Welcome to my blog spot- grab a cup of coffee and a good book ;-)
I met the amazingly talented Ashley Lane back when I did my first promotion on Book Funnel in February. Once I saw the premise of her book in the blurb, I knew I was gonna snatch that baby up and be sucked right up into the pages. So I pre-ordered my copy, and when her book came out last month, I dug in. I was blown away by the sheer imagination and uniqueness that was this book. Ashley did a fabulous job bringing her characters to life--and we all know how much I love dynamic characters that I can relate to. Upon reading Washed in Blood, (you can read my five star review of it here) I simply had to know what inspired her to write this gripping and beautifully written novel.
Here’s what she had to say:
Me: Hi Ashley, tell me a little about yourself? When did you know you were going to be a writer?
Ashley: Well, I’m a Georgia Peach born and raised. My husband and I are high school sweethearts, and though we went to the same school, we actually ‘met’ on facebook when I commented on his status out of the blue. We started dating the summer before my senior year and were the stereotypical “football star and band geek couple”. We celebrated our nine year wedding anniversary this past May and we have two boys aged 9 and almost 2, three cats, a dog and a hamster.
As far as knowing when I was going to be a writer… it’s a long bumpy road but I’ve never been one to shy away from telling my story in its entirety so here it is. I’ve always been a person that doesn’t really fit any type of mold. In high school I was unapologetically outgoing. I was bright and loud and wore confidence like a second skin. I was never one of those that knew what I wanted to be, because so many things interested me. Back then, the thought of having to pick one and settle made me sick to my stomach- but all of that changed after my first son was born.
I struggled with severe postpartum depression which was eventually re-diagnosed as treatment resistant major depressive disorder. It took doctors four years and over forty antidepressants to discover that after about three months, my body built up a tolerance to the drugs I was taking. In 2015 I had a device implanted into my chest called a Vagus Nerve Stimulator. The device works by shocking the vagus nerve which causes my brain to naturally create more serotonin and dopamine. I’ve been antidepressant free for four years now but the journey through battling major depression and anxiety gave me a complete internal makeover. My social anxiety is crippling. I struggle heavily with eye contact and being hugged or touched. All of these things combined made working in the ‘real world’ hard on me so I became the best stay at home wife and mom that I could be. Still, despite all of the cards stacked against me, I’ve always felt like I was made for something more.
And one day it just clicked. To help deal with my depression my husband had purchased me a Kindle, Christmas 2014. Reading became my escape. For just a little while, I was able to live a life where there was no depression or anxiety. Or if there was, I was able to battle it with them and see there was hope for coming out on the other side. So I thought to myself… what if I could write something that could also give someone that escape? And I realized I’d never wanted to do anything more in my life.
Me: Wow, I’m so sorry that happened to you. What a story. Georgia girls- we rock ;-) Maybe I’m just biased though LOL! So, what inspired you to write Washed in Blood?
Ashley: Honestly? I tried to write a rom-com first. My husband and I have one of those almost cheesy- blissfully fun and happy marriages. Arguments are far and few between and I figured, hey- I’m living this shit, how hard could it be to write?
HA! Any humor I have in real life most definitely does not translate onto paper for me. I also noticed no matter how hard I tried to make things light and fluffy, they kept turning dark and twisted. Finally I stopped fighting it and went with the flow.
Me: Well, I’m glad you did because it was A-MAY-zing. Now, how many books will be in the series?
Ashley: There will be 5 in the series. Each ‘brother’: Priest, Patch, Bullet, Angel and Demon- will be getting their own book.
Me: And I can’t wait for each one of them! Squeee. Which character in your collection is your favorite? Why?
Ashley: Gah, that feels like such an impossible question. As cliche as this is going to sound, Priest started everything for me. So many pieces of myself are woven into his and Willow’s story. I’ll always have a deep connection with them that I don’t know if I’ll be able to replicate with any of the others.
Me: Well, what’s not to love about him. He is super H-O-T. Swoony, strong...I’ll stop… Now, did anyone in real life inspire your characters? Priest? Willow? Vince?
Ashley: Those particular characters? No. Demon’s sister’s name is Sara, and I do have a bestie in real life named Sara that the character payed homage to. She’s not a crack whore, but she did have an ex, Tony- that was a real douche in real life as well so I had great pleasure writing his demise in the book.
Me: What are you working on now?
Ashley: Right now I’m working on Patch’s story. My goal is to have Silenced By Sin ready to release mid-September. But- I’m also the queen of procrastination and I’ve also been sworn off by my editor/best friend of putting up a pre-order until at least my first draft is finished.
Me: LOL!! Woot, woot! Loved him too! Now, tell us a little about your writing process?
Ashley: Um… if you throw a cat in a bathtub, it’s probably less chaotic than my writing process. No joke. I changed the complete story line for WIB two weeks before I released. I think it was the only time I was thankful that my editor lives in Australia because if it were any closer, she surely would have come and strangled me.
Me: Baaahhhhaaa! Cat in a bathtub. You’re hilarious! Well, it totally worked, so I’m glad you did what you did :-D So, I gotta ask, what drew you to the motorcycle romance genre?
Ashley: Motorcycle Romance’s have alpha men unlike any other that I’ve read. I love how fiercely unapologetic they are about loving and protecting their women. I knew at least for my first series that’s what I wanted to break me into the writing world.
I also cuss like a sailor so, it was basically a perfect fit.
Me: Well, you nailed the freakin’ nail on the head. It was my first and I absolutely loved it...it definitely won’t be my last. (I also cuss like a sailor too :-S) Who are your favorite authors/books?
Ashley: How much time do I have? Let’s see, right off the top of my head Lani Lynn Vale, Cambria Hebert, Kristen Ashley, and Kennedy Fox are a few of my one clicks. Lady Luck by Kristen Ashley is my number one re-read book.
Me: LOL! Right. Nice, I got some of those in my TBR too. So, what do you personally love about writing?
Ashley: I love the freedom you have. Sitting down at a blank word document is what I would imagine an artist feels like sitting down at a blank canvas, or a musician sitting down to blank sheet music. The possibilities are endless. My anxiety may keep me from traveling the world but if I want to visit the Sistine Chapel, it’s at the tips of my fingers to do so.
Me: Yes. It’s amazing to be able to create a masterpiece on a blank sheet of paper. Soo mind-blowing! What are you looking forward to this year?
Ashley: My youngest son turns two September first, so these are the months where everything with him is an exciting adventure. My husband, older son and I are each equally excited about seeing and experiencing his reaction to Halloween and Christmas this year.
Me: Awww, how sweet. That’s such a fun age. Well, thank you so much for spending time with me tonight, Ash. I wish you all the best in your writing career and your upcoming books. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for this crew of sexy and swoony bikers of yours ;-)
You can grab Ashley Lane's debut biker romance novel, now available on Amazon.
Being the boy mom of a 9 and 2 year old, means Ashley Lane lives off Goldfish crumbs and Diet Coke. When her life isn't being ruled by her tiny minions and their endless activities, you can typically find her parked on the couch, Kindle within reach, catching up on the previous weeks episode of Grey's Anatomy or Hell's Kitchen.
Shanna Swenson, author of Abundance series
Shanna enjoys good books that thrills, chill and warm her heart...she also supports her fellow indies like this kick-a$$ author friend of hers, Ashley Lane