Sharon Ashwood is a novelist, desk jockey and enthusiast for the weird and spooky. She has an English literature degree but works as a finance geek. Interests include growing her to-be-read pile and playing with the toy graveyard on her desk. As a vegetarian, she freely admits the whole vampire/werewolf lifestyle would never work out, so she writes her adventures instead.
Sharon is the winner of the RITA® Award for Paranormal Romance. She lives in the Pacific Northwest and is owned by the Demon Lord of Kitty Badness.
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I was able to have Sharon answer some questions for me! Here's what she wanted to share with you:
Do you have to concentrate and visualize the story or do ideas just randomly come to you when you're out and about?
Both. Characters tend to walk into my head at random, usually in the most inconvenient moments. They show up when I’m in budget meetings, or the grocery store, or when I’m trying to concentrate on something requiring a lot of focus. Or I might get a flash of a scene or setting vivid enough for me to forget what I’m doing. Lovely, but it’s a wonder I haven’t driven into a telephone pole before now.
When it comes to putting everything together into a coherent plot, though, I have to break out the sticky notes and spreadsheets. Otherwise I get a storyline that looks like a plateful of spaghetti.
Which of your characters are your favorite to write? the easiest? the hardest? the most fun?
I love figuring out characters and all their contradictions. I love a character who is funny and self-aware. They’re the best to hang out with.
Both as a reader and writer, I prefer protagonists who make a mess and then learn as they clean it up. If they’re doing everything right from page one, they’re pretty boring. And, the more flawed they are, the easier they are for me to write because I have a way into their psychology. What’s hardest is when a character—often a hero—is so private he won’t let me in. Not helpful!
How likely are you to suffer from road rage?
I don’t see the point in giving idiots that much of my energy. I run them over in a state of zen-like calm. LOL! Best answer ever!
Which do you prefer, beef, chicken, pork, or vegetarian? Vegetarian, please.
Are you more likely to wear a skirt or pants? It’s about 50/50.
Inside or outside? Mostly inside, though not by choice. I work long hours! :-( I feel for you.
Homebody or social butterfly? Definitely homebody. I'm mostly a homebody too. :-)
What is your favorite flower? Sweet rockets and wild roses. I grew up on the prairie. Oh how nice!
What is your biggest weakness?
I have a homing device that will always lead me to the most expensive or impractical item in any store. It’s sad. I think my children have that same infliction. :-(
Pierced or not? Ears only, although my ego gets pierced fairly often.
What is the most un-useful gadget ever created?
Single use coffee makers. They generate so much waste packaging, it’s ridiculous. They are an environmental nightmare.
When shopping at the Mall, which type of store is more apt to tempt you?
I like quirky, home-grown independent businesses, whether they’re restaurants or clothing stores or anything else. I like to see local products and the individual tastes of the owner in what they have for sale. I like to get to know the people who run the place. Bookstores are, of course, an all-time favorite!
What do you think would surprise people about your book or about you?
Previous to embarking on my writing career, I had a successful career as a mortuary make-up artist and had the opportunity to interview dozens of vampires as research subjects. :D
Hardback, paperback, ebook or audio book?
All of the above, although I have been listening to more and more audiobooks. I walk to work, and it’s the perfect opportunity to sneak in some extra storytime.
What is your favorite supernatural creature? To read about? To write about?
I go through phases. Right now I’m fascinated by shifters, maybe because I’m curious about what my cat is thinking. Of course, if he was human he’d have a leather jacket and a detention record a mile long. He’s Dean Winchester without the good intentions. :-) I like all supes but shifters happen to have our top spot of adoration around here!
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POSSESSED BY A WARRIOR
A dazzling dress is wreaking havoc—and costing lives?
The violent death of her uncle sends Chloe Anderson reeling—and rushing to his estate. As coexecutor of Jack’s will, she assumes that he has left her something. What she doesn’t expect is a bejeweled wedding gown with a note warning her to trust only his business partner—dark, mysterious and sexy Sam Ralston.
Chloe’s been burned in love, but never bitten, and there’s something about Sam that keeps drawing her in, despite her fears. The attraction is mutual, intense, and it takes all of Sam’s willpower to hide his fangs. With Chloe’s career at stake and murderous thieves hot on their trail, the vampire vows to protect her. But can he save her from himself?
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If you’re reading this, I’m gone. Keep this secret and safe. When the story comes out, you’ll know what to do with it, and I know you’ll do the right thing. Trust Sam. Be careful.
Love you, kid,
Chloe reread the note. Trust Sam. Why? With what?
“What could it possibly be?” asked Littleton, a little breathlessly.
“Let’s find out,” said Ralston, lifting the large white box out of the otherwise empty safe.
Chloe took it out of his hands before he had taken one step away from the safe. “Uncle Jack left this for me, remember?”
His eyes flared with surprise, as if people rarely snatched loot out of his grasp. “I was just going to put it on the bed.”
Chloe looked up into his steel-gray glare and smiled sweetly. “Thanks. I can manage.”
Her heart kicked a little at Ralston’s frown—part fear, part perverse enjoyment. He was a bit too pushy for his own good. Trust Sam.
She walked the few steps to Jack’s orgy-sized bed. The whole room was in a black-and-white color scheme, making the scene look like a homage to liquorice allsorts. When she set the large white box on the ebony silk counterpane, the mystery of the package seemed even more emphatic.
The room was utterly silent, the rasp of Littleton’s rapid breathing the loudest sound in it. Chloe felt for the box’s opening. There was no tape. The lid lifted off, revealing a nest of blue-white tissue paper, the type meant to keep cloth from turning dingy with age. Ralston was at her elbow, close enough that her skin tingled with the breeze of his movements. Even now, her body felt magnetized to his nearness.
He pulled back one piece of tissue at the same moment that Chloe picked up the other. Despite the fact that they were strangers, they shared a look. It was utter astonishment.
“A wedding dress?” Chloe asked aloud. She touched the beaded bodice with one finger. The glittering stones were cold. Definitely not plastic. She’s seen a lot of dresses in her career, and she could tell the work was exquisite.
“What the hell?” Ralston looked utterly stunned. “Jack would never have married.”
“When the story comes out,” Chloe said, repeating the note Jack had left. “What story? What was Uncle Jack doing with a dress?”
Ralston’s eyebrows shot up with sudden dark amusement. “Well, it’s tiny. At least we know it wasn’t for him.”
Chloe smiled, but her mind was already racing ahead. There were only so many reasons Jack would lock something away for safekeeping, whether it was treasure or weapons or even a gorgeous dress: because it was valuable, because it was meant for someone important to Jack, or because dangerous people wanted it for the wrong reasons.
She was willing to bet the confection of lace and satin was all three.
POSSESSED BY AN IMMORTAL
Can a mother in jeopardy melt the heart of a jaded vampire?
After witnessing a murder, Bree Meadows is on the run with her young son. But the bad guys are in hot pursuit. Dropped in the middle of nowhere amid a torrential thunderstorm, things look pretty grim. To make matters worse, her son is in desperate need of medical attention.
Mark Winspear has been alone for too long. When the vampire senses a gorgeous female nearby, he discovers that her swift, selfless courage pulls at his instincts.The doctor has history with the same men who are after Bree—and he’s ready for revenge. Working together now, they discover an attraction that might save them both—if they’re lucky.
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Both of these sound good to me.
What do you think?
Do you have a question or comment for Sharon?
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