My guest today is Ashlyn Forge, one of the most secretive authors I have ever met. But, as the About page on her website says, she is too busy producing new stories to do much of anything else.
Welcome Ashlyn and thanks for answering my questions.
When you aren’t writing, is there any other creative activity you enjoy? Have you ever written about it?
Aren’t writing? I only write.
Can you name any author/authors, past or present, who have been a great influence on your work?
I love Terry Pratchett. I wish I could have his humor. There aren’t many authors now that influence my work, but there are so many good m/m writers out there that I wish I could stand on par with. I’m a long way off but once in awhile I talk to one or two. Those times feel a bit surreal and even more so because they are quite friendly.
What are you reading? Something to be clutched to the bosom or tossed aside with force? Fiction or non-fiction?
I’m actually not reading anything right now but I have a hefty ‘to read’ list.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Definately a pantser. I’ve tried being a plotter and even if the main goal is achieved, the major bulk wasn’t planned. I tip my hat to plotters, though.
Do your characters arrive fully fledged and ready to fly or do they develop as you work with them?
I think neither. They sort of come in looking whole but start showing wear pretty fast.
Do you have a crisp mental picture of your characters or are they more a thought and a feeling than an image?
I get weary when it comes to being strict on anything but their personality. I hope that the MC can be a suit readers can wear and say they see some part of the character within themselves. Their personality is chiseled, the image of them otherwise can be toyed with.
Do you find there to be a lot of structural differences between a relationship driven story and one where the romance is a sub plot?
Definitely. I’m flexible but if I had to choose, then I would prefer the former. The romance is good, but sometimes the romance just ‘happens’ like, the characters just suddenly love each other and I wasn’t aware of it till they said it. In a story with the romance as a sub plot, we can see it unfold as it goes.
Put together your ideal team of men ・drawing from all and any walks of life, fictional or non-fictional ・who you would want to come to your rescue if menaced by muggers/alligators/fundamentalists?
I’d want Doc Savage, Broc Sampson, Blade, Hellboy, Peter Griffin (because we need a fall guy), Snake Eyes from GI-Joe, and Chuck Norris, because he’s Chuck Norris, and he’d probably finally meet his end on this mission. And finally, Jayne from Firefly because I’d like some eye candy on the trip back home.
Villains ・incredibly important in fiction since they challenge the main protagonists and give them something to contend with beyond the tension of a developing relationship. What sort of villains do you prize? A moustache-twirling nightmare or ・?
I like the villains which have an agenda to protect. I don’t want them to just be bastards for the hell of it. And I like a smart villain which I might actually come to love. The best bad guys, are the ones you love to hate.
What are you working on at the moment? Can you discuss it or do you prefer to keep it a secret until it’s finished.
Since my debut “In Liam’s Wake” and “From Johann to Tannenbaum” are coming out, those two are my primary focus. After that however, I will rip into book two like there’s no tomorrow.
Could we please have an excerpt of something?
Here is an excerpt of Liam’s Wake.
“Well,” Liam sighed as he reached into his jacket to take inventory of his blades. “Wished this on myself by the looks of it.” His fingertips grazed a hook, but he thought better of it and selected one of the shorter daggers. “Got my fucking unwinnable fight at last. But it serves you right, Liam. Serves you bloody–”
“You certainly are building the suspense,” Paddy’s voice boomed from the bleachers. “Deloris here does love to play with his food, so make sure and flail around a little. It’s more fun that way; the crowd loves it.”
Paddy spoke so loudly that Liam looked back to the bleachers to make sure the man was, in fact, at a distance. He seemed far away at first, then close, then far away again. Liam realized that his vision was playing tricks on him. He had been so focused on the imp—and the prospect of dying—that he hadn’t thought to check his left hand. When he opened his palm to see the two tablets safe. He pocketed them and tossed the dagger from one hand to the next.
The imp moved. That is to say, Liam saw the green-skinned creature’s head bob, following the blade. At that moment, Liam tossed the knife from left to right experimentally to confirm that the imp’s yellow eyes were fixed on it.
“Oh, so you like shiny things, huh?” Liam used the back of his hand to wipe his face, brushing the sweat from his eyes. “Right. Don’t suppose you’re bloodthirsty but unable to actually draw blood like the Elementals, huh?”
Something stung his cheek. It distracted him momentarily, and when he looked back at his opponent an instant later, the imp was gone.
The clattering of clawed feet drew Liam’s gaze upward, where he saw the creature directly above him, its feet anchoring it on the ceiling.
“Well, fuck me,” Liam muttered.
Looking upward for long wasn’t an option, however, because Liam was starting to feel dizzy. Once he looked away, the creature jumped down from the ceiling, its body twisting so that it landed on its feet.
When the imp sat down, Liam narrowed his brow, confused. Next, the creature did a strange thing: it began to suck at its right middle finger. Liam was well aware that he was in no position to make any sort of assessment, but if he didn’t know any better, he’d think the thing was flipping him the bird.
There was blood on the imp’s digit, and it took a second more for Liam to touch his cheek and make the connection. His fingertips came away bloody, the redness making his body go rigid and cold.
He’d been cut. The damn imp had cut him, and it was so fast that he didn’t even know he’d been struck.
In an instant, Liam loosened his grip on the dagger, allowing it to fall.