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Please welcome Ashlyn Chase, author of Strange Neighbors!

A multi-published, award-winning author, Ashlyn Chase specializes in characters who reinvent themselves, having reinvented herself numerous times. Among her many day jobs, she has worked as a psychiatric nurse, run blood drives for the Red Cross, and now uses her degree in behavioral sciences to avoid writing exhaustive character sketches. She lives with her true-life hero husband in beautiful New Hampshire. For more information, please visit http://ashlynchase.com.

Check out our review of Strange Neighbors!

Interview

I noticed you have a degree in behavioral science and worked in the medical field as a psychiatric RN as well as for the American Red Cross. Where did you find the time to write and what inspired you to even try your hand at being an author?
Ashlyn: A true writer can’t not write. (Pardon the double negative.) A creative soul needs a creative outlet. I tried many creative outlets before writing. I even attended Massachusetts College of Art, but finally stumbled upon my forte. I took a 6 week screenwriting course at U. Mass and learned that version of story-telling first. It wasn’t too difficult to take what I already knew and adapt it for the page.

You make time to do what you really love.

Mythology and folklore tend to be a trend in your writing. What would you say is your favorite genre of mythology or folklore?
Ashlyn: I like the Greek Pantheon, probably because I’m more familiar with it. I find Norse and Celtic mythology fascinating too. Am I taking your question about mythology too literally? If you’re talking about the folklore of vampires, werewolves and the like, many writers come up with different interpretations. I adopt and create my own legends as they make sense to me.

Also, I only know a few authors that pick a wereanimal other than the common wolf variety. Why did you choose to go the path of various animals? Is there a particular reason you chose a peregrine falcon as well as why you chose a raven?
Ashlyn: Peregrine falcons are monogamous. I guess that’s always been a bonus in romance. You want to think of your hero and heroine happily committed to only each other. The raven shifter resulted because of my desire for a secondary character with a morbid sense of humor. That can be a lot of fun. The raven has traditionally been thought of as a harbinger of doom.

There are so many different venues and styles of writing due to the availability of the internet and the commonness of “the blog”. How would you say that affects people who want to become published authors in the future? What do you think about the aspect of items such as ebooks and gadgets like the kindle?

Ashlyn: It’s easier to get published than ever before. An e-publisher can take a chance on a new writer since their financial investment is much lower than a traditional print publisher’s. The kindle with its enormous hype brought ebooks out of obscurity—although e-books and e-readers have been around for a long time. I was e-published first and established myself as a prolific and reliable author with a brand and a fan base that loved my voice. That made me a more attractive risk than someone completely untested.

What advice would you give someone who wants to become an author?
Ashlyn: I always give them the same advice given to me. Don’t give up. When you finish polishing your manuscript, send it out and begin the next one. Rinse and repeat, honing your skills until you hit upon the right editor and timing for your work.

What are your three all-time favorite books?
Ashlyn: My taste is very eclectic. Diana Gabeldon’s Outlander series. Okay, that’s several books but Voyager would be my favorite. The first in MJ Davidson’s Betsy the Vampire Queen series, Undead and Unwed. And finally any John Grisham book, although he doesn’t know how to write a sex scene to save his life.

Yes, you can tell him I said that.

Giveaway

I have 2 copies of Strange Neighbors to give away!

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This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada residents only. Deadline to enter is midnight on July 14th.

Giveaway copies were provided free of any obligation by Sourcebooks Casablanca. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.