Friday, July 22, 2011

By Popular Demand....Ashlyn Chase!

Since August 1st marks the debut of THE VAMPIRE NEXT DOOR and Part II of my interview with author Ashlyn Chase, I've decided to reprint Part One over this weekend for any of you who might have missed it :) Meow.

Enjoy. and don't forget to check back next Wednesday for my interview with freelance and former NAL editor Kris Weber!

Ashlyn Chase in Rocco's HotSeat - Part One! (Reposted from May)

R: Hello, Ashlyn, and welcome!
A: Thank you, Rocco.

R:To begin, why don’t you tell us a little bit about your newest novel ‘THE VAMPIRE NEXT DOOR?
A: The Vampire Next Door is the 3rd in my light paranormal series Strange Neighbors. *Pardon this excited aside, but I just found out Book 1, aptly titled Strange Neighbors, is a finalist in The National Readers Choice Awards Contest! Thank you for letting me squee.
The Vampire Next Door is the story of Sly (the vampire) and Morgaine (one of the witches) who live in the Boston apartment building, which seems to attract paranormal residents.

I’ll give you part of the back cover blurb:

How does a vigilante vampire hook up with a witch who’s afraid of the dark?

Undead Sly just hasn’t been the same since he lost the love of his life many years ago. He devotes his vampiric powers to maintaining a nice, safe neighborhood, until a chipped fang undermines his confidence—and leads him to a beautiful witch who awakens his long-forgotten desires.

The charming Morgaine has spells to cure everyone’s problems but her own. Her intense phobias keep her in her shell, until she gets to know tall, dark, and brooding Sly. Just when these two unlikely lovers think they might find a cure for both of them, their deepest fears are realized.

R: Wow, that sounds great, Ashlyn! I know my master can’t wait to get her hands on it….Where did you get the idea for an apartment building inhabited by supernaturals. It has a very “Friends” feel.
A: It was inspired by (believe it or not) Tom Brady, quarterback for the Boston Patriots. I’d heard he owned a building of condos in Boston’s Back Bay…my old neighborhood! I thought, “Wouldn’t it be great to live in that building.” Soon after, I was talking to my suburban neighbor about our single years back when we lived in city apartments. It just all sort of converged, and my warped sense of humor thought it would be fun to make most of the characters supernatural and throw into the mix an unsuspecting human or two.

R: What are your favorite types of supernaturals to write about and how does your “lore” differ from the traditional?
A: I’m not sure I could pick a favorite. Shapeshifters are always fun, because they lose their clothes when they shift, but I love witches who can make anything happen with the right words or a wave of their wands. Vampires have that sexy vibe going on…so there are good things about all of them. I have adopted some of the traditional mythology, but added my own fun twists.

R: In your own opinion what do you think makes your novels so different and engaging to readers?
A: I’m guessing it’s my nutty sense of humor and wild imagination. If I can entertain people with my warped mind, I’m happy to do it.

R: What sort of research did you do for your novels?
A: Nothing much for this final book. I used a lot of the vampire lore I had created for another book of mine, Vampire Vintage. The rest is from personal experience. Yes, I can shapeshift, become invisible at will, and use my superhuman senses—especially acute hearing. Don’t talk about me behind my back. I will hear you!

R: Can you do big cats?
A: VERY Big ones. 

R: Okay, then…What’s your preferred genre: paranormal, contemporary or erotic?
A: I love light paranormal romance. H/h, steamy, but not too kinky. Slutty heroines who aren’t afraid of their sexuality and heroes who can keep up with them.

R: Your novels have a rich cast of characters, particularly second string ones. Will we be seeing more of them in your future novels? If so is there anything that you can tell us about what we can expect to see happen to them in the future?
A: Book 3 is the final installment in this series. (As far as I know. My editor hinted that it could go on and on as long as people keep moving in and out. LOL) But I made sure all the residents who stayed throughout all three books get a happily ever after ending.

R: What was the hardest part of writing and/or publishing your book?
A: Length. I’m a short novel and novella girl at heart. But when I write long, I have to write a detailed outline. Problem is, I hate doing that. I usually have a vague idea of where I’m going, but if I write it all out in painful detail, it’s a waste of time. At some point, it’s going to jump the rails and wind up taking a different direction. It’s like using GPS and deciding to do some errands on the way. Recalculate! Recalculate!

R: Hah, that sounds like my master  So, What do you do when you are not writing?
A: Alphabetize my sock drawer, make prank phone calls, think about exercising but eat chocolate until the idea goes away.

R: How did you get your agent?
A: I did it backwards—the way I do most everything. First I received a contract offer for my Strange Neighbors series from a publisher, then I needed an agent to help me read my 15 page contract. It’s so much easier to get one if you can say, “Hey, I’ve got your 15% ready and waiting…”

R: What’s a must have for you when you are writing?
A: Wine, rum, whiskey…you didn’t think I wrote this stuff sober, did you?

R: I like a nice catnip ball myself…Do you have any upcoming projects we can look forward to reading soon?
A: Gee, I hope so. I’ve been working on a proposal that both my editor and agent are interested in. All I have to do is send in an outline, and you know how much I love doing those. Blech.

R: What are some of your must read authors?
.A: Mary Janice Davidson is my fave. I also enjoy Gerry Bartlett, Annette Blair’s witches, Katie MacAlister, Dakota Cassidy…just about everyone who writes what I do.

R: What books are you reading now?
A: I received a few paperbacks by Kristin Higgins as gifts. She writes light contemporaries. I just finished Catch of the Day (loved it!) and proceeded right on to The Next Best Thing. She writes awesome characters that stay with you. The only downside is she makes me cry. I hate being made to cry.

R: If you could be any supernatural creature/being, what would you be and why?
A: Believe it or not, I’ve thought about this. I think shapeshifting might be a little painful and embarrassing. With vampirism I’d miss the sun and I wouldn’t like an all liquid diet. Frankly, the only thing I’d want to be is magical witch or a Goddess. I think I could handle it.

R: Thank you for talking to me, Ashlyn, meow! If you don’t mind, we’ll save the rest of the questions for another interview to celebrate the release of THE VAMPIRE NEXT DOOR!
A: Sounds great,Rocco! Thanks for having me!

Dont forget, kitties - Part Two airs August 1 - same day as THE VAMPIRE NEXT DOOR is released. Order your copy now!

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