Book on the Bright Side
Interview with Ashley Robertson
When you wrote Crimson Groves, did you have a clear ending in mind, or did it surprise you? The ending for Crimson Groves was just how I’d originally planned it, though there were several details along the way that weren’t. With it being a planned series, it really had to end the way I needed it to so Abby’s story could continue, starting out with one hell of a bang in the sequel Crimson Flames.
Where did Abby come from? Did you base her on anyone you know? Abby has elements of several people—some real and others fictional. I wanted her to be likeable, so I selected qualities from people that I found easy to get along with, but I also wanted her to evolve into the badass warrior she is in book two, and using some characteristics of my favorite book heroines really helped the transition. That way, readers would hopefully root for her because they connected at some level with what she was going through and how she handled the situation.
What has been the hardest thing about being an author for you so far? The part between finishing your manuscript and publishing it as a book. (sighs) This is the high-intensity time where you must make everything as close to perfect as you can get it. If it weren’t for my amazing editor (Stephen Delaney with Close Reader Editing Services), I’d go crazy. It astounds me that I can reread my novel a half dozen times and still not catch the countless mistakes that Stephen does. Plus, this is my last chance to strengthen those sentences and cut those unnecessary paragraphs. Readers can blow through a book in days—or even hours—but authors need months or longer to write it.
What have you loved the most about being an author? Coming off a thirteen-year career as a real-estate agent where my phone was plastered to my ear, I’ve learned that I actually love the moments where I can shut off my phone and work. I could never do that before. And while I enjoyed helping others find their dream homes, the countless hours of troubleshooting wore on me through the years—especially after the market tanked and I was forced to work with banks (who still haven’t figured out how to properly handle their real-estate departments). The other thing I love is that I can really control my hours better and I have more time with my family. I may not make anywhere near the income I made selling homes, but for me having the quiet time to work and more time with my husband and son is worth it all and I’ve never been happier.
What’s next for you? I know I mentioned it above, but I’m close to completing the sequel to Crimson Groves. Due out in the winter of 2013, 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?