Monday, July 11, 2011

Interview with Jennifer Ashley

Welcome to Jagged Edge!
Would you like to tell us a little about yourself?
My real name is Jennifer Ashley, and I write as Jennifer Ashley, Ashley Gardner, and Allyson James. Lots of names, lots of genres (mostly mystery and romance)! I love making up and writing stories, and I'm thrilled to be able to do it for a living. In what little spare time I have, I like spending it with my family, gardening, building dollhouses, and cooking.

What inspired you to write?
I've always loved to write. When I was about eight years old, I was already reading novels (Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, etc.). I realized that books were just make-believe written down, and I was good at make believe. I started writing stories then, and I've never looked back.

What authors influenced you as a writer?
I've been influenced over the years by many writers: Agatha Christie and other classic mystery authors, Jane Austen, and too many modern mystery and romance authors to name. I read a lot!

Your favorite character? Is it your character or a different authors?
This is a hard one to answer. I have written so many characters that I have many favorites: Janet from the Stormwalker series (by me as Allyson James), Captain Gabriel Lacey, my mystery series protagonist (by me as Ashley Gardner--Capt. Lacey is a hot guy with issues!), Lord Ian Mackenzie (by me as Jennifer)--well, all the Mackenzies; Liam and Sean Morrissey of Pride Mates, and now Cassidy Warden and Diego Escobar from the forthcoming Wild Cat (Diego is a Latino hottie!).

What is your favorite Quote? Why is it your favorite?
Don't really have one. I can't ever remember quotes. I don't think "Never give up, Never surrender!" from Galaxy Quest counts. :-)

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be?
I'd love to jump into a Victorian age book, but I'm not fond of corsets, and I am fond of clean bathrooms with flushing toilets. I'd probably love to be in a fantasy world (e.g., Stormwalker) where magic works (and there are flushing toilets--usually).

What is at least one thing that every writer needs to have or do?
Self-discipline. If your muse is on vacation, too bad. Most of writing is one percent inspiration, and 99 percent perspiration. (Hey, a quote I like!). Writing is just hard work. It isn't the giddy high all the time. When the giddy high goes away, you still have to sit your butt in the chair and write the dang book. It comes out ok, trust me.

Are your books different to your personal favorite books by other authors?
Yes, my books are different. I enjoy reading mystery novels the most--Donna Leon is a particular favorite. I'm also fond of the novels of Terry Pratchett--fantasy humor with an edge. I don't write anything like either of them!

What led you to writing in this genre?
I write romance because I fell in love with it. I grew up reading fantasy and mystery (still my favorite reads of choice). But whenever I started writing, I found myself putting a couple into the book and writing about their romance. I thought "why not write romance?" Having never read it, I went to the library and found a bunch of books. My favorites turned out to be Jo Beverley's and Mary Jo Putney's Regencies (back when they were writing category Regencies). I really liked them, and decided romance wasn't so bad, LOL! I started writing it, and became addicted! It took me a while to figure out how to write a solid romance novel (and I still don't think I have it down), but I very much enjoy it. And the genre has been good to me.

Where readers can find you?
My main website: has links to my other websites ( and, which also links to my blogs, Facebook, and Twitter (which is Twitter is the only link I can ever remember!

Was there a question you wish I would have asked but didn't?
One question I get from readers a lot is: why is it so long between your books?
The answer is--scheduling. It takes me only 2-3 months to write each book. But then the publisher has to schedule me around all their other authors, put the book in a month that will work best for it, plus work with limited lead-author slots, plus other factors that I don't always know about. And, there is a long turnaround time to get books printed (2 months I think, and that's after the whole editing process). So while I'm turning in a book every 2-3 months, the publisher can only publish me maybe twice a year. This is why I'm excited to republish some of my older series on e-book--I can publish as fast as I get the books written and edited! It also allows me to revive series that were dropped for whatever reason. Exciting times!

Thanks for the interview!


Karen said...

Enjoyed the interview - thanks for sharing!

Moujnir23 said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the interview- we love giving our followers the chance to read about authors' inspirations!!!

Denise Z said...

I so want to read the Stormwalker series - thank you for sharing today.

Moujnir23 said...

Denise, have you read her other books? I hope you enjoy the Stormwalker books when you get your hands on them. :)

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