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"An Evening With Ashley Elston" to be Held On The LSU Shreveport Campus

This evening, The LSUS Foundation and the LSUS Alumni Association will sponsor “An Evening With Ashley Elston,” a Q and A and signing with best-selling author Ashley Elston.

This evening, The LSUS Foundation and the LSUS Alumni Association will sponsor “An Evening With Ashley Elston,” a Q and A and signing with best-selling author Ashley Elston. The event will be hosted in the University Center theater from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm.

Ashley Elston is an alum of LSUS, as well as the author of First Lie Wins, a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick. First Lie Wins was published on January 2, 2024, and has since been on the New York Times bestseller list for several months.

Ashley Elston: First Lie Wins follows a woman who has worked for her mysterious boss under various aliases for the last ten years. But when things start to go wrong, she realizes that she may be the one who’s in trouble. The idea came to me probably back in 2020 when we were all on lock down. I had kids home from college that didn’t really want to be home. And I had kids in high school and middle school that were having to do Zoom. And I was in kind of a weird place with my writing. I had written six YA books, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write next or even if I had another book in me. But then I had this idea. And, it was really just a scene, and I just kept thinking about it. And I started thinking about what they would say, And I thought, ‘Well let me just write it and see what that feels like.’ And so, I wrote it, and it’s actually the opening scene to First Lie Wins. And I knew it was different, and I knew it wasn’t for teens. And it felt older, it felt like it was for adults. And I just, kind of, started going with it. And I thought, ‘Well what else am I going to do, everybody’s sitting at home. Let’s see if I can jump into a new genre.’ And that’s, kind of, how it started.

The story is based in Louisiana, and Elston says it’s a change from the usual setting of the thriller genre.

Ashley Elston: I have always lived in Louisiana. I love showing a part of Louisiana- I love New Orleans, don’t get me wrong, it’s a great place, but there are other things to Louisiana than New Orleans. And I like showing that, and I have always done that in my books. All of my books are set in Louisiana. I thought it would be fun to do a sort of con artist book where you show her previous jobs that take place throughout the South. And that’s not to say that has not been done before because, you know, it probably has. But, typically, when you think of con artist stories you think of New York and Paris and big, flashy locales. And I just thought it was a little bit different spin, and really sort of highlights, you know, the area down here. And I also thought it would be interesting to have sophisticated crimes set in areas that aren’t typically considered sophisticated.

Since being published, Elston’s first adult novel has boomed with success. With a 4.1 out of 5 on Goodreads and over one hundred thousand estimated sales, Elston says she was surprised by the popularity.

Ashley Elston: The release and everything that’s come after the release of the book has been amazing. The highlight of the whole process is seeing the reaction to the book and everybody’s support of it. It’s been amazing. You know, obviously I think every writer has that little bit of a dream, like ‘God, this would be great if it was a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick and Hulu made it into a TV show.’ But do you think that’s actually realistic when you’re writing? You don’t. And then when those things actually started happening to me it was sort of like, ‘Oh wow.’ I mean, even though you’re wanting it to happen and you’re hoping it happens, when it actually happens it’s still very, very shocking. Just because you wanted it to, you didn’t think it would. So, the shock was big, I mean, it was great, in all the best ways. But it’s like, it’s unexpected even though you were hoping for it.

Elston has been a published author since 2013, her debut novel being Rules for Disappearing. Since then, she has published five other young adult novels, and First Lie Wins. She says that meeting fans at events is still special for her after ten years.

Ashley Elston: It’s a great feeling, and, you know, even from my very first book back in 2013, I mean, those were very surreal moments. And I love chatting with every person that walks up to get their book signed. You know, it’s special for you to get it signed, it’s special for me to be able to sign it. I think of it as a two-way street. I love that as much as the person coming to get it signed does.

This is Alaina Atnip, with Red River Radio News.