I’m happy today to welcome Jessica Aspen to my blog. She writes paranormal romance near the foothills of the Colorado Rockies. Her books are full of elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife.
CONTEST: Leave a comment for me here and on my blog: http://jessicaaspen.com to enter my January prize drawing in celebration of the upcoming release of LITTLE RED RIDING WOLF.
Do you have cheerleaders supporting you as a writer?
I don’t think anyone can become an author without some cheerleaders, and I have some fabulous ones. My mother has been behind me all the way. Even when I took the risky step of writing spicy books, she just tells me she knows all about “that stuff” and then tells me to “hand it over”. She’s been my biggest cheerleader since day one and is thrilled that I’m finally publishing. My husband is another big cheerleader, despite the fact he’s never read word one of my stories he always tells me I am a fantastic author. Nothing like blind faith in a spouse.
(Starla) Yes, we all need supporters, even “blind faith” ones like a spouse. My parents were my earliest and best supporters at the beginning stages of my wanting to get published. Unfortunately they are both gone now. But my husband, too, supports me with blind faith.
How and why did you decide to use a pen name?
I do use a pen name and it took a long time to pick one. I knew I needed a pen name because my real name is difficult to spell and pronounce, so I began the search. At about that time I was receiving promotional materials for the Colorado Romance Writer’s annual tea and I started looking into everyone’s names. Why were some names more memorable than others? What did the author’s name say about them? And was it genre specific? I noticed that while I liked the genre specific names, I wanted something that would easily switch genres. And I also noticed that I liked the authors names that had an intrinsic theme. So I put my thinking cap on. Aspen fit the bill. It has a lovely motif of an aspen leaf, it’s easy to spell and remember, and as a bonus, it’s at the front of the Alphabet. Score!
Is there a general theme or message in your books?
For me romance is all about the couple being better together, rather than apart. Even with my strong alpha heroes I think the men in my stories support and encourage their partners to get out there and try new things. And the women help the men to open up and experience life. My characters have flaws and issues that their partners help them to conquer; they don’t conquer them for them. That’s my idea of love.
(Starla) Well put. I love stories where the two people involved in the romance are so much better together than apart.
Do you write a story clear to the end before doing more than simple editing? Or do you stop after each chapter and completely edit it before moving on?
Oh, I’m a write it straight through kinda gal. I have to finish the whole plot and then start at the beginning and work through it again. And then if necessary, do it again. I could edit till the cows come home and then stay up till midnight editing some more. I hope to start plotting a little more in advance, so I won’t have to do so many editing run-throughs for plot and just polish when I’m finished, but I’m not there yet!
How do you research the time period, setting, plot specifics, character specifics?
My first few books have been fairy tale twists, so I research the fairy tale to see which elements I want to include. Then I start world building, since all of mine are paranormal fairytales. For Little Red Riding Wolf, I researched wolves in Colorado and if forest rangers wore guns. That changed my plot line quite a bit, knowing Evan would be carrying a weapon when there were werewolves in the woods. I don’t want to spend too much time researching, so I’m staying away from historicals, even though I love reading them. Maybe someday when the writing gets easier I’ll be able to devote the time and write a paranormal historical. I think that would be a blast.
Do you have a wring schedule? How do you juggle writing, family, work, and life’s surprises?
I have an eclectic writing schedule because I currently work full time for part of the year. Instead of working part time during a week, I’ve chosen to work close to 40 hours a week in the Spring and Fall. This way when I’m off I can devote myself to writing full time. Since I work well in large blocks this helps me stay within my story and keeps my pace up. The downside is that I have to adjust every time I switch activities. Moving from working full time to writing at home takes me a few days to get really productive. But that’s okay, it gives me time to catch up on Twitter.
Now let’s talk about your upcoming paranormal romance release Little Red Riding Wolf…
Genre: Spicy Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Passion in Print Press
Release Date: February 18, 2012
Did you have a favorite character in this book?
I have to say Granny is my favorite character. She doesn’t come into the book till close to the end, but there is something about a shapeshifting Granny with attitude that made me smile. Every girl wants a grandmother like Red’s.
(Starla) She sounds like great fun.
Will there be sequels to this book?
I’m working on a sequel right now about Goldilocks and the Three Bears that takes place near the small town of Radon, Colorado where Little Red Riding Wolf takes place. I don’t want to give too much away, but since Little Red Riding Wolf is about werewolves I think you can safely assume the bears will be shapeshifters too.
What if Little Red Riding Hood was a werewolf, and a sexy forest ranger wandered into her woods?
Fraternizing with humans is taboo, but when feisty werewolf Red runs into hunky new forest ranger Evan Brewster, she jumps on the opportunity to let loose her desires. Evan is stoked when he meets the petite red haired hottie, and combined with his new discovery of wolves in Colorado, thinks his career and life are made. Then Red pushes him away, her hostile brother threatens his life, and things begin to spiral out of control. Caught between her sexy lover and her pack can Red trust Evan with her secrets, or must she sacrifice her human lover and her heart?
AUTHOR CONTACT INFO
Web site: Jessica Aspen
Facebook: Jessica Aspen