Ash will be awarding a $25 gift card to Amazon or BN as well as a unique handmade book-inspired keychain to a randomly drawn commenter and to a randomly drawn host.
1. Woohoo! You are a published author. Describe a strong character trait you possess, good or bad, and how it helped you become a published author.
I talk a lot. Chatterbox, motor-mouth—if there’s a nickname, I’ve been called it. Because I love to talk, writing came more or less naturally to me. When I decided I would pursue publication, I got to put my love for communication to good use.
Being a talker isn’t a necessary trait to be a published author, because writing time is usually quiet time. However, it does make me feel at ease in front of other people, which definitely helps me out at appearances and cons.
2. Sometimes an author begins writing a story before they are aware of its genre. Did you choose your genre, or did it choose you?
Oh, I know all about the elusive genre. “Imagine what shelf your book would go on in a bookstore,” the experts would say, but when it came to shelving my first book, I was absolutely torn. Was it urban fantasy or paranormal romance—or was it chick lit? Could I even say chick lit anymore? It was agonizing. I ended up discovering the genre after I took a writing course on the elements of good romantic plotting. That’s when I was able to look at my story and know for sure it was urban fantasy. If I would have tried selling it as a paranormal romance, I’d have been strung up for my crime. Whew. A little education went a long way. J
It even served me well when I wrote my current release, a paranormal romance. And it totally fits the genre.
I pants my way through most of the first draft, before I do a chapter outline and see what exactly is going on. Once I see the general shape of things, I plot the rest, adding and subtracting elements so that the plot is structured and satisfying.
4. Fear 101: As writers it is our duty to make our characters face their fears. Have you ever included one of your own fears in a storyline?
Actually, when I released my first book, several people asked if it was autobiographical, because they said they recognized elements of “me” in it. I deny it, though, because I don’t actually know any vampires.
5. Fear 102: Yes, deadlines are terrifying. Have you conquered the juggling act between writing and the rest of your life? What do you do when it feels like the balls are dropping all around you?
Deadlines are awful. I balance a full-time career in pharmacy and a large family with my author activities and all I have to say is, thank goodness for my Hotmail calendar. I try to mark all my important deadlines and set phone alerts, since I always have my mobile on hand.
6. Switch positions with one of your main characters in a scene. What is the outcome, disaster or divine intervention?
If I switched places with my heroine, Tamarinda, I’d have been fired before Burns ever comes through the door. She’s a social worker with a firm grip on the essence for cool objectivity so I’d fail that instantly. If I made it to the first meeting, I wouldn’t have intrigued him and thrown him off guard—he’d probably have incinerated me on the spot. There’s a good reason why I’m not in any of my books!
7. Where is your favorite place to write? Add that one comfort food that you can’t do without.
On the couch, in the morning, with a bag of Sour Cream and Cheddar Ruffles and a cup of tea, usually Irish Breakfast or Darjeeling if I’m deserving of a treat.
8. Writing inspirations?
Music, mainly…music helps me focus my stories, and allows me to follow the streams of emotions they need to come alive.
9. You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them?
Edgar Allen Poe…and I ask him: Why did you get on that train?
10. I’ve gone mad – why don’t you come with me? Some people just don’t understand us writers. Name a quirky, writer-thing you do that friends wish you didn’t.
I stare at them when they do certain things, because I’m thinking of a way to put it in a book. Or else I’ll smile when I should be angry—sure, I’m angry, but the writer’s side of my head is putting it to good use…hence the insane smile.
Words That Bind
by Ash Krafton
Social worker Tam Kerish can’t keep her cool professionalism when steamy client Mr. Burns kindles a desire for more than a client-therapist relationship—so she drops him. However, they discover she’s the talisman to which Burns, an immortal djinn, has been bound since the days of King Solomon…and that makes it difficult.
Ethical guidelines are unequivocal when it comes to personal relationships with clients. However, the djinn has a thawing effect on the usually non-emotive Tam, who begins to feel true emotion whenever he is near. Tam has to make a difficult choice: to stay on the outside, forever looking in…or to turn her back on her entire world, just for the chance to finally experience what it means to fall in love.
“So. You’ve destroyed a stereotype for me. A genie who lives in a library. Different.”
“When in Rome, no?” He stirred his cup before setting down the spoon with a light clink against the saucer. “Or, I suppose it is more accurate to say when in human form. When I am Burns, I prefer here.”
“Human form.” It didn’t sound right. Who said things like that, and meant it? “Can you change into anything you want? Any shape at all?”
He stretched out his legs and cocked his head, sliding his gaze up and away. “I suppose I could. I’m getting old and set in my ways. There’s this…” He swept his hands down the line of his body.
Her eyes were unable to keep from following, not even when he lingered over his midsection. Even lounging, his shirt was tightly tucked into his beltline. No belly fat there.
He tilted his head and gave her an upper-teeth smile, nibbling gently at his lower lip. “And apparently this form is pleasing to the eye, so I wear it often. But there are others. Tiger, a favorite. Savage and regal and the colors of flames in the night. Fearsome to behold, but very useful when dealing with physical conditions in which a human form may be outmatched. Plus, I can lash my tail.”
His voice took a teasing, conspirator’s tone. “I love my tail. You’d love it too, if you saw it.”
She trained her eyes firmly upon his. No way would she give him the pleasure of checking out his tail.
Ash Krafton is a speculative fiction author from northeastern Pennsylvania. Krafton’s first novel, Bleeding Hearts was published in 2012 as part of an urban fantasy trilogy The Books of the Demimonde (Pink Narcissus Press). An urban fantasy novella, Strangers at the Hell Gate, was published by Wild Rose Press in 2013. Her newest release, Words That Bind, won first place in the HeRA RWA “Show Me the Spark” 2013 competition as well as a Zebulon award in 2014.
Krafton also writes New Adult speculative fiction novels under the pen name AJ Krafton. Upcoming titles include The Heartbeat Thief, Face of the Enemy, and the award-winning Takin’ It Back. She is part of a YA/NA collective known as the Infinite Ink Authors.
In addition to novel-length fiction, Krafton enjoys writing poetry and short prose, some of which earned distinctions in various writing competitions. One of her poems was also nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She’s a proud member of Pennwriters, Romance Writers of America, and Pikes Peak Writers. Krafton also writes for the Query Tracker Blog and the Prose and Cons blog.
She resides with her family in northeast Pennsylvania.