Author Interview: Ashley Bustamante – Vivid

Author Interview: Ashley Bustamante - Vivid

Welcome to the Celebrate Lit Book Tour for Vivid by Ashley Bustamante!

Book: Vivid

Author: Ashley Bustamante

Genre: YA Fantasy

Release date: May 17, 2022


Danger Lurks Behind Every Color

When Ava Locke was five years old, she began a journey to join the Benefactors—the leaders of the magical continent of Magus. Twelve years later, she unwittingly started down the road to betray them.

On Magus where colors fuel magical abilities, yellow is banned in an effort to protect people from its mind-controlling capabilities. When a rogue Yellow magic-user named Elm escapes imprisonment Ava becomes innocently fascinated with his story. Once this mysterious Elm shows up at her school, Ava pushes her interest to the next level by helping him evade the Benefactors. Ava grows increasingly conflicted as her intrigue leads her down a dark road of secrets about her world. As she learns more about Yellow magic’s potential to control its victims, Ava now must question whether her rash decisions are all her own or if someone else is pulling the strings.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author


Ashley Bustamante has created stories from the moment she could scribble and staple sheets of paper together. She simply cannot recall a time when writing was not a force in her life. When not running through lines of dialogue in her mind, she enjoys taking photographs and spending time with her husband, three children, and any furry, feathered, or scaly creature she can find. She currently works at Arizona State University.

More from Ashley

Vivid is a great example of how something small can turn into something big with a little faith and a lot of work!

The idea for Vivid came from a dream (which later became part of Chapter 5) that I just couldn’t forget. A dream about a charming young man in a top hat and a young lady in a yellow dress. I won’t give away the whole scene, but what stood out to me was the complicated feelings of the young lady. She was left so conflicted and dazed by her encounter with this roguish stranger. She knew she shouldn’t have spent time with him, and yet it was exciting. The thing she wanted more than anything was for him to come back, and yet that was also the thing that terrified her the most.

This scene and these characters would not leave my head. I wanted to know the rest of their story and it was all I could think about. Finally, I wrote it all down. How could I not? I made some adjustments, and soon I was plotting. Soon I had names. Places. A magic system. A chapter. Two chapters. Ten chapters. Within a month, I had my first draft written.

The road forward wasn’t easy as I was met with rejection after rejection. But through it all I could feel my Heavenly Father cheering me on, encouraging me to grow the talent he had given me. At once point I almost shelved the project, but that little nudge kept me going and eventually led me to my publisher. All the little pieces that came together over the years to lead me there is a story in and of itself.

I hope you will enjoy Vivid and come to love Ava and Elm as much as I do. It is my privilege to have this opportunity to share them with you.

Author Interview with Ashley Bustamante

How do you pick your characters personalities, or looks?
Honestly, most of the time they pop into my head more or less fully formed. It sort of feels like cheating. I will make some tweaks as the character develops but it’s very rare that I have to spend a long time thinking about a character’s appearance and behavior. 

What is your favorite genre to read? What is your favorite genre to write? And why are they your favorites?
YA Fantasy for both! For me, reading is an escape, and I feel like YA isn’t typically as heavy as adult  books are. And I’ve always loved fantasy. I like to read about things that I can’t experience in real life. Likewise for writing. It allows me to be creative and think about a lot of “what if’s.”  

Once an idea takes root, how long does it take you to write it down?
It depends on how quickly I can get a break from the kiddos. If I happen to have a free hand, I’ll write it down immediately. Otherwise, I try to jot it down once the kids are asleep. I have a Google doc that’s just full of ideas. Some of them I’ve used, some are just waiting for the right moment.  

What is one thing in your life that you would say has had the greatest impact on your writing? Or in your life in general?
Definitely the support of others. When I was younger I was blessed to have many teachers that encouraged me to read and write. For example, I went through a phase where I was really interested in poetry and one of my teachers came up with “Ashley’s Poetry Corner” and asked me to write a poem for everyone in the class!  Just things like that where they went above the call of duty to encourage me to grow my talents. I’m so grateful for that and I hope I can do the same for others.

Lastly, what was your favorite book growing up? 
I can’t pick just one, but I was really into Beatrix Potter when I was really young, and later on the Animorphs series. There was just something so cool about the idea of being able to turn into any animal.

Thanks so much for letting me interview you Ashley! I can’t wait for my copy of Vivid to arrive!


To celebrate her tour, Ashley is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed hardback copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

You can visit theses other stops on the Vivid tour to find out more about Ashley Bustamante and Vivid!

Library Lady’s kid Lit, May 31

A Baker’s Perspective, June 1 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 1

Texas Book-aholic, June 2

Inklings and notions, June 3

deb’s Book Review, June 4

For Him and My Family, June 5

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 7

Tell Tale Book Reviews, June 8

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, June 9 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 9

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 10

Blogging With Carol, June 11

Labor Not in Vain, June 12

Inside the Wong Mind, June 13

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  1. Fantastic interview, Vivid sounds like an exceptional read for my granddaughter and the cover is brilliant! Thanks for sharing it with me and have an awesome day!

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