Deanna: We’re on location at the police station in LA waiting for the detectives to return with word on another kidnapped victim. Suspense author Ashley Dawn is also here to chat with us about the investigations, her books and herself. Ashley, tell us a bit about yourself that our readers might not know.
Ashley: Thank you so much for joining me here at the police station! I am a working mother of two who absolutely loves what I do. Writing is my passion but my children are my world. I take them to work with me every day, and since I work with my husband, it is a big family event every day. Some days, I get absolutely nothing done at work because I’m too busy playing cars or rocking a baby, but it is well worth it to me.
Deanna: What made you want to become a writer?
Ashley: I have always enjoyed reading and telling stories. It just seemed natural to put pen to paper and tell the stories in my mind. My first book was the result of a series of events, one of which was reading a predictable mystery book that made me wonder how I would make a book less predictable. I used my imagination and started my first book. My mother and a lot of my family encouraged me to finish and eventually publish my book.
Deanna: Do you write under a pen name?
Ashley: Yes I do. I write under the pen name Ashley Dawn. That is my first and middle name. I decided in the beginning to write under the name Ashley Dawn, because I knew my last name would change at some point but I would always be Ashley Dawn. I absolutely love my middle name so it seemed like the perfect name to use.
Deanna: As authors, we love all of our characters. Is there a certain type of character that is easier to write than another?
Ashley: The stubborn women are the easiest to write! I mostly base my characters off my family and I have lots of stubborn women in my family who have those traits. Aurora from my first book was a snap to write. She has an attitude very much like my own and I loved writing her sassy dialogue. It seems that most of the women in my stories from mothers to girlfriends to police, the all have the tough exterior and try to show the world they can handle anything on their own. It is a great joy to write those ladies!
Deanna: Do you read in the same genre that you write in?
Deanna: Do you have any strange quirks or unusual habits when you are writing.
Ashley: Haha! I absolutely do. The biggest one is that I have to hand-write every word of my book before I type a word. Each book has a specific color of legal pads and I have special pens to write the story. I still do editing and rewording after the book is typed up but in the beginning the whole thing is written on those pads with particular pens.
Deanna: I can honestly say I’ve not heard that unusual habit. Interesting! Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.
Ashley: My typical day as a writer has to be a Saturday since I work a 9-5 job through the week but when I get the chance I get my pad and pen, corral my children and try to lose myself in the story. Most days it starts with getting the children to either sleep in or play contentedly as I write, I drink Gatorade and eat marshmallow crème and pretzels. I know strange but it is good brain food! I get interrupted multiple times, do dishes, laundry and any other housework I can get to. The whirlwind day is the day I write the best!
Deanna: Most of us have pretty vivid imaginations when it comes to story lines. Where do your story ideas come from?
Ashley: A lot of my ideas come from dreams. Apparently my vivid imagination doesn’t shut off when I sleep and I get a lot of my best ideas in the middle of the night. Actually ‘seeing’ my book in my dreams makes it so much easier to write it down. It is a thrill to write about the people I ‘meet’ in my dreams!
Deanna: What made you decide to write a series?
Ashley: As I wrote my first book, I fell in love with the support characters almost as much as I did with Aurora and Jordan. Jordan’s family dynamic interested me so much that I had to explore it in depth and that lead to further interest in the characters. I decided each of them needed their own story. Not just Jordan’s family but also Aurora’s. Her family may not be what is thought of as a conventional family but they are definitely closer than a lot of families I know. It is just wonderful to explore all the characters in depth and to let them develop on their own through the whole series.
Deanna: What is your next project about?
Ashley: I am currently working on two projects at once (crazy I know). The first is the third book in my ‘Shadows’ series, ‘Shadows of Pain’. It is mainly about Kami and Daniel and their attempts to stay alive as a killer tracks them. As the story develops I bring back a lot of the characters from the previous two books that I have come to love. The second project doesn’t have a title yet. It is about a serial killer and focuses on two main characters Amy and Pierce. Amy is an ER doctor and Pierce is an attorney. They have to find the serial killer before he strikes someone close to both of them.
Deanna: We’d love to read an excerpt if you have one!
Ashley: I’d be happy to share a short excerpt from Shadows From The Past:
“…It is the price you pay for choosing to be a cop. Your brother’s life…”
Those words haunt her dreams, and her waking moments. LAPD officer, Aurora Kavvan cannot rest until she finds her brothers killer. Digging into the past always brings back unpleasant things: memories, guilt…the hit man. Now she is in a race against time to find the murderer before he finds her.
“Kill her. I don’t care how, and I don’t care where, but I want her dead now!”
Someone was trying to kill his dead partner’s sister. FBI agent, Jordan Reiley will stop at nothing to protect the woman he loves. Even if it means going against her wishes; putting himself between her and the man who murdered her brother.
Will God keep them alive long enough for them to find the truth?
Deanna: Besides historical romance, I love to read suspense also. I’m putting this on my TBR list for sure! Where can our readers find you?
Ashley: My websites are:
Ashley Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much Deanna for having me today!
Deanna: Ashley will be on her tour until February 12th. Below is her banner for her Virtual Book Tour, check it out along with her books.