Wednesday 29 February 2012

Ashley Robertson - Interview and Giveaway

Today I welcome Ashley Robertson, author of Crimson Groves (read my review) to the blog. Ashley is here to tell you a bit more about herself and is offering e-book copies of Crimson Grove to three lucky readers!

1) Perhaps to start, you could tell readers a little bit more about yourself

Growing up, I lived on a farm with cattle and horses (and one pet pig) surrounded by an expansive orange grove (my Pops still grows the best citrus you’ll ever taste). When I wasn’t exploring the great outdoors, then I was most likely writing songs. My sister, Allison, and I would sing them, and even choreograph dances for them. Eventually, I learned that I wasn’t blessed with a singing voice. :-)

That’s when a lot of my writing shifted to poetry, and it also took a very personal turn. Most of my pieces became outlets for me to vent about school, friends, parent’s issues, and most of all…guys. But it still wasn’t enough to satiate my creativity. That’s when I played around with some short stories and plays—I really wish I still had those laying around!—and discovered a whole new passion: writing fiction.

While taking grammar and writing classes in college, I also worked at a real estate company as an assistant. I was encouraged to get my license to be an agent, and once I did, business started booming. I teamed up with Lorraine Barrett (one of the top agents in Southwest Orlando) and together we closed hundreds of deals and millions in sales volume. Fast forward 13 years, the housing market isn’t doing so great, and most contracts are with banks i.e.: short sales and foreclosures. In an effort to put it nicely, I majorly disliked working with the banks. My stress levels were through the roof. Eventually my amazing husband told me to “just walk away from it” and that’s exactly what I did.

So I’m a full time writer now (have been for almost two years), and I have one novel published (Crimson Groves) with two more in the works. I also published a collaboration of some of my favorite poems and songs, Life Through Poetry, under my maiden name.

I’m also blessed with a loving and supportive husband, Baron, who I couldn’t explore my dreams of writing without, and I’m a very proud step mom to my amazing six year old son, Cayman, who seems to get more and more energy every day. I love animals, and my 3 fury children are Tyler (choc. lab), Isis (white lab), and Phoebe (Himalayan kitty). I’m also obsessed with making my own almond milk cappuccinos with my Nespresso machine, and I am a major “Wino” preferring medium to full-bodied reds from the Napa Valley region.

2) Where did you first get the idea for Crimson Groves?

I kept having daydreams about a girl being turned into a vampire against her will, and her path to vengeance. So I put pen to paper (or should I say font to screen?) and knocked out 4 chapters straight away, which I’ve learned for me is huge since I’m about a 1000 words-a-day kinda gal.

3) How do you decide which 'rules' to adopt for your vampires?
Since I’ve been obsessed with everything vampire since I was in middle school, it was hard for me to not at least play by the ‘basic’ vampire rules; burning is the sun, decapitation (I mean, I don’t know any being that can live without their head!), heightened abilities and senses. In CG, I didn’t really like the concept of stabbing them in the heart, since technically vamps don’t have one. I also liked the idea of a vampire bite not poisoning you, but giving you a euphoric feeling that would last for hours.

4) What was the publication process like for you?

The easiest, most amazing experience I’ve ever endured. HA HA. :-) If you’re a writer, then I’m certain I didn’t fool you for a second. After receiving countless rejection letters from literary agencies (most were because no one wanted to touch anything vampire thanks to the Twilight books), I finally came to the grueling decision of self-publishing. And let me tell you, I respect every other Indie author out there that’s pushing their book daily and making sales. When publishing yourself, there are extra fees and expenses that you eat up front with hopes of making it back in book revenue. Indie authors are on their own with hiring a professional editor—which I highly recommend (mine is Stephen Delaney with Close Reader Editing)—getting a dramatic book cover created (and trust me, a lot of people judge a book by its cover), policing the publishing company since they seem to screw up your manuscript during their ‘formatting’ procedure, and then waiting patiently for the finals to arrive. And that’s just the beginning. Once your book is ready, it’s time to spread the word, market it everywhere, and seek wonderful book bloggers to review it, host interviews and giveaways, all the while praying they’ll love it and give it a good rating. Honestly, it’s a fulltime job just working on that, plus you’ve got to keep writing your next best seller too. :-)

5) Who are your favorite authors and do they influence your writing at all?

My favorite and inspiring authors are: Richelle Mead, Jeaniene Frost, Kerri Arthur, Karen Marie Moning, Laurel K. Hamilton, Dean Koontz, & Dan Brown.

I loved Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight books, but I thought the movies were horrible.

6) Tell us a random interesting fact about yourself.

Though I’m a bit self-conscious, I still think I have cute toes.

7) What are you working on at present? Any new releases coming up?

UnGuarded (urban fantasy/supernatural fiction/a little sci-fi: Guardian angel, Selene, is torn between protecting her human charge and her forbidden love of a dark one). Sneak peak at the first chapter (fully edited) can be found on my blog: UnGuarded Sneak Peak

My other upcoming novel is Crimson Rain, the sequel to Crimson Groves (Book Two in the Crimson Series)

8) Where can readers go to learn more about you and your books?

My website, of course J

They can also follow me on Facebook

The Giveaway
Ashley Robertson is offering e-book copies of Crimson Groves to THREE lucky readers. 
The giveaway is open to international entries and anyone over 13 years of age can join in. Just fill in the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

  1. I have known Ashley for a very long time and had the pleasure of working with her in Real Estate. Her poetry book and Crimson Groves are excellent! I am so proud of you Ashley!!