Today we welcome author Ashlynn Monroe to our little corner of the universe. Hello, Ms. Monroe, my name is Lori (Lototy at Coffee Time Romance), and it my pleasure to speak with you today about your book Slave to His Desires.
We would like to get to know you a little first. How is it that you manage to hold down a home with young children, and still find the time to write such vibrant stories?
It’s a challenge, especially as I also have a full time job, but writing is my way to reward myself for hard work. Writing has been my stress relief and creative outlet since I was only thirteen. I wait until the kids are in bed and then I start pounding the keys. I don’t watch much television. I also write on my breaks at work. We have a room called the quiet room and I sit in the comfy chair with my netbook instead of eating lunch.
Is there a perfect time of day or night when your imagination runs wild, and how do you hold on to these ideas in the midst of Mommy duties?
I use the voice note feature on my blackberry and leave myself the snips of inspiration I think of in the car or when I’m running around the house picking up after the kiddos. Sometime I listen to them and think “eeekkkk that’s terrible” other times I’m glad I saved the idea.
I have always been more of a Trekky fan than a Star Wars junky, and I think it is because the characters always felt more natural and “human”. What really sparked your interest in the sci-fi or paranormal, and do you see yourself branching out into other genres?
I actually write in several genres, but science fiction has always been my favorite. My first (terrible) novel titled Arianna’s Circle was written at thirteen. I never published it. Think the blue lagoon meets the star wars meets the end of the world. It was really horrible but my cousins loved it and encouraged me to write more. I didn’t hang onto the book but I do have the cover that my cousin drew and framed for my fourteenth birthday hanging on my wall. She wrote a really wonderfully sentimental note of encouragement and tucked it between the picture and the frame. It’s still one of my most prized possestions. I’ve always been drawn to the grand scope of the possibilities of alien worlds and even if I don’t believe in aliens I’d love it if they exsisted (especially if they all had six-pack abs).
How do you like to set the scene for your writing, and is it something physical, like music or lighting, or a mind set that you place yourself in?
I’ve learned to write anywhere that I find time. When I go to my favorite spot it’s a corner in my bedroom with a comfy butterfly chair and a laptop stand. I turn on the acleptic playlist on my ipod and start typing. I’m always in the mindset to write and happily I’ve never had writer’s block (unless you count the kids screaming MOM).
Do you dream at night of traveling to far off worlds, and if it is not too much, will you describe for us what your favorite off world destination would be like?
If a sexy alien asked me to hop in his spaceship and join him, I wouldn’t say no. I’d hope for something along the lines of a Doctor Who style adventure, only my doc would have to be six-five, buff, and have smoky bedroom eyes. YUMMERS!
In Slave to His Desires, Madison is a dance student who has been ripped from the streets and transported to an alien world to be sold into slavery. When reading this scene the cold and callousness of the alien abductors is enough to make your skin crawl. Is there a point where you scare yourself sometimes, and where do you draw the line between fear and terror?
I only stopped writing a book once because it scared me. The story was about a family who bought a new home. The house was haunted by creepy children. The family died because they became trapped in a homemade bomb shelter during the cold war. The young woman in the story was pregnant and so was I at the time I was writing it. My husband was an OTR trucker so I was alone and it was a very spooky windy fall evening. There was a point in the story where they’d almost solved the mystery of why the house was haunted and the ghostly little girl crawls into the bed next to the sleeping woman and touches her stomach. The woman wakes up to the diabolical little ghost telling her that she was going to be reborn as her baby. My baby kicked at the same moment while I was writing the words and the wind rattled the windows behind me. I shrieked and immediately turned off the computer. I deleted the story to rid myself of the hebejebies.
I’m a weenie so I’ll leave the horror to people who do it better. On occasion I do have a chilling scene or two in a paranormal book, I save those to write at lunch when I have a lot of people around me and it’s daylight.
Is there a reason why you chose dance as Madison’s passion, and did you intend for it to tie in to the rest of the story?
I wanted to show the reader that Madison had a reason to get home. When I saw her in my mind she was thin and graceful so dance made sense to me. I wanted her to have to chose between her potential greatness and love.
I have always found it comical that really tall men often choose women who are tiny in comparison, and Jul and Madison are no different. Is this type of physical difference a consideration when you develop your characters, and do you try to envision the logistics of such a match?
I actually know a few real life couples like this, and yes I wonder how the girls scale the mountains they married lol. I wanted to make Jul’s race humanoid but very different so I thought height was something easy for the reader to envision and have a continuous feeling of contrast throughout the story.
Writing erotic stories can cover such a huge range when it comes to the physicality between the characters. With Jul and Madison it is more suggestion than actual act. Do you believe in less is more, or do you tend to base this on the characters and how their story is playing out?
As I write I let my characters take the lead. Sometimes less is definitely more, but I have written a few books that didn’t leave anything at all to the imagination.
There is so much going on between Jul, his best friends, his staff, and Madison that I could easily see this as a full length novel. Do you prefer writing shorts or do you use them as a springboard for novels yet to come, and what can we look for in your upcoming releases?
I love writing novellas because as soon as I get going on a story new ones pop into my head. I do have a couple of full length novels out, but the great majority of my backlist are novellas. I have a few series out too. I’ve had a lot of feedback asking for another book about Jul’s world. It’s always a possibility. I’m planning on writing a full length novel as my next project. I have some fun novellas coming on for Halloween and Christmas with Silver Publishing and I have a ya steampunk paranormal series coming from kNight Romance Publishing soon.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions today. I very much look forward to reading many more of your works, and if the covers are any indication, they are sure to be excellent reads! It has been a pleasure to read your story and get to know you a little better.
Thanks so very much for reading me and taking the time to interview me. Readers are the most important part of the writing process. Many years I wrote for myself, keeping file after file of ideas on the computer. It wasn’t as satisfying as it is now. Since my first book was published in 2010 I’ve felt a hole inside of me I didn’t even know was there is being filled by this special work of my heart. Someday I hope to make this a full time gig. I just love getting my ideas into the hands of readers. It’s the most amazing thing, spiritual, to realize the creative streak that makes me a bit of a nut brings joy to other people. I have all this emotion in my head, all these bits of story floating around all day and all night. I even dream in books lol. I’m so glad I can finally let it all out. If even one person can escape the mundane for a moment I know I’m here for a reason and that makes me smile.