Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

FIve Questions With Sharon Ashwood, author of "The Dark Forgotten" series

I'm thrilled today to be hosting author Sharon Ashwood, the author of the thrilling "The Dark Forgotten" paranormal suspense series.

Taking time out of her busy schedule preparing for her latest release "Frostbound," Sharon was generous to answer a few questions about her writing and upcoming projects.

1. At what age did you know that you wanted to be a writer? 

Sharon:  I began writing stories when I was about seven or eight. I was an only child and had a lot of time to amuse myself, so I’d write and illustrate my own adventures. Most of them were sword and sorcery adventures and involved Greek or Norse gods.

The move to actively seeking publication happened much later.  I had a high school teacher who let me out of a lot of boring homework assignments if I’d turn in a novel at the end of the year, and then she made me submit it for publication. Of course it was turned down—it was a histrionic Romeo and Juliet story penned by a teenager with zero life experience—but it showed me the ropes.  When I returned to writing after university, I already had the confidence to finish a full-length book.  That was huge. A lot of writing is plain endurance.

2.  At what point in your career did it finally sink in – “hey, I’m famous,” and did it make a difference in your writing?

Sharon: I’ll let you know if I’m ever actually famous!

The big difference between being published and unpublished is a sense of responsibility. Suddenly you have a contracted timetable and, if you’re lucky, people are waiting for your next story. It needs to be better than the last. It’s good pressure and it makes me strive for excellence, but it’s definitely pressure.

3.  Who are some of your favorite authors? Who inspires you?

Sharon:  I’m a big reader of urban fantasy and adore Jim Butcher, but if you look at my bookshelves you’ll see a huge mix of genres. My background is in English literature, so you’ll see a lot of Trollope, Bronte and Dickens as well as a cartload of historical fiction. I love Julia Quinn’s Regencies. I relish a good Victorian mystery like the Pitt series. Right now I’m reading Stephen Hunt and dipping into a bunch of steampunk.

I also read a lot of books on social history, because that helps me add depth to world building. Creating a psychologically convincing society is a massive part of good fantasy writing. The hellhounds in Frostbound are a case in point. They’re outsiders trying to integrate into our world. My job as a writer is to delineate what that actually means for them and to do it in a few meaningful brushstrokes so I don’t bog down the story. That took some thought.

4. What do you have coming up in the future?
Sharon:  I have a lot of projects in various stages of development right now. This coming year is going to be exciting—and unfortunately, I can’t give details on a lot of it yet!
One new thing for me that I can talk about is a foray into the ebook market.  I’m participating in a four-person anthology of action/adventure paranormal romance, and there will be a brand new Dark Forgotten novella. The book doesn’t have a title yet, but the other scheduled authors are Lori Devoti, Michele Hauf, and Patti O’Shea. It should be out in the fall.

5. What advice would you have for anyone wanting to break into the writing biz today?
Sharon: Expect the unexpected and dig in for the long haul. It’s not a game for the easily discouraged. Magic happens, but there’s a lot of slogging in between.

One thing worth remembering is that publishing has always been a crazy business.  Look back at the letters and journals of nineteenth-century authors and you’ll find they griped about issues like readership, copyright, and advances just like we do today. Really, you have to write because you love telling stories and there are people out there who love to read them. The rest is just noise.

My thanks to Sharon for taking time to answer these questions!  Be sure to check out her website at http://www.sharonashwood.com/ for lots of great information on her books!

And be sure to look for her new book, "Frostbound," which is released today!

About The Book:

As a snowstorm locks down the city, someone beheads the wrong girl. Vampire-on-the-lam Talia Rostova thinks it was meant to be her. And now she's the prime suspect in her own botched murder and the prisoner of her smoking-hot-neighbor: a hellhound. And the hot-blooded Lore was bred to serve and protect, so he's not freeing Talia until he's sure she's the prey and not the hunter...
 (From Goodreads.com)

"Frostbound" is the fourth book in Sharon's "The Dark Forgotten" series, but it can be read as a stand-alone novel. Filled with paranormal mayhem, a gruesome murder, thrilling intrigue, and a bit of incredibly sexyt romance, I was absolutely entralled with this book. Hellhounds, vampires, were-cougars - you name it, even a witch or two thrown in for good measure - makes "Frostbound" a novel that will definitely keep you up all night reading (and/or cowering under your blankets)!

I highly recommend this book, and intend to go back and pick up the first three books in this series - "Unchained," "Scorched," and "Ravenous."  What better way to beat the summer heat than with a chilling thrilling Sharon Ashwood novel!

My thanks to Kim Miller with Nancy Berland Public Relations for arranging this interview, and to Sharon Ashwood for the review copy of her book.

I was not compensated for my opinion.


Coreena McBurnie said...

Thanks for the interview, I love getting to know the authors better.

April said...

Hi Sharon! Wow, what a gorgeous blog you have! I love it! This book and the entire series looks and sounds amazing. Wonderful interview!
Thank you so much for stopping by Cafe of Dreams today so that I was able to discover your great blog!!