Today’s Author Spotlight is: Zoe Ashwood
– A debut supernatural romance writer!
Readers, let’s welcome to my blog, Zoe Ashwood, a translator by day, a romance writer by night, and a reader always. Her stories feature grumpy men, kickass heroines, and lots of kissing.
She’s agreed to visit and share with us today some dreams, some advice, and some reading recommendations.
Zoe, thanks for agreeing to be here today. Most interviews start off with bios and such, and while I’ll get to that, let’s start with the important stuff!
If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?
If I could have any pet, I’d have a dragon. No, seriously. It would cut down on travel time significantly, I could have it scare my enemies (or eat them if need arose), and also dragons are wicked smart, so I could learn loads.
As I am occasionally a BookWyrm, in all my red scaley dragon glory, I’ve gotta agree that Dragons are pretty awesome. Just be wary. Many are sentient. Would the dragon be the pet, or would you be ITS pet?
What do you write and how did you get started?
I write paranormal romance, though I have a couple of contemporary romances stashed deep in my computer. I used to write diaries and really bad teenage poetry, then sort of stopped when I was studying English at the university (go figure!), then started again after I’d been blogging about books for a couple of years. I participated in one NaNoWriMo and that was it!
I don’t write romance, but paranormal romance and I became good friends years ago. Except the studying English bit, that sounds like my background and entry into the writer’s life.
What do you like to read?
I read mostly romance and fantasy these days. I’m not particular about the genre of romance – paranormal, contemporary, historical, sci-fi, pretty much anything goes. I love fantasy for its endless creativity and imagination – I read both adult and YA books. Bonus points if there’s kissing involved! I also read a lot of children’s books because I have two kiddos (4 and 2 years old).
I definitely read my fair share of paranormal romance – and straight fantasy, too.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you.
“Write what you know”
I don’t like “write what you know.” If that was a good piece of advice, fantasy wouldn’t exist. And the world would be a sad, sad place without fantasy.
I know I’m being literal, but in this day and age (ie the age of Wikipedia and Google), there’s really no limit to what you can write about. My research has included searches about black bear eating habits, revolvers, Canadian national parks, exsanguination times for arterial wounds, and NYC diners. I had zero to little knowledge about those, and yet I wrote books with those elements (the success of those books is still undetermined, haha).
Ah, this bit of advice is, by turns, both complete bull and the truest bit of advice. You might not know black bear menus and how long it takes to bleed out, but all of us are people. But. You write love stories and that’s something most of us want to be able to share with someone else. The events and settings might be beyond reality, but the people and the emotions behind the motivations are the same in your stories as they are for people you know in the real world.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that they can’t pry out of your cold, dead hands.
Outline your stories!
It’s a controversial topic, as not everyone’s brain works the same, but writing without an outline terrifies me. I tried it (for that first NaNoWriMo) and ended up with 50,000 useless words that had to be dumped. I’ve never been happier than when I realized I could prepare for writing beforehand. I write faster and cleaner drafts when my outlines are detailed.
I’m a plantser myself. My outlines are pretty loose and mostly ignored until I get stuck, but provide a good compass for when I’m starting out.
I’m super bad at shameless self-promotion. But if you’d like a free shapeshifter novella, you can get one by signing up for my newsletter. And I’m most likely to be found on either Instagram or Facebook these days.
My debut novel, Trust the Wolf is out on January 24 – I hope you’ll give it a try! You can also find it on Goodreads. Here’s the blurb!
You never forget your first wolf.
Emilia’s first encounter with Jason is memorable: it’s not every day you see a stranger change into a wolf. Her attraction to him is undeniable, but the secret he shares shakes the foundations of her life.
Jason’s need for Emilia unnerves him. It’s his job to report shifters without proper ID, yet he can’t make himself do it this time. The decision bites him in the tail when he discovers exactly who she is. He must keep his distance—or there will be hell to pay.
Their fates entwine when rogue shifters learn of Emilia’s identity and will stop at nothing to get to her. Emilia and Jason will have to fight together or risk losing everything.
But most of all? Emilia must learn to trust the wolf.
I’d go with a dragon, too
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Does it matter to you if you’re the keeper or the pet?
Great interview and full of personality. I also toss “write what you know” out the window. There would be no such thing as fantasy if we all did that. And “outline your stories” is great advice that I learned the hard way. It’s not for everyone, but… Love the cover, too. 🙂 Great questions, Morgan.
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It was a fun interview!
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