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Hello and welcome Debut Erotica Author Ashley Burner to Coffee Time Romance and More! Ashley, congratulations on your recent publishing contract! That’s so exciting! Are you still walking on clouds?

Thank you, Destiny! It’s a pleasure to be here today. Cloud Nine has worn off just a little bit, but I have to tell you, receiving the email stating we want to publish your book is unbelievably amazing. There is nothing like an industry professional placing their seal of approval on you: I know what I am doing and all the time I spend writing is worth it.

I know what you mean. It is too easy to doubt yourself as a writer. I love your website. You seem so passionate and inspired. I love your message about following your dreams. What gave you the courage to follow yours?

Thank you again, Destiny! Writing is my heart and soul so I’m glad it shows through with my website. I think it is important people are encouraged to follow their dreams. My children gave me the courage to write down the stories of their childhood and create new ones. I dream of getting all my stories written down on paper. So many characters fill my head, each vying for their turn.

That is wonderful. You will definitely inspire your children to follow their dreams by following yours! What do you love about writing, and when did you receive your drive to start writing?

I love writing because I have an opportunity to bring a world to life others would not otherwise see. I hope to entertain them and give them a point of view they would have never thought of. My first taste of writing came when my grandpa passed away. He was my favorite, still is, and his death tore my heart to pieces.

I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m so glad that you found writing when you needed it. You seem like a true romantic. Are you married? Have you found your true love, and does he inspire your writing?

The world would be a much better place if everyone was a romantic. Yes, I’ve been married for twenty years to the same man. I knew I’d marry him the first time I let him kiss me. He scared me to death, and I didn’t talk to him for three days after that. I wasn’t ready to be married, or so I thought. We were married nine months later. And yes, he is most definitely part of my inspiration. Max’s character in Twisted Candy is a lot like him. Both men want to understand the heroine’s pain and help their women through it.

Aw…that is the cutest story! Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Do you have any special plans? What would be the perfect Valentine’s Day for you? Would you want to go out, or would a romantic night in be more to your taste?

Valentine’s Day, well, we’ve never been a couple to celebrate our love based on a calendar holiday. We prefer random acts of kindness and love, and to show our appreciation of one another when we want to. It really means more to me when he comes home on a Wednesday in the middle of November with a bouquet of flowers. I like to leave him love notes in his lunch box, on his pillow, or next to his razor.

You two sound perfect together! Do you also have a day job, or do you get to write full time? What is a typical day like for you?

Yes, I have the dreaded full time, paying job. It surprises me how little writers are paid. We put so much effort into our work with the writing itself, research, public profiles, and marketing. Being a writer is really a three-person job. But, it’s harder for a newbie too. There is so much to learn. I really love it, though. I hope, in time, my writing will earn enough that I don’t have to keep another job. I don’t think my days are any different than the typical mother’s. I work, run a household, attend my children’s sporting events—even when there are two a night the whole week all summer long, and then I write. Luckily enough though, I’ve had the last several Saturdays to dedicate to writing.

Do your family and friends support your writing? What were your biggest challenges to getting published?

Yes, I receive a lot of support from family and friends. People, of course, do not understand exactly how much effort goes into writing a book and how a chapter can be edited ten times and you still feel like something is off.
My biggest challenge in getting published? That’s a tough one. I think the biggest challenge is finding a publisher who sees your vision and is as excited about your story and characters as you are, because they will do the best marketing for your book.

What are you currently writing? Do you have your next release date yet?

I recently finished book two, Hard Candy, in my Sweet Candy Saga and submitted it to Etopia Press. I am very excited about this one. There’s more depth to the plot and characters. We also learn more about the pain Candy endures in her head and the pain Max endures in his heart. I don’t have a release date yet, as I just submitted it, but I’m really hoping for some time in July.

Do you have any New Year’s resolutions? What are your writing ambitions for this year?

Yes! To become a better person. For several years now, I’ve been purchasing young adult books and having them autographed so I can donate them to children in foster care for Christmas. This past year, due to my son going into the Army, I became pen pals with young men and women going through basic training at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina. It’s been both heart-wrenching and inspiring. I hope it continues through this year and years to come. I hope, this year, I can inspire a young mind to follow their dreams and maybe be a bigger part in helping them reach those goals.
For writing, I hope I continue to grow as an artist. My first book was 74,000+ words, my second 55,000, and my third 24,000. I’d really like to learn how to write a song. I’m amazed songwriters can tell a whole story in what takes a song three minutes to tell us.

You truly inspire me. After hearing that, I really feel the need to rewrite my New Year’s resolutions.
Do you write in other genres other than erotic romance? Are there any genres you would like to try but haven’t yet?

As a matter of fact, I do write other genres. I bet you figured that out by visiting my website. I began learning the art of writing with The Institute of Children’s Literature back in early 2000. I started writing my upcoming release, Rae and the Ruby Scepter, with them. I’ll release this young adult novel under the name of Lily M. Knight on May 3, 2016. I also wrote seven children’s stories for my son to read while in basic training last summer. It is a series called The Adventures of Tucker and Tori. My son told me I was famous in basic training. Soldiers from different platoons and companies heard about the weekly stories he received from home. They would ask him, “I hear you have some stories. Can I read them?” It really made me feel good as a momma and a writer.

Do you have a message for your readers?

Yes! Go after what you want. Goals are not always easy to achieve. If they were, everyone would have what you want. Dare to Dream!

Ashley, thank you so very much for taking the time to do this interview!

 

 

 

 

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