Thanks, Susan! I’m delighted to be here!
Susan: Please, tell our readers a little about your background.
Ashlyn: Okay…my background. It’s been a long, winding road to get where I am. I began adult life going to Mass. College of Art in Boston. Then I discovered a degree in Fine Art was preparing my for a job in which I’d have to say, “Would you like fires with that?” So, I went to work as a secretary at Lahey Clinic and got married. My husband-at-the-time’s entry into the Air Force took me to Colorado Springs for 2 years. That’s where my darling daughter was born.
I still call her the best of all my creations. The marriage failed. (I didn’t like being a battered wife) so I returned to my parents in the Boston burbs with an infant in tow. Sheesh! I hadn’t intended to tell my WHOLE life story! Oh well.
Skipping ahead… I returned to school for nursing, knowing I needed a job that would support my daughter and myself, long term. I graduated, passed the boards for my RN, and because I found people fascinating I eventually specialized in psych nursing. That was cool–for about 15 years, then I burned out. During that time, I took a screenwriting course to keep my creative side happy. I had remarried a neat-nick, and writing was cleaner than painting.
After a few more years as a Red Cross Blood Donor Nurse, my parents became terminally ill at the same time. I cut my hours way down so I could help take care of them. Knowing this would be a stressful time, one of my fellow nurses handed me a book and said, “Here. Read this.” She didn’t tell me anything about the book and I’m glad. If she had said it was a romance novel I would have politely refused it. I’m SO glad that didn’t happen. The book was Outlander. I read it when my parents had visitors or were taking naps. It was my guilty pleasure. I was into the 2nd book in the series before I even realized this intelligent story was a romance. Talk about exploding a preconceived notion! Well, that’s how I got hooked on romance.
My folks died within 2 months of each other. Being the only child left (we’d already lost my brother and sister years earlier) I inherited enough to enable me to write full time. I could feed my hunger for creative expression, which was as much a part of me as breathing, and I knew they’d want me to follow my dream. Now–what to write? I joined RWA, hoping to write what I loved to read. I joined a critique group and learned a lot from my chapter-mates. I entered contests. and won some of them, including the Beacon Award for Best First Book. That was Heaving Bosoms. I know. LOL. I had to beg my publisher to keep that title. Whether contemporary or paranormal romance, I write full on romantic comedy–and I love it!
Susan: What do you enjoy most about being an author?
Ashlyn: I love a lot of things about it. First, it gives me a useful purpose—one that feels like a calling. I can’t imagine not doing something to express myself. That in itself is therapeutic. A creative soul can’t not create. (Pardon the double negative.)
Also, I love my readers. They keep me going. Sometimes a book flows and sometimes it’s like pulling teeth. When I get a fan letter…something like, “Your book got me through a tough time and even put a smile on my face,” it’s worth more than a big royalty check. I’m thrilled to know I’ve paid it forward and that motivates me to keep writing, no matter what.
Susan: Please, tell us about your latest book.
Ashlyn: Let’s see…my September release was Tug of Attraction, 2nd in the Love Spells Gone Wrong series. Book 1 is called The Cupcake Coven. As you can probably tell, these books are about good witches that goof (Hey, mistakes happen) and they’re full of my paranormal humor.
Tug turned out to be a special book for me. It’s not your usual romance. The heroine has endometriosis, which is more common than you’d think. It can make sex painful, but she desperately wants to have a baby. And yes, there are always sex scenes in my books! To me, love leads there, naturally. My hero is a tugboat captain, and he handles her condition so well you can’t help but fall in love with him.
I’m donating a portion of my royalties to the Endometriosis Foundation.
Because I’m a reader too and I always like to start a series with book 1, I’ll give offer links to The Cupcake Coven first, then links to ALL of my books on Amazon and Barnes and Noble:
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Ashlyn-Chase/e/B002BOJ4FK/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1381802519&sr=1-2-ent or Tiny url:
Susan: On top of everything, you’re the founder of New England’s first romance reader/writer conference, Fall in Love with New England Romance Reader/Author Conference. Please, tell our readers all about it and how they can register and be part of the fun.
Ashlyn: I’m so glad you asked! Here’s the registration page with details: http://fallinlovewithnewengland.blogspot.com and GOOD NEWS! There’s still time to be one of the first 75 readers to register and get an early bird price break. It’s just $75 for the conference fee! That includes meals and activities—like a Halloween costume contest, bobbing for baskets, and prizes galore! We intend to spoil our readers rotten! LOL
And here’s a huge giveaway for 1 lucky reader who comments on this post: Free registration for the conference!!! A $99.00 value at the regular price.
Deadline is Midnight, Eastern time the night of Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015. To enter, tell Ashlyn why she should pick you in the comment box with your name and email. Contest void where prohibited by law.
Susan: I want to thank Ashlyn for being on Nights of Passion today. I can’t wait for the Fall in Love With New England Romance Readers/Authors Conference. I’ll be there with bells on. (Link) Giggles. I can’t wait.
Ashlyn: Me too! Thanks so much for having me. Big hugs!
Where there’s fire, there’s Ash!
Susan Hanniford Crowley
Author of Vampire King of New York
P.S. I’m going to the Fall in Love with New England Romance Reader/Author Conference! See you there.