Monday, December 3, 2018

Ashley Elston Interview - The Lying Woods

Photo Content from Ashley Elston

Ashley Elston is the author of several novels, including THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING (a finalist in the Best Young Adult Novel category of the International Thriller Awards) and THIS IS OUR STORY. She graduated with a Liberal Arts degree from Louisiana State University in Shreveport. Ashley worked for many years as a wedding photographer before turning her hand to writing. Ashley lives in Louisiana with her husband and three sons.


Can you tell us when you started THE LYING WOODS, how that came about?
I watched a documentary on Bernie Madoff a few years ago and was fascinated by the fact the he was able to swindle so many people out of so much money for so long. And it made me start thinking about what if this were to happen in a small town.

Are there any new Authors that have grasped your interest and why?

What is needed for a story to be good?
You have to have tension! Lots of tension and high stakes! And for me, there also has to be a romantic element as well.

What do you hope for people to be thinking after they read your novel?
After reading The Lying Woods, I hope the reader is sitting there stunned because they never saw the twists coming. Also, I hope the reader loved learning about pecan harvesting.

What chapter was the most memorable to write and why?
Ah! That’s a tough question to answer without giving anything away. I really love the chapters toward the end where everything starts coming together.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I’m working on a fun rom-com that will be out on October 1, 2019! It’s about a girl who breaks up with her boyfriend before the holidays and finds herself set up by her family, all eager to help mend her broken heart, on ten blind dates over ten days. Think of My Big Fat Greek Wedding meets The Holiday!

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I’d love for Kate from THIS IS OUR STORY to meet Pippa from THE LYING WOODS. I think they’d be great friends.

What’s the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style?
Read as much as you can! Read widely. Read things you don’t think you’d like.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Owen?
THE LYING WOODS was the first book written solely from a male POV so I learned a lot from Owen. It’s a different way of thinking and I enjoyed the challenge.

  • Budapest, Hungary
  • Aveiro, Portugal
  • Machu Picchu, Peru
  • Tuscany, Italy
  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Vienna, Austria
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Lake Lucerne, Switzerland
  • South Island, New Zealand
  • Bora Bora
What's the worst summer job you've ever had?
I really only waited tables while in high school but that could be frustrating when all of your friends are out doing fun things but you’re stuck at work.

Who told you they loved you last?
My husband

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be?
That’s a hard one. I love PRIDE AND PREJUDICE so maybe a week in the life of Elizabeth Bennett would be fun.

If you had one day in your life to live over, which would you choose and why?
Tomorrow. Always something to look forward to.

What are the 5 most beautiful things in the world, and why?
Dean – my husband
Miller, Ross and Archer – my three sons
Bella – the best dog ever

Owen Foster has never wanted for anything. Then his mother shows up at his elite New Orleans boarding school cradling a bombshell: his privileged life has been funded by stolen money. After using the family business, the single largest employer in his small Louisiana town, to embezzle millions and drain the employees' retirement accounts, Owen's father vanished without a trace, leaving Owen and his mother to deal with the fallout.

Owen returns to Lake Cane to finish his senior year, where people he can barely remember despise him for his father's crimes. It's bad enough dealing with muttered insults and glares, but when Owen and his mother receive increasingly frightening threats from someone out for revenge, he knows he must get to the bottom of what really happened at Louisiana Frac--and the cryptic note his father sent him at his boarding school days before disappearing.

Owen's only refuge is the sprawling, isolated pecan orchard he works at after school, owned by a man named Gus who has his own secrets--and in some ways seems to know Owen better than he knows himself. As Owen uncovers a terrible injustice that looms over the same Preacher Woods he's claimed as his own, he must face a shocking truth about his own past--and write a better future.


"A blisteringly quick read, thanks to its compelling story and nonstop surprises." ―Culturess

"Elston has masterfully plotted this story out and the way everything wraps up is incredibly satisfying. The Lying Woods is an exciting novel perfect for fans of contemporary mystery.... Sure to keep you on your toes." ―The Young Folks

*"This is a mystery that introduces characters slowly, with a thoughtful alternating story line and backstory that allows the plot to maintain its pace. Owen's frustration and actions, along with the people whose futures were destroyed by his father, are understandable and build to a satisfying conclusion." ―School Library Journal (starred review)

*"Fans who have come to expect Elston's mastery of situational tension, double narratives, and enthralling mystery will not be disappointed with this newest tale that alternates between past and present perspectives as it barrels toward a stunning reveal... Readers won't even notice the steady pull to the edges of their seats." ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"The intergenerational plot complicates the adults in the story, resisting typical YA stereotypes and giving Owen some adults worthy of the trust and affection he invests in them. Readers who enjoy a realistic mystery based on contemporary family dynamics and small-town class conflicts are the audience for this." ―BCCB

"Elston... channels E. Lockhart as she overlays an eerie, mysterious atmosphere on top of a riveting family drama spanning decades... Family secrets and forgiveness drive this gorgeously plotted mystery." ―Booklist

You can purchase The Lying Woods at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you ASHLEY ELSTON for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of The Lying Woods by Ashley Elston. 


  1. I really do not remember if I ever had a favourite teacher. I do remember the really bad teachers.

  2. Yes, my favorite teacher was my second grade teacher.

  3. "Do you remember your favorite teacher?" I had different favorite teachers at different times, usually crushing on someone who combined authoritarianism with humor. Our student teacher in second grade, Ms. Thomson, was very pretty.

  4. No I don't remember a favorite teacher.

  5. I think my favorite teacher was my first grade teacher, Ms. Tooker. I do remember her and learning to read in her class. I also loved Mrs.McKee in 4th grade. She had a book reading contest and she really motivated me. I also cared about my Home Ec teacher, Ms. Raddatz.