Author of the Month
In the last couple of months, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Ashley and consider her to be a dear friend. She is a sweet, wonderful woman who works hard and has a heart of gold. I have not yet had the chance to read her books, but I can guarantee that they are on my “to read” list, but will when I get caught up on my review pile. I do know that after reading her blog that she is a passionate person when it comes to things she cares about. Here is a short bio that she wrote just for us.
I was born and raised in East Texas and moved to Colorado 7 years ago when I got married at the tender age of 19 (!). I have two beautiful daughters, 20 months and 3 months. I planned to be a translator for the government, but didn't work out because my husband decided he couldn't take me living overseas for a year or more to immerse myself in the language, which is what was needed for me to be master my language skills. I have studied Spanish, French, Japanese, and Chinese (majored in Chinese), and can now barely speak any of them due to lack of practice. Also, can barely speak English due to baby brain and sleep deprivation. =) After college, I worked in higher education on the admin side until being laid off in May 2010. I've always enjoyed writing, but never thought I could make it as a writer. After writing a full-length romance novel in 2006 and realizing how absolutely horrible it was, I gave up. But then, in early 2008, got inspired again and didn't give up. Found a fantastic critique group, got great feedback from contest judges, and completed my second manuscript in June 2008. Queried, but no cigar. Started writing my third manuscript (published as SEDUCING THE DUCHESS) in July 2008, found out I was pregnant in September 2008, and due to pregnancy woes and stuff didn't finish the book until September 2009. Signed with my first agent in September 2009 (actually finished last 80 pages of SD after I received a full request from her!), and received my 3-book contract from NAL Penguin in December 2009.
See, I told you she was hard working. Now, on to the interview questions.
Linda: How does it feel to now be a published writer?
Ashley: Even though it’s been five months since SEDUCING THE DUCHESS was released in October, it still feels pretty crazy. I’m just starting to get the hang of things in the publishing world…and I know I still have a lot to learn. My favorite thing in becoming a published author so far has been in meeting (albeit virtually) all of the wonderful readers, reviewers, and fellow writers. It keeps me going when discipline isn’t enough (and with a baby who keeps me sleep deprived, it usually isn’t!).
Ashley: I’ve always enjoyed writing, but never really thought I could become a writer. My dream instead was to continue studying foreign languages (I still have a goal of studying 25 before I die) and become a translator. After reading a fantastic book (can’t remember which one now), I became inspired to write one of my own. Different story ideas kept running through my mind, with various sexy heroes and spunky heroines. At the least I thought it would be fun. I never imagined that my dream of becoming a translator would change so drastically into one of becoming an author—and to think that I’m actually published now is amazing! I’m truly very blessed. Looking back, it’s not very difficult to see how I was drawn to writing romance novels; after reading Gone with the Wind when I was younger, I was so mad at Margaret Mitchell for not giving Rhett and Scarlett an HEA! I like to think that Philip and Charlotte, the hero and heroine in my debut, are a modern-day Rhett and Scarlett who do live happily ever after.
Linda: If you could change places for a day with a character in your books which one would it be and why?
Ashley: Although I have many, many characters in my head, I’m going to choose a character in SEDUCING THE DUCHESS since that’s the only book that’s out now.
Hmm…Even though Charlotte is the heroine in SEDUCING, I think I have to go with Emma, her best friend. Emma is also a writer like me, although she’s very outgoing and loves to gossip. She has such a unique perspective on life—she tends toward the dramatic—and is very eccentric. In summary, she’s just fun. I think it would be a blast to be her for a day and be as eccentric and nosy as I wanted to be. ;)
Linda: What do you love most about writing and what do you most dislike?
Ashley: I love that I’m able to stay home with my daughters. This is my dream, to be able to raise my family and write at the same time. Dislike? It’s tough to say. There are so many great things about being a published author, especially one in the romance community. I suppose at this moment I have to say I dislike my own lack of discipline. I have a lot of great ideas and goals, but I need to be a better boss to see them all come to fruition.
Linda: What question do you wish people would ask you about your work that no one has asked yet?
Ashley: What is your author theme? I heard a while ago that every book an author writes has a common theme in it, and the idea intrigued me. I didn’t know what mine was at first, but after writing a few books and now understanding which characters/plots intrigue me as a writer, I can say with a great deal of certainty that my author theme is forgiveness/healing. This might change in the future, but it seems to be a pretty consistent thread right now.
Linda: Please tell us about your next book ROMANCING THE COUNTESS.
ROMANCING THE COUNTESS is about an earl and his best friend’s
wife who are drawn together when their spouses die and they discover
that their spouses were having an affair. It’s a very sweet, sexy,
and emotional story and, as I discussed above, carries that common author
thread of mine about forgiveness and healing. It will be published September
6, 2011, and I can’t wait to see what readers think!
Ashley, thank you so much for this wonderful interview and being our Author of the Month for March. I have enjoyed getting to know you so much.
Be sure to
watch for Ashley’s new release, ROMANCING THE COUNTESS, out September
6, 2011. I know I can’t wait for it! Also, watch for her March
Madness Blog Party! It’s going to be so much fun!
Read Linda's Review of Seducing the Duchess
2011's Honorary List