About the Author:
Ashton Cartwright is a full-time author, part-time lover, and most-of-the-time hair model. Inspiring the youth of today with his fancy follicles, and funny foibles, he has ruthlessly carved a name for himself in the cutthroat world of relationship advisory.
When asked by a colleague, “Aren’t you a bit too handsome to be a marriage counsellor?” he humbly and modestly replied, “Aren’t you a bit too ugly to be talking to me?”
Ashton has been married concurrently a record 27 times, mostly through virtue of getting a celebrant drunk on home-brewed moonshine. His current collection of partners includes three geese, a doorknob, and a life-sized cardboard cut-out of himself.
A dedicated Juggalo, as well as a master of mathematics; he happily lists his three favourite things as “Profit and money”, which enlightens us all to the virtues of his pure and loving heart.
Ashton is also currently working on the screenplay for his new movie: I Know What I Did Last Summer.
“Why did I write this book? Well, from an early age I knew that I wanted to profit from the suffering of others, so it was either this, politics, or reality TV.”
Connect with Ashton:
MF: Your book Pretending to Love: How to Cheat Your Way to Relationship Bliss! is labelled as a tongue-in-cheek guide to navigating the perils and pitfalls of a modern relationship. What inspired you to write it?
AC: I’ve been on a highly satisfying streak of bachelordom for the last decade or so, and some of my friends had started to fear that I was either a sociopath, a hermit, or suffering from a permanent case of explosive halitosis. Many of these well meaning associates started giving me books on relationships, thinking that my lack of a meaningful relationship was based on a lack of education.
Being someone with eclectic reading habits, I was happy to read the impressive and effective instructional manuals that were given to me, Including “The Five Love Languages,” “Conversations with God,” and the highly educational “Where Do Babies Come From?” (Spoiler alert: the stork DOESN’T really bring them!)
After absorbing these highly acclaimed literary works, I decided that they lacked a certain level of relationship pragmatism that I was ideally placed to explain. Thus “Pretending to Love” was born.
MF: According to your website you are a full-time poker player. Was the transition from sit-n-goes and cash games to writing difficult?
AC: Poker player to author! It seems like a big jump, but in terms of social respectability, it was pretty much a lateral movement. Poker is a game that you have to stay keenly analytical for if you want to win consistently, and so it exercises that aspect of your personality very well. I wanted to write a book so that I could exercise the idiotic aspect of my personality too. Overall I think that poker is by far an easier game than writing, and the money tends to be better too. On the flip side however, it’s much harder to do while drunk.
MF: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
AC: My main intention was to actually complete the book. At various points I thought that my chances were rather remote, but somehow the book ended up on Kindle and Paperback. I think luck played a reasonably significant role in that, because for several weeks I forgot the password to my Facebook account, and therefore had nothing else to do with my time. Now that I have remembered by password, it’s very unlikely that I will ever achieve anything ever again. . . But I’m going to be amazing at Farmville.
MF: What makes your book stand out from the crowd?
AC: My hair.
But seriously folks, my book is really really really really ridiculous. I relegate the entirety of humanity to a few quirky stereotypes, I explain complicated human interactions using badly drawn stick figures, and I encourage permanent deception as the only way to ensure a happy relationship. But do you know what the most common comment I hear about my book is? “OMG! That is EXACTLY like my relationship!” No matter how nonsensical my opinions, how insane my advice, and how illogical my descriptions, most people feel it hits home perfectly. Reality really is stranger than fiction, and relationships are proof of that.
MF: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
AC: The biggest issue I had was explaining to my mother what my jokes meant. She didn’t really get them. At all.
MF: What do you read? What do you re-read?
AC: Even considering my occupation I read a disproportionate amount of poker literature. Other than that, I read a fair bit of the classic inspirational works like “Think and Grow Rich,’ by Napoleon Hill, “It’s Not About the Bike” by Lance Armstrong, and of course the Spice Girls biography, by some random ghost-writer.
MF: What is your favorite writing tip or quote?
AC: “Just write.” by my mum (or mom for American readers). My mum, Susan Cartwright, has actually written a couple of Sci-fi books (the Wolf Dawn series), and her best suggestion to me was “Just write”. There really is no more to it that that. Sit down at your computer, turn off everything other than MS Word or whatever, and stay there until you have written an amount that you want to write. Even if you only write a page every day, it adds up pretty fast. Some days it will take hours and you may get 300 words done, and other days you will pump out 5000 words in no time, but the important thing is to just write.
MF: Are you currently working on other writing projects? If so, tell us about them.
AC: ’m actually writing a tremendously boring book about how to play poker for a living. I’m not even a particularly good poker player, but I still make a huge amount of money form the game, so I figured I would write down how I do it so that I don’t have to explain it to people over and over again. I’m pretty lazy, and not particularly clever, so that made sense to me somehow.
MF: If you could jump into a book, and live in that world … which would it be?
AC: David Gemmell’s Waylander series. As long as I could be Waylander. He runs around by himself, being totally awesome, and he is never in a relationship for more than one book. Perfect.
MF: You claim to be a most-of-the-time hair aficionado. Be honest, how often do you wash your hair?
AC: Like any noble and worthy accomplishment, hair this exceptional takes a huge amount of time to maintain, and I dedicate that time eagerly. This regal and vibrant mane of mine gets washed no more than twice a week, but is pampered the rest of the week with an assortment of conditioners, oils, treatments, ancient herbs, exotic spices, and unicorn tears. Some of the more ephemeral items are expensive and hard to come by, but I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s well worth the effort. We all have a role to play in this great big world of ours, and my role is to be gorgeous and hilarious. . . and modest.
Full of useful information such as:
- How to Get Your Own Way
- Improving Your Partner Through the Power of Nagging
- A “Brief” Introduction to Lingerie
- Why Honesty is the Worst Policy