Written exclusively for Vampires, Werewolves, & Fairies, Oh My!
1. Tell us about yourself, Ashley. I live in sunny Orlando, Florida, with my husband, stepson, and three furry children (2 labs and a cat), and I love reading and writing about everything urban fantasy and paranormal romance. When I’m not writing you’ll find me spending time with family and friends, training in my home gym, horseback riding, traveling and exploring new places, drinking medium- to full-bodied red wines, and making gourmet coffees with my Nespresso machine. Visit my website to learn about my upcoming releases, guest blog posts, and featured giveaways at www.AshleyRobertsonBooks.com
2. We are excited about your new release, UNGUARDED. Would you tell our followers about it? I’d love to. Guardian angel Selene was close to becoming an archangel—until she fell in love with a vampire. Now her dark lover has been kidnapped and the only way to save him is by abandoning her human charge. But her choice to save him doesn’t come without a price and now Selene must push her diminishing angel abilities to where she risks becoming fallen, praying she can save the ones she loves before her fate is sealed.
3. Where did the inspiration for this story develop? I was writing Crimson Rain (title may be changing to Crimson Flames), which is the sequel to my debut novel Crimson Groves, when out of nowhere, Selene pops in my head while I’m taking a shower, demanding that I tell her story. Well, that guardian angel couldn’t have picked a better time since I was having a major writing block on Crimson Rain. So, as soon as I got out of the shower and threw on something comfy, I immediately dove into UnGuarded and the first chapter was written that same night. And granted, I did have several disagreements with Selene—over her relationship choices and some of her decisions—but I still did my best to get the story out the way she wanted it told.
4. A hobby of yours is riding horses; do you own any horses of your own? Growing up, I lived on a 92-acre farm/orange grove with horses and cows. I loved my childhood, loved riding my horse whenever I wanted, but as I grew into my teens (around 15 years old), I began to lose interest in that altogether. Riding horses isn’t the only part of owning one—they’re actually extremely difficult to take care of. From feeding them, cleaning their stalls, keeping them in overnight and then letting them run loose in the pastures during the day, bathing them, hoof maintenance, vet care, etc. (I think you get my point, it’s a LOT of work), so my mom finally decided to sell all our horses—though my dad still has about a dozen head of cattle, but they are much easier to care for. So I don’t own a horse anymore, but recently I found this amazing ranch-and-rescue that allows me to lease one of theirs for a monthly fee, and it’s a heck of a lot easier than owning one. Plus I still have plenty of time to write and connect with my fans through blogging and social media.
5. You have said you are committed to eating healthy and exercising daily. We all want to stay on a healthy path. Can you give us some tips that help you accomplish this for yourself? I’m a huge believer in eating clean and exercising at least five days a week. My eating style (I refuse to call it “dieting” because once you stop the diet, all of your progress is lost, so it’s more my eating lifestyle—yes, it’s a life change if you want to keep the results, as I’m sure we all do when we put in such strenuous efforts) is based a lot on Tosca Reno’s Clean Eating books. But in a nutshell, it’s lean meats, lots of veggies, brown rice, sweet potatoes, nuts, and I love my Elite Whey Protein shakes. You absolutely cannot build muscle without taking in enough protein. Every meal should have about 20g of protein and your snacks should have about half that. Think of it like this: When your car runs low on gas, you must refuel. Well, our bodies are the same—when we get low, we must refuel with the proper foods so that our bodies perform the best they can, and this in turn will put a nice spike on your metabolism even if you have a slow one (like me). You don’t want to put diesel in a car that requires gas. So remember that when eating. Your body will perform based on what you put in it. But here’s my key to eating clean successfully: Allow yourself one day out of every week where you can eat and drink anything and everything you want. I call this my “Cheat Day” and without it, I’d never succeed at eating clean for six days out of every week. I’m a huge believer in rewarding good behavior, and my Cheat Day is my big reward.
With regards to exercise, my motto is: The best exercise is the one you’ll do. Commit to something, anything, and stick with it. After about a year of this commitment, you’ll feel guilty if you miss a normally scheduled day of exercise. That feeling of guilt has driven me to work out for twelve years now. My personal preference is a mixture of weight training and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Maybe one day I’ll add yoga to the mix.
6. You used to be in real estate. How did you make the switch from that to writing?
It was very difficult for me to walk away from my thirteen-year (successful) career in real estate. But honestly, doing that job 24/7 was much easier before I became a wife and stepmother of an amazing little boy. Initially when I left my real-estate job—I still have my Florida license and it’s with a referral department—it was to help provide care for my stepson and be more available to both him and my husband. But once my little guy started pre-K, giving me some of my time back, I immediately dove into writing again. I’m very career-minded; being a mom and wife isn’t enough for me. I need to have my own thing going on, and writing allows me to have that while still giving me the flexible schedule I need for my family.
7. We hear you are an animal lover and have several pets. Tell us about them. I have a ten-year-old chocolate lab named Tyler, a six-year-old white lab named Isis (who has more energy than any toddler I’ve ever met), and an eight-year-old Himalayan cat named Phoebe.
8. Would you tell us a little about CRIMSON RAIN, the second installment in The Crimson Series? Due out in the winter of 2013, Crimson Rain (or Crimson Flames) will pick up right where we left Abby and her quest to learn more about the sorceress powers that were awakened inside her when she was turned into a vampire—making her a whole new hybrid species. There’s a group of rogue vamps banding together and forming a Resistance against the vampire governing body, The Head Council, and Abby’s newly discovered powers are the key to the Council’s victory. Now the Resistance will do anything possible to remove the hybrid threat, and with no other options, Abby is forced to rely on the aid of the Council, yet can she trust the very vampires that hunt for her human lover? And even worse, can she fight the unwelcome attraction that’s growing between her and one of those ancient vampire rulers?
9. Being a parent isn’t easy. Is it hard to juggle family, writing, and the million other things that have to be done in your life? Some days it’s very difficult but others have that perfect balance, and those are the times I try my best to focus on and replicate. At the end of the day, one of the main reasons I’m pursuing my dreams of being a writer is not only to release the churning stories inside my head, but also to have a more flexible schedule so that I’m more available to my family and those who need me.
10. Is there anything you would like to tell our followers? I love being “stalked” so feel free to follow me at any (or all) of these social media locations: