6 Jan 2013

Author Interview: Katie Ashley

With her thirtieth birthday looming, Emma Harrison finds her biological clock clanging and the elusive knight in shining armor yet to appear. She’s running out of options, especially after her gay best friend backs out from being her sperm donor. Of course, there’s always a sperm bank, but Emma fears a donor mix-up might impregnate her with the spawn of Satan.

Resident company womanizer, Aidan Fitzgerald, is used to always getting what he wants, especially in the bedroom. When Emma spurns his advances at the company Christmas party, he's determined to have her no matter what it takes. After Aidan learns of Emma's predicament, he is quick to offer a proposition that will benefit them both. He will father Emma's child, but she must conceive it with him naturally. Not one for hook-ups or casual sex, Emma is reluctant to take him up on his offer, but his charm, coupled with her intense desire for motherhood, wins out.

Soon their baby-making sessions become more than just physical. Aidan can't seem to walk away from her while Emma begins to wonder if Aidan could be the one. But can Aidan leave his past behind to become the man Emma needs him to be?

1. If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why?
Wow, that’s a tough one. The Southern Steel Magnolia in me would love to write with Harper Lee or Fannie Flagg. But if we’re talking romance, it would have to be either SC Stephens or Olivia Cunning. Both authors bring very different strengths to the table, and for a romance/erotic writer, I think you can learn a lot from both of them. They’re also two writers who got me back in the adult writing world. I am very blessed to have great critique partners in the business as well. Kelli Maine has been invaluable to me as a friend and writing buddy for the last three years.

2. What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?
A typical day has me working full-time educating the Youth of America aka teaching 11th grade American Literature to high school juniors. Most of my writing time comes after work. I have an upstairs office that fits the “writer” profile, but alas, most of the time, it’s me and my laptop on the couch or the chair!!

3. What is the hardest part of the writing for you?
I think rejection has been the hardest part. When I set out on the journey four years ago, I was so very naïve. I had no idea about agents, publishing houses, query letters, etc. All it was for me was the beauty of the story and the amazing high of creating something. Sadly, all that got spit and trampled upon when I tried publication!! This was also before self-pubbing became more mainstream.
Even now though, rejection hurts. No matter how many times you go through it, the sting is still there. Whether it’s having a book go to the editorial board of a publishing house and not get support, or it’s someone hating your book or ripping apart the characters you love and adore.

4. When and why did you first start writing?
I actually started writing seriously for publication four years ago—although my late mother claimed I wrote my first story at four! After writing a Southern Literary Fiction, I read Twilight and went down the Young Adult path. Two novels, two agents, and two almost publishing deals later, I decided to go back to my roots in the adult world. I’m not giving up on Young Adult entirely. However, it has been a complete 180 joining the Romance community. I have never met such amazing, supportive, and caring people in all my life!! Every time I get on Facebook, Goodreads, or Twitter, I have a goofy grin on my face from the fangirling or support. It has really built back the shattered writing self-esteem I had after my experiences in the traditional publishing world. 

5. How did you come up with the idea for the book your book?
First, I’m a huge fan of the June and Johnny Cash type love stories—the love of a good woman turns the life of a bad boy around. Then I’ll openly admit that there is a bit of Emma that is a Mary Sue !! For many years now, I’ve been saying that I would take the plunge and have a child on my own if the perfect man—scratch that and say ANY DECENT MAN—didn’t come along. A lot of Emma’s pain of wanting and needing a family of her own comes from my own life experiences.

6. Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now?
Yes, I am a huge reader. I usually average 100 books or more a year, and that’s not counting the books I critique or beta read for writer buddies. I just finished the AMAZING On Dublin Street. Probably one of my Top Five FAVS of the year.

7. Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?
Keep with it. No matter how hard it gets, how bleak it looks, how many rejections you get, don’t give up. It’s hard because it happens so easy for some people. Others have to struggle and struggle to make it. It hasn’t been an easy journey for me—often it’s been a step forward and three steps back. But the true reward comes when someone loves your characters and story as much as you do.
I’d also give Stephen King’s advice from On Writing—read, read, read. Whatever genre you’re wanting to write, you need to be very, very familiar with it.