Sharon Ashwood

Read more about Sharon Ashwood.

Interview By: Tamazon

Date: July 12, 2010

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Please tell us your latest news!

Of course, my big news is the release of Unchained. I've been working hard to tell everyone about it--if you love take-no-prisoners heroines and swashbuckling heros, this one's for you! Captain Reynard, my hero, has been trapped in the Castle prison for hundreds of years. He steps into the twenty-first century and meets Ashe, who is a monster slayer trying to remake her life as a single mom. They both have huge, difficult histories and when they collide there's fireworks galore. Action! Adventure! Furniture-crashing love scenes! They're the kind of pair that makes authors rub their hands with glee, because there's so much to work with.

I love the video - Flying Pig Enterprises did a super job of capturing the story.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Any author will say they wished they had more time and a longer page count, but there comes a point when you have to decide your baby is perfect.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I don't have one favorite author. I read everything from the classics to graphic novels, biographies, a lot of horror and fantasy, and a lot of mysteries. I think enjoying that variety makes me a better writer, because I develop a large ""tool kit"" of writing techniques. Right now I'm rediscovering one of my favorite vampire writers, Nancy Baker. Her writing is both lyrical and very, very clear, a combination I really admire.

Right now I'm rediscovering one of my favorite vampire writers, Nancy Baker. Her writing is both lyrical and very, very clear, a combination I really admire.

Do you have a specific writing style?

Whatever I'm writing, I aim to be both light and funny but also to have a serious underpinning to the story. I like lots of twists and turns and layers. If a reader can close the book chuckling, I'm happy. If they're also wondering about the implications of something churning away in the background of the story, I'm delighted. I want people coming back--and bringing friends!--to find out what happens next.

Do you see writing as a career?

Very much so. It's an art and a business and a calling, and I hope to be with my readers for decades to come. Or at least until the nice men in white coats come to take me away.

I grew up around people who were musicians, dancers, photographers--all sorts of artists. It taught me to work hard at what I love and to value whatever success I'm lucky enough to enjoy. Building a career doesn't happen overnight, but I'm definitely putting in the hard work and heart. I keep my fingers crossed for good things.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I've always had it. I think some comes from being an only child, which goes a long way toward developing imagination--or at least imaginary friends. Really, what are characters out of a story, but an author's daydreams?

My mom was a classical musician, and I remember going with her to rehearsals and university classes when I was small. I read, I drew, I wrote stories and drank a lot of ghastly vending machine hot chocolate. I met the most fascinating people, some of whom were tailor-made characters. I think the really neat thing was that in that environment being creative was normal and expected. I never grew up thinking novel-writing was a weird ambition. Not financially smart, perhaps, but not crazy.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

In a nutshell, the only way to be a writer is to write. Lots. And then find a group of other writers to share with. The Romance Writers of America is fabulous and offers tons of practical help. The hardest part of the path to being a published author is getting your work in the right hands. They can show aspiring authors some of the steps along the way.

Dream big, work hard.

How does your family feel about having a writer in the family? Do they read your books?

My mom reads my books and makes sure all our relatives know when my books come out! Some of them are very supportive, but I think there are those who aren't sure what to make of it all, especially the vampire stuff.

My rock solid support comes from friends. There's nothing like friends who will sit up until two in the morning reading your manuscript for typos because you have to turn it in the next day, or someone who actually figures out the science behind making silver bullets. They're amazing.

What did you do before you became a writer? Do you write full time?

I work full time and write on evenings and weekends. I have a heartfelt respect for regular paycheques!

I work as a financial geek in a government ministry. I was actually going to school as well as writing and working while the first two and a half of the Dark Forgotten books were being written. It was a pretty hairy time, but I wasn't prepared to give up either the writing or a chance at the job I wanted (which I just got, incidentally. WOOT!).

What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?

I go with the combo. I plan and sometimes I even follow the plan. Almost.

Do you have a favorite object that is pertinent to your writing? If so what is it and please describe it. (Pen, Coffee Cup, Pet, Blanket, Chair)

The Demon Lord of Kitty Badness will sleep on my feet if I'm lying on the couch with my laptop. He will also sleep on the laptop, on my head, or sit behind me poking me in the backside if I'm not paying attention to him. Not to mention the soggy mousie toy. Blech.

Other than the felines, I must have coffee or tea.

Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing? Example..get coffee, blanket, paper, pen and a comfy place

I read my horoscope and one or two blogs. It's just enough stalling around to settle me down, but not too much!

Sharon Ashwood