Author Q&A: Ashlyn Chase
The Fussy Librarian aims to please all of her fans. So when one of you asked us to interview romance author Ashlyn Chase, we were happy to oblige — and she was, too!
The best-selling and award-winning writer told us, in her own words, what brought her to where she is, and what she loves most about it.
* * *
I'm a creative person, and I was in a noncreative job. As an RN, my job was to carry out doctors’ orders. Period. It stifled my creativity and left me tired at the end of the day.
So I took a course in screenwriting. That taught me how to tell stories, but Hollywood passed on my romantic comedies. Oh well. I live closer to New York, so I turned my movies into novels. And I found out where I fit.
Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Well-behaved women rarely make history.” Well, I don’t have to worry about that! I monitored my reading tastes to see what I might like to spend months writing. (Novels are a helluva lot longer and more difficult to write than screenplays.)
I discovered that I liked reading the “hot stuff”! When I accepted this (and stopped blushing) I turned one of my screenplays into a steambath of a novel.
Writing helped me express myself creatively, find my bliss, and eventually change my life. I now write full time.
In 2004 my ego finally got a boost when three epublishers offered contracts! Oh my goodness. I researched them, picked one, and began publishing. Let’s fast-forward. My ebooks were doing well. Reviews were positive, and my romantic comedies were being nominated for awards.
Most importantly, I was having fun! I got from my readers what I didn’t get from a lot of my fellow writers. Respect. Epublished authors at the time were considered inferior. Erotica authors were considered the red-headed stepchildren. I was both.
Here’s what matters most:
I received “thank you” emails, telling me my sense of humor and wild imagination helped provide readers hours of happy distraction from difficult real-life situations. I get that. I began reading romance novels to do the same thing.
My parents were dying of different terminal illnesses at the same time. As a nurse I agreed to take care of them so they could stay at home as long as possible. It was one of the hardest emotional times of my life.
Another nurse knew what I’d be facing, handed me a book and said, “Read this.” It was Outlander by Diana Gabeldon. Whenever my parents were sleeping or had visitors, my nose was in that book! And then its sequel…and the one after that. Those books saved my sanity. I wrote to Ms. Gabeldon and told her so.
Now I'm grateful to be paying it forward.
I love meeting like-minded people. A lot of writers are painfully shy, but not this one! I enjoy interacting with readers and fellow authors alike. Inspiration often follows these conversations, and you never know when some interaction will wind up in one of my books!
I hope some of your readers will check out the romance reader/author conference I organized. It’s called Fall in Love with New England, and it’s the only conference of its kind here. Authors throw one big party to spoil our readers and show our gratitude for their support. And it happens during peak foliage season in New Hampshire! This year it’s October 13 and 14; check it out at http://www.fallinlovewithnewengland.com.
* * *
Know an author you'd like to see featured? Email sadye (at) thefussylibrarian.com with a recommendation!