Thank you so much for having me on your blog. I’d love to offer your readers a chance to win Shadow Watcher delivered to their Kindle or Nook. Also, I’m running a contest on my website, www.ashlynmathews.com, to win all three of my books. Good luck!
Was your road to publication a delightful stroll in the park or a tiring jog over hot coals? My road to publication was easy. Sometimes so easy, I’m embarrassed to admit it. However, it’s the “after” that was the most challenging. For Shadow Watcher, I was asked by my editor to do a “wholesale rewrite.” What that meant was several subplots were cut, secondary characters were killed off, and my premise of the hero and heroine being soul mates was abandoned. I also went from a 75k manuscript to 55k. That happened in 3 weeks. I agonized and cried over the changes. However, in the end, I hunkered down and rewrote/revise, and I think my story is better for it.
What is the most difficult for you to write: Characters, conflict, emotions? Conveying emotion on paper is the hardest for me. Conflict I get. My characters I know from birth before I write their stories. But to convey emotion in a non-cliché manner is hard. I remember with Shadow Watcher, my editor was like, this is a romance. Readers expect your characters to show or tell us what they feel. I’m very action oriented so I try to convey my characters’ emotions through action. That may or may not be the right way to do it, but that’s what has worked for me. A character can only cry or smile in so many different ways, lol.
Do you have critique partners? I don’t have critique partners but I use two or three consistent beta readers who give me a general idea of what they like/dislike, any plot holes, and clarification points that need addressing. They don’t focus on grammar but the overall picture. I find this process more useful than a critique group or partner. When I have used critique partners or a group, I find that it takes me longer to finish a book because I’m constantly changing things based on that critique. Then I doubt myself and it becomes a spiraling free fall of constant rewrites and edits which I don’t have the patience for. I get really cranky, lol. I’m sure for some writers, a critique group is invaluable. I say do whatever works!
What music are you listening to lately? I like to listen to angsty, haunting music that represents my books. For Shadow Watcher, I suggest Skillet’s Awake and Alive. For If Only, it’s 3 Doors Down’s Here By Me. Right now, I’m listening to Richard Marx’s Hazard based off of a fellow author’s top 10 favorite tunes. Mostly, I like rock. But I enjoy all types of music. For my latest WIP, Echo UnMarked, it’s the Phantom of the Opera.
Tell us a little about your WIP. My next WIP is Echo UnMarked, a Shadow Watcher novel. I have some ideas of a plot but nothing concrete yet. Readers can find a blurb and excerpt on my website www.ashlynmathews.com.
Favorite romance movie? One of my favorite romance movies is House of Flying Daggers. The movie begs the question of “Is there such a thing as love at first sight?” It’s a tragic love story with a love triangle set in the forefront of an impending war. I’ve watched it several times and the ending still has me grabbing for my box of Kleenex.
Blurb for Shadow Watcher: Demon Hunter Sophie Sinclair and ex-Homicide Detective Ryan Campbell are pitted against one another, tested by mysterious forces in a dangerous game of secret identities, contracts for murder, and past betrayals.
Sophie Sinclair was presumed dead. When an enemy’s transmitter reveals her existence, she must return home to bargain for her ex-lover’s life and face the unanswered questions from her past.
Ryan Campbell is a reluctant fighter. Bitter since his father’s murder, he wants nothing to do with the paranormal world. When his act of betrayal is discovered, he must do the unthinkable to save his life.
Duty above love, duty above family, and to protect the weak from the strong. Sophie has always lived by her family’s motto. Will she choose to protect the ex-lover from her past or the reluctant fighter who could be her future? She can save only one man.
If Only (Available 12/3/12): One night. One accident. A friendship torn. A chance at love lost.
A funeral was the worst place for a reunion. Beneath her umbrella, Asa kept her head lowered. Otherwise, her eyes would be drawn to the man standing in front of the casket, his shoulders hunched beneath his suit, his gaze down cast as cold rain fell from the skies.
Rhys Miles. The man who had hurt her with an insensitive comment during one of the most memorable nights of her life, and a man she had hurt in return with her own painful words. The minister’s final prayer and the whispers of “Amen” from the handful of mourners pulled Asa out of her thoughts. Giving the casket one last glance, she hurried away, but wasn’t quick enough.
“You weren’t invited, Asa.”
Rhys’s tone was harsh and filled with animosity. Asa dug her nails into her palm and gripped the umbrella’s handle tight. Yet, beneath his dislike of her was a grief she could relate with, and for his sadness, she stopped and faced the man who used to be one of her good friends.
“I loved your grandmother, and she cared about me. I have every right to be here.”
Unlike the other mourners, who came prepared with an umbrella in hand, Rhys appeared to enjoy the rain as he tilted his face to the sky. The ink of his hair appeared darker than her own strands of black, if that were possible, while his suit molded to his body like a woman offering him her comfort.
He was a tall guy. If things were different between them, she could share in his grief and settle her head on his chest, over the spot above his heart. She’d run her fingers across the straight brows over his intense hazel eyes then down the chiseled plane of his face before she would press her lips to his cheek.
But their situation remained the same for the past year. He avoided her. She tried to forget him. It hadn’t been easy. Asa waited for him to say something, anything. The rain continued to fall while his silence echoed in her ears.
Taking a deep breath, he redirected his attention back on her. “You might’ve been Jo’s neighbor, and yeah, she might’ve loved you like you were her own flesh and blood, but she damn well knows how I feel about you.”
How I feel about you. His last words whispered hot on her forehead. The umbrella, with its edges tipped upward, should’ve distanced them. Instead it concealed their exchange from curious stares as the others filtered to their cars leaving her alone with him.
Shoving her free hand inside her coat pocket, Asa mentally counted to ten. The simple task proved difficult. She hadn’t been this close to Rhys since they had slept together at a party almost a year ago.
He had loosened the tie around his neck, exposing tan skin she remembered flicking her tongue over, the salty taste of him from their lovemaking still embedded deep in her memory. Through the smell of wet rain, she caught a whiff of his deodorant. Old Spice. Sexy, familiar, and very much Rhys.