Author Interview: Ashley March
Please join me in welcoming historical romance author Ashley March to the blog! Her new book, Romancing the Countess, was released earlier in the month.
Why historical romance?
Thanks so much for having me today, Amber! The simple answer to this question is that it’s the type of romance that hooked me on the genre. I think my first year of reading romance mostly consisted of historicals checked out from my local library, and my favorite authors were Jude Deveraux and Catherine Coulter.
My love in reading historical romance has led me to a love for writing it. But now I realize that I also write it because I love exploring relationships in different time periods and countries. There are a lot of possibilities when the entire world’s history and cultures are open to you.
Are there other genres you're interested in exploring?
Yes! For romance specifically, my first contemporary novella will be released in the SWEET TALK ME anthology out in November of this year. I have plans for a contemporary series after that, but no finalized details yet on when it will be published. I also have a few ideas for YA romance… The funny thing about writing is that it seems the longer you write, the more your mind is open to all sorts of stories.
I also have a few mainstream ideas, although I’m not sure when I’ll have the time to write them. One’s a book of my heart, though, so I hope it’s soon. =)
How do you balance mom duties with writing?
I don’t sleep very much. In fact, as I answer this specific interview question, it’s currently 12:30am. But I’m having fun, and that’s what matters to me the most. =)
Apart from that, I have an absolutely terrific husband. We’re both staying at home right now, and we usually take shifts with the girls during the daytime so that we can each have time to work. At night after the kids go to bed, I work until early morning. He helps out a ton with the cooking and cleaning and other household chores so I can devote most of my free time to writing and the writing business.
Who is your favorite fictional character?
I’ve answered about literary fictional characters in the past, but I’m going to have to answer the question now with a cartoon fictional character. I LOVED Darkwing Duck. =) So much, actually, that I know I’m going to be buying the DVDs for my daughters when they get older. (I have to admit, though, that Bugs Bunny is a very, very close second.)
Both your hero and heroine in Romancing the Countess have experienced unfaithful marriages. Did that create any special challenges when telling their story?
In my mind I knew this was a very special story right from the beginning. I didn’t want to treat it irreverently and gloss over the characters’ individual pain. But in the end, it’s still a romance, and the most challenging part was at the beginning, when I had to walk a very thin line between allowing the characters space to move on individually before the time came for their romance to start developing. I had to show that, even though they didn’t immediately fall in love, there was still something there between them, an awareness—not a sexual awareness, necessarily—but still something that made them take notice of one another.
You begin each chapter with an excerpt from letters written by the hero's unfaithful wife (and written to the heroine's cheating husband). And throughout the course of the novel, your heroine, Leah, reads them. I thought that a unique (and brave) idea. Did you start out with those epigraphs in mind or were they something you added as the novel progressed?
Thank you. To be honest it was something my editor suggested when the book was finished, so I went back through and added them after the story was already complete. And I think she’s a genius for the idea, because I believe it adds an entirely new depth to the story that we wouldn’t have without it. The deceased spouses become part of their own romance in a way, instead of the typical villains they would have been otherwise.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently hosting a reader-interactive online novella on my website each week (see www.ashleymarch.com/novella), where readers can read a new chapter every Tuesday and then vote for what they want to have happen next in the story. When the novella is finished it will be self-published, with 25% of proceeds going to a charity I choose (probably something to do with children).
I’m also finishing edits for my third Signet book. MY LADY RIVAL is the launch of a new Victorian series called A Belgrave Square Affair, and I’m so excited to share these characters with my readers! It is scheduled to release on May 1, 2012.
I also have a few other projects in the works for both 2011 and 2012. Readers can keep up with all the details for what’s coming next by visiting me at www.ashleymarch.com/coming-soon or by subscribing to my newsletter at www.ashleymarch.com/email.
Alright, I have to hear it. Whether you were born in the first half of the 20th century or the second half, I’m sure you watched cartoons. What is your favorite cartoon character?
One random commenter will be chosen to win a copy of my newest book, ROMANCING THE COUNTESS (open internationally)! Also, find out how to win the ROMANCING THE COUNTESS Book Tour Grand Prize of 50+ romance novels by visiting www.ashleymarch.com!