Paranormal Addicts would like to welcome Ashley Robertson! She is a fresh new face to the paranormal genre and we are very excited to have her join us!
Q&A with Ashley Robertson
Before I hit my teen years, I remember thinking I wanted to be a famous singer so I would write my own songs and then my sister and I would sing them together. After the first few songs, the need to write more of them exploded inside me, and before I knew it, I had several notebooks filled. But since I was unable to come up with a melody for quite a few of them, I realized some of those pieces needed to be poems. So I would write about my experiences—the challenges, the hurt and pain, the excitement and joy, and by writing all of this down it would help me deal with the accomplishments and struggles I’d encountered.
Once I got into high school, I discovered my favorite classes were English and science. It’s pretty obvious why English is one of them, but science stuff just amazes me and I’m obsessed with the Science and Discovery channels! Now, back to my English classes—since that’s where I started writing short stories and essays, loving every single minute of it. It’s a shame computers weren’t really used at that time as I’ve lost many of my works through several moves. But once I entered into my senior year of high school, I was finally introduced to the wonderful computer and I was able to type one of my short stories—which is much easier than handwriting, or even using a typewriter for that matter. So I head off to college, absolutely confused as to what to major in but knowing I needed to take all the English and writing classes I could, in addition to some computer courses. Since I was working full time as a real-estate broker’s assistant, I was only able to take night classes and only a couple of them a week to ensure I could handle my homework load—obviously I wasn’t going to be graduating college any time soon. That’s when I was encouraged to get my real-estate license, and once I did (at age nineteen) I was offered three jobs—all with top-selling agents. With churning nerves, I made my decision, but also fought to stay afloat with my college classes, but eventually my real-estate job won, stealing every spare hour I had and rolling some pretty good cash in my bank account. How could I resist? After all, I needed to take care of myself and was sick of having roommates to afford my bills. After thirteen long years of working 24/7 in real estate (and a few mini–nervous breakdowns because of the stress load) I was finally given a choice—by my amazing husband who was sick of hearing me cry over a job that was draining everything out of me, and also wanting me to be more available for him and my adorable stepson—of whether I wanted to keep selling homes or let all of that go. Tough choice and one that took me months to make, but I finally, ever so reluctantly, let go of my real-estate job in April 2009. In November of that same year was when I started my debut novel, Crimson Groves, which was finally published before Christmas of 2011. I started UnGuarded as soon as Crimson Groves hit my editor’s desk (Stephen Delaney with Close Reader Editing Services), and now UnGuarded’s release date is right around the corner—the ebook will be available July 1, 2012 and the paperback version will be available a few weeks after the ebook release date.
How do you balance between your personal life and your writing?
The key to balancing my personal life with my business life—and trust me, I do not have this completely mastered—is having a hobby and picking one day EVERY week to do it. For me, this is going horseback riding for an hour or two and forgetting all my worries with taking care of my family, managing our home, and whether or not I’ve been productive enough in my job (Ashley Robertson Books). Before horseback riding, my husband and I used to travel a lot—which is another one of my hobbies, but can become quite costly—so I knew I needed to find something else. I grew up with horses and cows on a 92-acre farm/orange grove in Clermont, Florida (yes, I’m a native Floridian!), so it was a no-brainer for me to start riding again, only I’m too busy to own a horse and take care of it full time, so I lucked out when I found a ranch-and-rescue in my hometown that would allow me to lease one of their horses. And since I’ve done this, it’s helped me get re-centered and balanced, and I feel more productive with everything else. After all, if you’ve ever flown, what is it that the flight attendant tells you when going over the directions should the plane encounter trouble and the air mask falls? Answer: Place it over your face first, and then you can help the person or child next to you. So figure out what your air mask (hobby) is and don’t just think about it—DO IT!
We would love for you to paint a picture for us of you writing your books. Do you always write in your office?
I’m hardly ever in my home office. I have a MacBook Air and because of that, I can write anywhere. I’ve tried working from bookstore cafés, coffee shops, and restaurants, and while some days you get lucky and it’s quiet, there are those other days where your luck has definitely run out because you have the family of screaming children sitting at the table directly beside you. And don’t even bother moving to another spot, because there’s some other disruption awaiting you there. So lately, I’ve been working from my dining room with big windows that let me watch the walkers, joggers, and cars cruise by in front of my home whenever I encounter that dreadful writer’s block. Do you ever go outside on a beautiful day and write there? Sometimes, but being in Florida with the blazing heat and brutal humidity, I only work outside by the pool during the winter months (which are more like fall and spring, since it rarely gets to freezing here). Are you listening to music when you write? Sometimes. I love listening to house music or jazz, but some days I welcome the silence. Drinking wine? I’m a huge wine lover—preferably medium- to full-bodied reds—and if I work nights, then you’ll most certainly catch me with a glass. Do you do your best work during the day? Yes, since my family demands my attention in the evenings, but sometimes when we’re watching TV and I’m disinterested in the show, I’ll grab my computer and get some blog hopping in, or I’ll read on my Kindle.
In Twitter fashion using 140 characters or less, sum up UnGuarded for us.
Selene—a guardian angel who can shift into human form—is torn between caring for her human charge & her forbidden love for a vampire. Add it to your Good Reads shelf now! (UnGuarded @ Goodreads)
Will we be seeing a following book to this story?
At this point I’m undecided if this book will be part of a series; it could go either way with the yet possibly open-ended ending it closes with. But since I’m getting requests for a sequel from some of the people who have read the ARC, I’m strongly considering it.
What were your feelings when you first saw the cover of your finished book?
My breath caught with stunned surprise as I cried tears of joy. Claudia with PhatPuppyArt.com did such an amazing job and has been so incredible to work with that not only would I highly recommend her to anyone needing a book cover or anything art related, but I also can’t wait to work with her on my next book, Crimson Rain (book #2 in The Crimson Series [the sequel to Crimson Groves]).
Paranormal Addicts would love to thank Ashley for joining us today. If you are interested in visiting her or learning more about her please check out these following links:
Abigail Tate was a normal human girl. Until the day Bronx the vampire barges into her life and turns her against her will. Held captive while forced to deal with never ending cravings for blood, Abby prays for a way to escape. Only when an opportunity arises, it's with the aid of an innocent human named Tyler—except vampires are forbidden to interact with the unbitten. But Abby quickly learns this human has secrets of his own...secrets that can either help her or get her killed. Only Abby discovers that she was the one with the biggest secret of them all.
Be sure to stop by here on July 1st for Ashley's new release.
She will be giving away a copy of this great new book!
She will be giving away a copy of this great new book!
UnGuarded tells the story of Selene, a guardian angel who was so close to becoming an archangel—the supreme of all beings—until she fell in love with Cole, a forbidden dark one. Once she discovers her vampire lover has been kidnapped and the only way to save him is by abandoning her number one priority—Caitlyn, her human charge—there really is only one answer in Selene’s mind, even though leaving Caitlyn unguarded will most likely cause Selene to fall from grace. But her choice to save Cole doesn’t come without a price...and now Selene is racing against time to not only save her dark lover, but find a way to keep Caitlyn alive as well. With the help of a new vampire ally, Luke, Selene will push her diminishing angel abilities to the point where her very existence lies in the balance. Now threatened with the chance of becoming a fallen angel or even dying, Selene can only pray she’ll have enough time—and good grace—to save the ones she loves.
You can find the first two chapters of UnGuarded on my blog here.