Monday, August 2, 2010

Interview with Sharon Ashwood, Paranormal Author of Dark Desires


Sharon Ashwood is the author of paranormal romances with hot and passionate heroes and heroines that leap off the pages. They're tough, honorable and ready to take out the evil in the world.


Warning: Sharon's dark tales may have you checking under your bed for monsters. lol


***Contest: Sharon will be giving away a book from the Dark Forgotten Series – reader’s choice of which one (there are excerpts of all 3 on her web site). All you have to do is ask Sharon a question or leave a comment and you'll be entered to win! Good Luck!


Let's give Sharon a warm welcome.


Tell us a little about yourself (Bio): Sharon Ashwood is a free-lance journalist, novelist, desk jockey and enthusiast for the weird and spooky. She has an English literature degree but works as a finance geek. Interests include growing her to-be-read pile and playing with the toy graveyard on her desk. As a vegetarian, she freely admits the whole vampire/werewolf lifestyle fantasy would never work out, so she writes paranormal romances instead.

Sharon lives in the Pacific Northwest and is owned by the Demon Lord of Kitty Badness.

Unchained is your latest release with Signet Eclipse. How does your heroine, Ashe Carver juggle both being a mother and monster-killer?

It’s not easy for her. She’s decided to quit monster-hunting for a living and move back to her hometown of Fairview, where her sister and grandmother live. Her daughter has been in boarding school for the last few years, but now Ashe has her at home. It’s a total change of lifestyle. Ashe loves her family, but she’s feeling the financial pinch since her job at the library doesn’t pay as much as a slayer-for-hire. Still, she’ll do anything to give her daughter a real home. Of course, all Ashe’s plans go out the window when the monsters start showing up looking for trouble.


Describe the hero of the story, Captain Reynard. Don’t be afraid to make us drool. We’d love a new Monday hunk.

Reynard is the captain of the guardsmen who supervise an interdimensional prison for the supernatural called the Castle. It’s like a big, bad dungeon with dark stone corridors and flickering torches, horrible critters wanting to eat your brains, the works. The guards weren’t volunteers; they were coerced into the job and had their souls removed as a guarantee they’d stay on. In return, they are immortal and hard to kill. Reynard has been there since the 1750s.

Before he entered the Castle, he was a British soldier and the younger son of a noble family. He was disappointed in love and ended up a bad boy—he’s brave, incredibly handsome, and has the kind of nerve that lends itself to gambling and swordfights. Back in the day, he could—and did—have every eligible woman except the one he wanted. But that’s giving away the story.

Needless to say, it takes a rare character to last through centuries of living in the dark and in constant danger without losing your marbles. Reynard managed, but it cost his spirit. Then the heroine comes along—a strong, beautiful, willful woman who is as great a warrior as he is. On top of that comes a mission that takes him outside the Castle. He faces the choice of really living again—oh, so briefly—or doing his duty and returning to the Castle for centuries more servitude in darkness.

This is how Ashe, the heroine, sees him at the beginning of the book:

He was Sleeping Beauty’s dreams made flesh. The gold braid of his scarlet uniform glinted in the light. He wore his dark, thick hair pulled back into a neat queue, showing the angles of his lean face. His steel gray eyes were guarded, promising a thousand secrets, and enough bad boy lurked in the set of his mouth to make any red-blooded woman lick her chops in anticipation. If she were really, really naive.

Is Unchained part of a series or a stand alone story?

It’s the third in the Dark Forgotten series (the first two are Ravenous and Scorched). It’s written so that someone new to my books could read it independently, but those that have read the earlier books will have more of the background of the other characters. Many of the people turn up book after book.


You’ve written about demons, witches, vampires, and monsters. What inspired you to write paranormal tales?

It wasn’t really a conscious decision—I’ve always written, and I’ve always written books with magic in them. I grew up on fantasy literature—I read The Lord of the Rings when I was in elementary school—so it’s always been part of my vocabulary as a writer. People think of urban fantasy as new, but British writers like Alan Garner and Susan Cooper were writing it for young adults back in the 1970s.


What was your first paranormal story you read and how old were you?

Not counting fairy tales, probably when I was six or seven. I started reading C.S. Lewis’s Narnia books around then. About the same time, I discovered ghost stories, and I was hooked.


Do you have a favorite reference book?

I have a small library of books on historical weapons and warfare. It was hugely helpful when writing Reynard’s character (he was in the Royal Regiments in India—a fascinating piece of history). It’s also my go-to when I’m trying to figure out battle scenes. I always seem to have this need to have a big fight sequence once a book, and I have to orchestrate it so that it tactically make sense, at least in my own mind. Since my people are basically low-tech, I go to low-tech examples. I try not to have a zap of magic save everything. If you’re going to have a fighter as a hero, you have to show that he knows his stuff.


What are your current projects and works in progress?

Book IV of the Dark Forgotten, Frostbound, is in the hopper, and I’m working on proposals for more. I’ve also got a short story coming out in the Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2, which will be out in the fall.


Tell the readers where they can find you:

My website and personal blog is at www.SharonAshwood.com. I’m also part of a fabulous group blog at www.SilkandShadows.com.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers?

My slayer heroine, Ashe, has created a do-it-yourself advice tool for those faced with supernatural infestations. Professionals are expensive (how do you think Ashe paid for that nice Ducati on the cover of Unchained?), so it’s great of her to offer her extensive de-monstering experience to the home handyperson.

Yes, you can try this at home! Whether you’re dealing with goblins, changelings, imps, werewolves, fire demons . . . virtually any supernatural creature, Ashe has the advice you need to kick some serious monster butt. Click here to learn how she recommends you or your friend(s) deal with your own personal hell.

Video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbExjMvR8-0&feature=email

Blurb:

Been there, slain that . . .

Ashe Carver, monster-killer, has the scars to prove it. But faced with a custody battle, she's hung up her stakes and taken a job at the public library, determined to show the courts and her ten-year-old daughter that she's as good a mother as she is a hunter.


Easier said than done. There are lovelorn vampires haunting the library, a slime demon in the shopping mall, and her new-mom sister needs a hand with her ghostbusting biz. Then, after centuries guarding a supernatural prison, Captain Reynard strides into her world like a hero from the library's Must Reads. Smokingly gorgeous, passionate and courageous to a fault, he has only weeks to live unless Ashe finds the thief who took his soul.


Ashe picks up her weapons to save the day—but not every problem can be solved with a stake. With so much tragedy in her past, Ashe fears the disaster she sees ahead—and prays she doesn't fail everyone. Again.


Memories are the hardest monsters to kill.

Excerpt:

http://www.sharonashwood.com/unchained-excerpt.php


15 comments:

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

Sharon,

I want to thank you again for coming by today and sharing your wonderful stories. I can't wait to read them.

*yadkny* said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Sharon & Hi Karen,
"...is owned by the Demon Lord of Kitty Badness." - That's just too cute:) I happen to live in the Pacific Northwest as well. I know you said that as a vegetarian it wouldn't work out for you, but if you had to choose to be one which would it be... vampire or werewolf?

yadkny@hotmail.com

Raine Delight said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Sharon and Karen,

Great blog interview and post. I loved the first book and have Scorched on my TBR pile. Might have to move it up to the top now. *grins*

Raine Delight said... Best Blogger Tips

oops forgot to add my email addy and my question. Ack! I hate days like these.

Sorry!

Question for Sharon- If you could meet any paranormal creature, who would it be and what would you bring along?

Raine Delight
rainedelight @ yahoo dot com

Sharon Ashwood said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi, Karen,

Thanks for having me! This is my first day back from a road trip and I'm enjoying a slow cup of coffee and reading your comments!

Hi, yadkny - I'm not sure about the vamp versus wolf thing. I might enjoy the wolf life more, but I could possibly be talked to the vampire side if the sales pitch was good enough ....

Hello, Raine - yes, I'm sure Mac in Scorched wants to be moved to the top of the pile. Fire demons are pushy like that! What paranormal creature would I like to meet? Probably a shapeshifter. I'm very curious as to what that experience would be like! I'd bring a long list of questions! And also probably a large steak sandwich ...just in case, if y'know what I'm saying ...

Rebecca J Vickery said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Sharon and Karen, Loved the interview and being owned by the Demon Lord of Kitty Badness grabbed me right away. LOL
My question is (actually two, please): What do you consider the most helpful advice to a new writer trying to get published? And how do you find time to do everything?
Rebecca
rebeccajvickery@gmail.com

Sharon Ashwood said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi, Rebecca,

My piece of advice for newbies is pretty simple: no matter what genre you're writing, readers respond to emotion. The way you write it is pretty key as well. To say "he felt sad" is okay but "his guts twisted with grief" is better. The more color you can give emotions, the more they'll stick with the reader.

Time to cover everything? Not really there. I try to organize myself but I'm never quite caught up ...

Cheers!

Sharon

jellybelly82158 said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Sharon,
I have read the first book in your Dark Desires series and I loved it. I haven't got my hands on the second book yet but hope to soon.
Keep up the great writing

Sharon Ashwood said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks, Jellybelly, I appreciate the good word!

Cathy said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Sharon,

Your books sound really good. I have a question. Do you find it difficult to write a series? Would you much rather write a single title.

Cathy said... Best Blogger Tips

I forgot to put my email address: cnickol@verizon.net. Please enter my name in the contest. Thank you

Sharon Ashwood said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi, Cathy,

I don't find it hard to write a series in terms of ideas--I always have more!--but of course I have to have the publisher on side. That means I have to come with ideas that work for everybody, so I usually go into discussions with several ideas and talk to them about what they want to do.

Thanks for posting!

Kari Thomas said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Sharon and Karen! GREAT Interview!

Sharon, your books sound fantastic and Im adding them to my TBB list!

Which Paranormal Creature/Being do you enjoy writing the most? Shapeshifters, Demons, etc? Personally, I love the Shapeshifters, but the others offer so many possibilities too!!

Ahh, so many Paranormal Creatures...so little time! LOL!

hugs, Kari Thomas, www.authorkari.com

Sharon Ashwood said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi, Kari,

Which I enjoy writing depends a bit on the mood I'm in. For an action scene, I seriously enjoy dragons. For a sex scene, it's hard to go wrong with a vampire. In other words variety is good ... and I'll stop there before I get myself in trouble!

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

Now for what you've all been waiting for. Drum roll please... Cathy is the lucky winner. Congratulations!