Today I am happy to host paranormal romance author Ashlyn Mathews on my blog. She recently released her debut novel Shadow Watcher (which I highly recommend ;)) and she was kind enough to answer some of my questions about it. And that’s not all! She is also giving away the Shadow Watcher ebook here om my blog. Detail sare at the bottom of this post. And now it’s time for that interview!
Hi, Ashlyn and welcome to my blog!
Hi, Vanna! Thanks for having me.
When did you first start writing and how long did it take you to finish the writing your latest novel? Is this the first book you have finished?
I started writing stories in junior high school but sat down to seriously write in December 2010 after watching the Disney movie, Tangled, with my kids. My intent wasn’t to become an author. I had a story and it had to be told. Shadow Watcher was my first finished book. The title evolved from Noble Heart- Journey of Fate to Protector Resurrection to Shadowatcher to finally Shadow Watcher. And one complex story filled with many subplots and characters eventually evolved into five different stories. The main characters were the same but suddenly their goals, motivations and conflicts had changed. It took me a year and a half to get it right only to have my publisher ask me to do a “wholesale rewrite.” It was painful and agonizing. I had to cut approximately 80 pages and kill off several characters. In the end, I thought my story was better for it. I hope readers feel the same after reading Shadow Watcher.
What was the biggest obstacle in getting your book published?
My biggest obstacle was to finish the book and get it out there. Next was writing the query and synopsis.
Tells us a bit more about your novel? Where is it set? Who are the main characters? What is the main conflict?
Shadow Watcher is a paranormal romance set in the Pacific Northwest. My main characters are Sophie Sinclair and Ryan Campbell. Sophie is one of those gals that is very honorable and loyal. She protects humans because it’s the right thing to do as a Shadow Watcher. Shadow Watchers are protectors of mankind who hunt and kill demons that prey on humans. Ryan Campbell is an ex-homicide detective turned private investigator. He is an UnMarked, a Shadow Watcher who isn’t born from a pureblood Shadow Watcher parent. His powers come from his grandfather. Unfortunately, though he is strong and fast, he doesn’t have all the benefits of a pureblood, which gets him in deep trouble. That trouble is with Sophie’s brother, Cage Steele. Cage Steele is the big bad guy. For a past betrayal, Ryan is blackmailed by Cage to kill Sophie’ ex-boyfriend, the same guy Sophie has sworn to protect. On her way to see her ex, Sophie and Ryan run into each other, and during their time together they fall in love, not realizing each other’s true purpose or identity. And that is their conflict. Will Sophie risk a chance at love or will she stick to her duty to protect her murderous, human ex-boyfriend? Will Ryan kill a human and go against his oath to protect humans to free his family from Cage? It’s a tale of love and family, of duty and sacrifice.
Which character from your novel are you most attached to and why?
I’m most attached to Sophie. She changed so much from the beginning of that first rough draft to the published story. And through the changes, I still love her like she’s one of my children. I put her through a lot, and she still came out getting the best guy for her, and a much deserved happily-ever-after.
Is your debut novel a part of a series or a standalone book?
It’s part of a series with the same world building but with different couples in each book so they can all stand alone. My next WIP in the series is Echo UnMarked. Readers can read a sample of it on my blog.
Who are your main writing influences?
Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Lisa Kleypas, Christina Dodd, Julia Quinn
As I understand it, you have published this book traditionally. Tell us a little bit about the process, how long did it take from query to publication, and so on.
I submitted SW to two publishers. After I sent my query letter in, I waited. My first choice asked for a full the next day. It took me almost three weeks to send it in. Once I did, I received an offer two weeks after that. Again, it took me a while to accept. I had a lawyer look over the contract first. I finalized my contract in June and the book released Sept. 10th. From offer of contract to published, it was four months. Digital moves quick.
Did you always know you wanted to be a paranormal romance author?
Yes. I love world building and all the creatures and beings I can bring to life in my stories. I give them powers, and with it comes big responsibilities, and the temptation to walk on the wrong side of the law. Humans aren’t as fun to write about, lol. Though I do have a contemporary romance coming out Dec.3rd, and I’m planning a series of novellas to release in between my paranormals.
Where can readers find your book?
My books can be bought online at Amazon.com, Itunes and BarnesandNoble.com. Readers can search Shadow Watcher, and there are other sites but I believe Amazon has it at the lowest price.
If readers like to know more or want to chat, I’m a very chatty and sharing individual. They can find me at:
My blog: www.ashlynmathews.com
My publisher: Crimsonromance.com
Goodreads: search me by name
And on 10/18, I’ll be a guest on my publisher’s website talking (writing, really) about a great topic. Falling in love: Fate or Chance? I’d love for people to stop by and comment. Thank you, Vanna, for inviting me to be a guest on your blog. And I can’t wait to have you on mine.
Thanks for being here!
Ashlyn has also offered to giveaway the Shadow Watcher eBook to one lucky winner. Enter through the Rafflecopter: First leave a comment and then confirm that you did so on the Rafflecopter form below. This Giveaway ends on Friday 10/19/12.