Anything and everything inspires me. A song, a picture, the look on someone's face at an unexpected moment, a movie or a book. Lately it's been places that have made me think: a deserted house, a mist-covered cliff top. Anything can do it. But my greatest source of inspiration is a feeling I want to try and capture. It could be a sense of overwhelming love or honour and duty. Desperation during sex has triggered some rather lovely ideas but it can be much more than that. Overcoming despair through love is a big one but, again, anything can set me off.
How do you manage to come up with such detailed backgrounds, not just the characters, but the worlds too?
I tend to let an idea brew for a long time before I write. By the time I start typing I have all their back stories in my head, all the details of the world they live in. I often write my own imaginary world and I like the power of inventing the details and making it just how I want it to be. It can get complicated and sometimes I have to write it down but mostly it's just there in my head, ready for me to use.
How do you feel when it comes time to end the story? Sad? Happy? Relieved?
Often I feel absolutely lost. I live and breathe the book for months, my mind is full of it as I work things out and I can't think about anything else. I have the goal of that end scene in my head. I want to get there, need to for myself and the characters, and then I do and… what next? Often the sense of anti-climax is really strong and I wander around not knowing what to do with myself for ages. It can feel like a loss but I can't go on to write something else too soon. I have to say goodbye to one world before I can welcome another.
Does that make me odd? I think it probably does!
Hello good people,
I'm Faith Ashlin and I have been very kindly invited onto RJ Scott's blog, thank you so much.
My second book came out on 23rd February, it's called, 'What You See Isn't Always What You Get.' I'm especially proud of this book and it means a lot to me.... What You See Isn't Always What You Get is available. You can buy it here.
Blurb for 'What You See Isn't Always What You Get.'
Sex for money. That’s the simple deal ex-freedom fighter Richard offers when he buys Denny’s freedom.
When ex-freedom fighter Richard buys a slave’s freedom, he has a deal to offer. Being more inexperienced than he appears, he needs someone to teach him a few things. Sex for money and help is what he’s proposing. Denny can always say no.
Denny agrees, and as they settle into their new life, they learn things about themselves and each other, as well as the nature of freedom and love.
But when are things ever that easy? Their world is suddenly shattered by a ghost from Richard’s past. That’s when Denny takes control, shows what he’s made of and fulfils a need Richard didn’t even know he had. It turns out neither are what they appear to be.
Excerpt from 'Pathfinder'
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.
Release Day Review for 'What You See Isn't Always What You Get.'
'I fell in love with this book, with its angst and all its heartbreak. I sobbed at the ending, but I felt uplifted, and the epilogue is just the most fitting ending I could have wished for, one of the most perfect endings I have ever read for a book, it was closure. There is so much emotion poured into this book, it has its sad moments, but equally it’s happy times, I couldn’t put it down. It’s one of best books I’ve read in ages. I can’t wait to read more of Faith Ashlin’s work and she is now one of my must read authors.'