Name: Faith Ashlin
Age: Some days I feel 147!
Where are you from: London
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
Faith: I’m very boring. I live a boring life, in a boring place, doing boring things. But, although, I’m old enough to know better, I don’t really care what other people think as much as I used to – or maybe as much as I ought to. Finding writing and getting published feels very liberating. I’ve found a community of people that love the things I do.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Faith: Things are very exciting at the moment. I have two books being re-released with Totally Bound. They are ‘What You See’ (previously called ‘What You See Isn’t Always What You Get when it was published by Silver) coming out on general release 1st August 2014 and ‘Pathfinder’ which is on general release 15th August 2014. I’m especially excited about ‘Pathfinder’ as my new editor eventually persuaded me to add an extra chapter and an epilogue. I think it makes it a much more rounded, complete book. I have to admit, she was right and I was wrong! Thank you, Sue.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Faith: I say in my bio that I found a ‘book’ I’d written when I was about 12. It had appalling spelling – which only I could read – but it was a proper story. I have always had a mind full of stories, and I was quite old before I realized that not everyone lived in their own fantasy land inside their heads. It was just a case of writing those stories down.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Faith: I’ve never considered myself a writer! Shakespeare and Dickens are writers. I just have fun.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Faith: My first book was that one when I was 12 but my first proper book came much later. I had the idea, it had come to me almost fully formed and was just begging to be written down. I wanted to see if I could do the idea justice. I didn’t have any thoughts of getting anything published back then.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Faith: I don’t think so. There are certain things that are nearly always found in my stories – an equal relationship, strong characters and (I hope) an interesting plot – but within that I like to try different things. Oh, but I do like a happy ending!
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Faith: It’s different with each book. I know some titles before the story is written, others I fight to find, and some stories tell you their title. I like it when that happens.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Faith: I don’t think my books have a message but I do like fair play and equality. If there isn’t that there’s usually something that happens to create it. Maybe that’s my message. I think the reader would have to decide.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Faith: It depends on which book. I have a couple of books in which there is slavery in a modern world like ours. I like being able to change worlds to suit the story. That’s not realistic but I like to think everything else is: reactions and character development especially. I also do lots of research, so anything historical or factual is usually correct.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Faith: One of the new books I have coming out, ‘Pathfinder’, is set in the RAF during WW2. My uncle was involved in that so it’s – very – vaguely based on some things he told me.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
Faith: Oh that’s hard because there are lots. I wanted to be noble and true like the hero in some, to be pampered and desired like the princess in others, but mostly to be brave and daring. I’m none of those things but the books have given me ideals to admire.
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Faith: I don’t think I’d consider a writer as my mentor but there are some that have affected the way I think and my attitude to life. I like Ruby Wax, she has guts and isn’t afraid to say she finds things hard.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Faith: The 4th in C.J. Sandon Matthew Shardlake series, ‘Revelation’. They are murder mysteries set in Tudor times and a fun, easy read.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Faith: I’m a big fan of book S.a. Mead and Sue Brown. I love the way they write.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Faith: Lots! Too many! I’ve have just had a new novel accepted for publishing and I’m trying to polish two more, ready to submit.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Faith: That’s easy: I couldn’t have done it without my friends. One helped get me started writing, another gave me confidence to try and get published and lots have encouraged and supported me through out.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Faith: No. For me writing will always be for fun and because I enjoy it.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Faith: As I said before, in ‘Pathfinder’ there is now an extra chapter and a new epilogue. I wish I’d done that in the first place.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
This is an excerpt from ‘What You See’
Richard inhaled very carefully. “You have to teach me. Teach me what to do in bed.”
Denny’s eyes widened but he didn’t react otherwise. “You want me to be a whore or a sex therapist?”
“I was thinking more along the sex therapist lines but that’s probably just me being naïve or optimistic,” Richard admitted.
“You a virgin?”
“No.” Richard shook his head. “I just don’t… I don’t have much experience. Hardly any, really.”
“You’re kidding, right? I mean, you’re fucking gorgeous. You could get anyone you want without even asking.”
“Never wanted anybody but one guy,” Richard said softly.
“And he didn’t want you?”
“Yeah, he did. It just wasn’t as simple as that.”
“Why not?” Denny asked straight out and, fuck it, he was going to find out sooner or later. Richard figured he might as well get it over and done with now.
“You ever heard of Grady Porter?”
“Of course I have.” Denny sat up, the name suddenly animating him. “It was his death that spurred on the whole uprising, that got everyone released. If he hadn’t died when he did, then thousands of slaves would still be… Jesus fucking shit, are you Grady Porter’s Richard? The guy that was always with him? His… his…”
“Partner? Lover? Whatever you want to call it. Yeah, I’m Grady’s Richard.”
“Fucking hell.” Denny rocked with astonishment as his mouth widened to match his eyes. “Grady Porter’s Richard, right here, right in front of me. Man, you must have been through some serious shit. You were out fighting while I was cleaning out horse crap.”
“We were.” Richard eyes fell to the scar on the back of his hand and he remembered, just for a moment. “But the war’s supposed to be over. We’ve been fighting for peace for the last three years, trying to clear up the mess. You should have been out a long time ago.”
“I guess you couldn’t do everything at once.” Denny was still shaking his head and staring, looking stunned.
“Funny, but Grady wouldn’t have agreed with you on that one.” Richard smiled a tight little smile.
“But he’s been dead, what, over four years?”
“Five next March.”
“I don’t get it. So?”
“He was the only person I’ve ever wanted, the only one I’ve ever slept with.” Again Richard’s voice was soft and low.
“But if you were with him? Fuck man, I saw you on TV once. Watched when I shouldn’t have just so I could hear what he sounded like, see him move. It was so much better than a picture in a ripped-up newspaper. I don’t think I really looked at you but I remember the way he was hanging on to your hand, the way he looked at you. He loved you.”
“I know,” Richard said, and the smile was back, easier this time. “And I loved him. But it wasn’t as simple as that.”
“Why?” Denny wasn’t about to let him get away with anything.
Richard collapsed back into the chair and ran a hand slowly over his closed eyes. So many memories, so long ago. When he opened them again Denny was watching him, waiting with a stillness Richard knew he’d had to learn over the years.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Faith: Actually getting the words down. I can’t type properly so it’s two fingers – which makes me incredibly slow.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Faith: I don’t have one, there are different authors I go to in different situations. Light easy reads for the beach or a whole new world I can lose myself in when I’m feeling blue.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Faith: Not really. I make up things and google the rest!
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Faith: The wonderful artists at Totally Bound.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Faith: When I’m writing I often have, what I call, cleaning the keyboard moments. Those are when I have to push through a difficult scene I don’t want to write. I make myself sit at the computer but I end up doing anything to get out of it! I’ll check my emails obsessively, I’ll google random bands/films/anything I can think of. But, when I’m really desperate, I end up cleaning the fluff out of the keyboard. Making myself write is certainly the hardest part of the process for me.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Faith: Sometimes we should do what’s right, not what’s easy. A very difficult ideal to live by.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Faith: Enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy the process of writing – although we all have bad patches or things we aren’t so keen on – then don’t do it. Let it come from your heart.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Faith: That’s difficult. I suppose it would be, give my books a try. Oh and I hope you like them!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Faith: I read lots as a child but the first one I remember really grabbing my attention was H Rider Haggard’s ‘She.’ I’m not sure if I wanted to be the adventurer or the mysterious queen. Probably both.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Faith: I like really odd things and I think it shows it my writing. I’m fascinated by trapeze, WW2 war planes, ballet, old castles, music… lots of things. I’ve included a few in my books.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Faith: I like epic films, ones like ‘Lawrence of Arabia,’ ‘Gladiator’ or ‘Lord of the Rings.’ Big stories with great characters I can get lost in.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Faith: Loud, pumping music that must really annoys my neighbours, plus chocolate, cake and wine. Lots of wine!
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Faith: I’d love to work in a library. I don’t want to be the boss but I’d really enjoy putting the books in alphabetical order.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
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