (nee: Ororo) from the X-Men comics. I wanted to be her when I was a kid.

WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT ONLINE OBSESSION (WEBSITE, INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT, ETC.)

ALLI: Not so current (started over a year ago), but obsession still:  Rich Roll podcast

ASHA: The Dodo. I love watching animal rescues with ordinary humans as heroes.

WHAT IS NEXT IN YOUR NETFLIX QUEUE?

ALLI: POSE!  Tied with The Wire as best television series ever in my opinion.

ASHA: I’m a big fan of unscripted reality shows. I just started watching LENNOX HILL and I am living for it!

Okay, Let’s Chat “Tiny Imperfections”

LOVED THE (FAMILY) TWIST AT THE END. DID NOT SEE THAT COMING! WAS THAT ALWAYS THE PLAN OR DID THE STORY EVOLVE?

We certainly knew how the story would end from the outset. We map out the direction of the entire book before we get started. That way each of us is focused on the same goal when we work on separate sections of the book. How we were going to reach the end was the unknown for us. Getting to a solid ending meant we had to build a path and agree on its direction before we got there. This was one of the most enjoyable parts of writing TINY IMPERFECTIONS together because we laughed and learned throughout the journey.

WHAT IS IT LIKE WRITING AS A TEAM? HOW DOES THAT WORK FOR THE TWO OF YOU?

Personal connection is very important to our writing process. At the beginning of every work session we start by chatting and sharing stories about our families, news items and articles we’ve seen, plans for the weekend and upcoming trips. It might take away time from actual work but many of those moments end up sparking ideas for the book. When it’s time to put pen to paper we sometimes sit side by side working a paragraph together, or across our dining room tables reading aloud to each other. We describe it as being akin to a game of leapfrog, passing chapters and then chunks back and forth to piece it all together. Of course, emails and texts were crucial, but phone calls were our best form of communication when we weren’t together. Through it all we made sure we both were happy with our project, but more importantly, happy in general…and still laughing.

YOU BOTH HAVE EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE IN EDUCATION. HOW DID THAT INFORM YOUR WRITING?

Working in schools, for us, has felt like being part of dozens of new families, and deepening ties with past families, every year. It was an honor to be trusted with the children under our care and we are close to so many members of our school communities to this day. Our book, TINY IMPERFECTIONS, however, is an amalgamation of the collective 40 years experience we have. From the portrayal of the parents to the sassiness of our character, Aunt Viv, we blended feelings, circumstances, and memories together to form a completely fictional work. We honestly see more our ourselves in every character than we do anyone else!

ARE THERE ANY PLANS TO SHARE MORE OF JOSIE, AUNT VIV, OR ETTA’S STORY?

We sure hope so! We don’t feel like the Bordelon Family story is complete. We’d love to share more of their humor, love, and joy with the world and we hope to do that with more books. In the meantime, this family may be coming to a screen near you since TINY IMPERFECTIONS has been optioned for film/TV rights by a major streaming service. Until then we are hard at work on more ideas for contemporary women’s fiction, as that seems to be our sweet spot. And it goes without saying that we continue to try hard, with humor and grace, to be the best moms and wives, friends and family members, and students and teachers of life that we can be.  

WHAT PAGE ARE YOU ON?

Okay, now that you’ve read the interview… spill it! What page are you on?! Have you started, finished, or are you ordering today? I’m dying to know your thoughts. I fell in love with this story of 3 generations of strong and sassy women and I hope you did too!

And for those of you who are literally devouring books left and right, this is for you! Below are three books that are similar to this month’s selection. So if you are enjoying this month’s book, you will most likely enjoy these three as well. Check out Small Admissions, Prep, or Lager Queen of Minnesota to read more about private schools and generational female stories.

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4 Comments

  1. Brittney
    June 19, 2020 / 10:49 am

    I finished the book last week and loved it! Can’t wait for the book club discussion. ­čÖé Also, so excited they plan to continue the Bordelon family’s story!

    • June 25, 2020 / 1:55 pm

      Yay! Brittney, so thrilled you loved it as much as I did!

  2. Jessica S.
    June 19, 2020 / 7:31 pm

    I finished a few days ago and loved it so much I bought my mom her own copy for her birthday yesterday! This was a fun interview- I also had wondered how they did their collaborative writing so thanks for asking about that! ­čÖé

    • June 25, 2020 / 1:53 pm

      Jessica! Oh, I am so glad!! Love hearing this!

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