Yay for Friday! Today isn’t just another Fantasy Man Friday, but a special edition because I have the marvelous Avril Ashton here to tell us about her writing and her book, A Wicked Ride, which is out February 1, 2011.
I’ve been Avril’s critique partner for almost a year now and let me tell you this: A Wicked Ride is a hot book! I loved her heroine and her hero and darn it, I was so jealous reading it because I wish I had come up with these characters. Oh, well. I suppose I’ll just have to get over the envy.
A Caribbean transplant, Avril now lives in Brooklyn, N.Y with a Spousal Equivalent of almost eight years. Together they raise a 6 y/o daughter who loves reading and school (wonder how long that will last). Avril’s earliest memories of reading revolve around discussing plot points of The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew with a very encouraging mother
Always in love with the written words, Avril finally decided to do the writing in August of ’09 and never looked back. Spicy love scenes, delicious heroes, and wicked women burn up the pages of Avril’s stories, but there’ll always be a happy ending; Avril remains a believer of love in all its forms.
Sasha Forde has hung up her thieving stilettos, but a visit from a mobster sends her right back to her old life. In order to save her family-and herself-from jail, she must steal evidence hidden in a lawyer’s office. She sets out to do what she considers a simple B and E, but someone else has arrived first. And he holds her life in his tattooed hands. Not for long.
Niko Davaris is all about revenge on the man who tried to kill him. The evidence he stole is the first step in that direction. He’s not thrilled to wake up with a gun to his head. The woman on the other end is cocky, smug, and too damn hot for her own good. He wants her, she wants the evidence. When she takes it and disappears, he gives chase. Battle lines are blurred as they give in to temptation, but on a ride like this someone has to come out on top. Who will it be?
And now for the interview!
Niko is a hot, tortured hero…I mean, seriously, I fanned myself several times reading this book. Who was your inspiration for Niko?
Oh, darling. Isn’t he though. I start with my own visions of what I want my characters to look like then about halfway through the manuscript, I find a real life person who meets that criteria. The rapper Common fit my criteria to a tee. Especially the characters he played in the movies Wanted and Smokin’ Aces. Badass with a gun, all angry and masculine. But sexy too.
What’s your writing routine like? Do you have to squeeze it between shoe shopping trips? Because I noticed Sasha has some killer footwear!
Hah, I hate shopping. Hate!! But I love shoes. I can’t wear heels so I love vicariously through my heroines. That’s why we write, isn’t it? My routine is ‘get it in where I can get it in.’ The bulk of my writing is done at the day job. For some reason the place with the most distractions is the most conducive to writing. Recently I gritted my teeth and parked myself on the couch, so now I get a little bit of writing done at home. The goal is to get as comfortable at home as I do at the evil D.J.
You’ve actually inspired me to give my heroines some glam. Are you a fashionista?
I’m not, just wondered what it’s like, lol. I’m by no means a fashonista, but I love beautiful clothes. I also love women who wear the clothes, not who let the clothes wear them. A great outfit inspires me as well as anything else. The What-ifs take over and I imagine the type woman who’d wear a certain dress, or heels. I try to answer those questions.
What was your writing journey like? How long have you been writing? Were you born with pen in hand and scrambling for paper?
I was born with a book in my hand. The pen came later. I’m still scrambling for paper. My writing journey wasn’t that long or hard. I began writing seriously in August 09, by that year’s end I’d completed my first novel and set to work on the second. I finished A Wicked Ride in August of 2010, queried agents and epubs in Sept and got a contract with eXtasy books the same day I queried. Literally within an hour.
Sasha, your heroine, is such a strong, sexy, sarcastic woman! (How do you like that alliteration!) How do you come up with such tough ladies? And you’re not carrying brass knuckles or anything, right?
I write what I know. I was raised by strong women, so I don’t know any other kind. There’s a bit of me sprinkled in there as well, I curse like nobody’s business and have a pretty raunchy sense of humor. I can’t identify with someone who cowtows and whimpers. Unless of course, it’s in the bedroom, and even then to a certain extent 😉
Is A Wicked Ride the first book in a series? How many books do you plan? I’ve already said I really, really, really want to read Maysin’s story *pouts* Pretty, pretty please? I hearts Maysin! LOL.
It is the first of four in the Wicked series, yes. And everyone wants Maysin’s story, alas you’ll have to wait a while. His story evolves over the first three books, and culminates in the fourth and final one. Prepare for a long wait *ducks*
What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received and did you follow it?
Just write. And, uh, yeah.
For you, what’s the best part of writing? Is it the character conflict, the glamorous lifestyle of a writer, or the happy ending?
It’s a given in romance novels that the h/h will have a happy ending, yet it is always the best part for me to read as well as write. The obstacles they overcome, the odds they beat to get their sunset. I love it, I always finish with a sigh. Just…*sigh*
What’s your idea of a perfect hero?
A man strong enough to take and relinquish control. Who treats his lover as an equal, no matter size or status. Who can talk about his feelings, but even better, show you. I lucked out, snagged one of those and tied him to my side with a lifetime contract.
What do you do in your spare time? You know, when you’re not writing about killer heroines and their drop dead gorgeous heroes?
Nothing. LOL. I’ve got a 6 y/o who prefers her own company, and a Spousal Equivalent who kinda tolerates me. I love T.V. so I’m always watching that, and I spend entirely way too much time on Facebook. I’m unapologetically boring J
What’s your favorite movie of all time?
It’s a toss-up between Pretty Woman, and The Fifth Element. Multipass *snicker*
Who is your favorite author and why?
I have a love/hate relationship with J.R Ward. Her books wring me out emotionally. I go through a process every time a new Brotherhood book comes out. Inevitably I read it, cause really, it’s the Brotherhood. But after each one and a million tissues, I swear I’m never reading another again. Then I wait, breathless, for the next.
Your heroes wear: boxers, briefs, boxer briefs, or go commando?
LOL, the Spousal Equivalent will be reading this, so I’ll say this: My man knows what I love to see him in.
Thank you for stopping by, Avril! I loved this interview and hope you enjoyed learning about this amazing writer. Her book, A Wicked Ride, is out Tuesday, February 1, 2011. Check it out! For a chance to win a copy of A Wicked Ride, check out Avril’s contest over at her blog!
And just for fun, here’s another picture of her inspiration for Niko, Common:
And just another Fantasy Man for fun! This is who I pictured Niko looking like when I read the book. Hubba, hubba!
One last thing. Tomorrow I’m guest blogging at Southern Sizzle Romance. For a chance to win one of the masks made especially for Ruby: Uncut and on the Loose, drop a comment about your favorite bad boy/villain!