Monday, July 11, 2011

Interview with author Ainsley

Today we have with us science fiction and fantasy author Ainsley.

Welcome to RomFan Reviews Ainsley it is a great pleasure to have you with us today.

Thanks for having me!

Tell us a little about your new book Lost Prince:Salt Road Saga Book 1 which is now available.

I’ll give you back cover copy:

The only thing that’s kept Alaric, the so-called Lost Prince of Calixte, from giving into his grief over his beloved homeworld is the thought of revenge against the man who betrayed his people. But he couldn’t be more wrong about Haydn, who actually saved two thousand Calixten soldiers from certain death and secreted them on an inhospitable planet. There, they’ve launched a fledgling rebellion against the Coalition that rules six galaxies, including the lucrative Salt Road. They only need their prince to lead them.

Alaric needs a pilot to get him to his soldiers, someone too desperate to betray him. Katriel, a hotshot deserter pilot enslaved to Haydn by debt, is perfect for the job. But neither Katriel nor Alaric realize how the battle over Calixte binds them closer than blood, and when they find out, their collision will send shockwaves through the universe.

As an aside, I’m a HUGE Star Wars fan, so the opportunity to write Space Pash (as my Australian editor called it) or Space Opera, was so much fun. The above is the company line; between you and me, Lost Prince has dog fights in space, nasty aliens, hot rebels, an insurmountable enemy, and scintillating sex between two people who probably don’t belong together but just can’t help themselves.

Are you an author who has to do an outline first or do you write whatever pops into your head.

I’ve done both and I’ll never go back to pantsing it. I now outline, and it’s valuable to be able to do so because some editors expect to see one first. I’m working on a short story right now that’s a prime example of that. My process is write the tag line, then back cover copy, and then scene by scene. I often run these by other people, as well, during this process. You’ll find rough back cover copy all over my blog. I think my biggest leap as a writer came when I started to plot. It forced me to slow down and think. Plain old thinking is highly underrated by many newer writers.

Two of your other books Quencher and Quenched were co-written with author E.C. Stacy, any butting of heads when co-writing a book with someone?

Nah, we get along. We had a lot of fun, and I enjoy franchise writing. Don’t get me wrong, I love world-building, too. But I enjoy the challenge of writing within the constraints of someone else’s world. We plotted together and I did the drafting, and then we came together again on edits.

I know it seems these two questions are always asked but readers and future writers like to know. What do you like most about writing? What do you dislike about it?

I was just hanging out in a hotel bar in Florida last week and got interviewed over these two topics by a New Zealander woman and an Italian guy. I love the process, the actual writing, the creative process of building a story from the ground up. I also love interacting with readers, other writers, editors…they’re the greatest people! I’m pretty social, so convention weekends are important to me. But the point I made was that writing isn’t nearly as romantic as it sounds. It involves a lot of butt in chair, forcing words out. Writing the climax to my latest WIP was excruciating. I also do a lot of staring out the window and thinking. And laundry. You can judge how well my writing day went by how organized the laundry is. If it’s done, not so well.

That said, having just spent the morning doing paperwork for my next book, Sentinel: Archive of Fire, and doing some bookkeeping, I’d say that’s the part I hate most. But that’s any job, right? And writers have to do it all; we are independent businesses. Fortunately my husband runs his own consulting firm and he’s a crack shot at business, so he helps a lot with that end of things.

If you were not an author or an editor what else would you be?

Probably I’d go back to painting. I did commission art work for a number of years, but a shoulder injury messed up my fine motor skills. They’re coming back though and I’m drawing more. My story bibles are full of doodles and drawings and scribbles. Or I could see myself still doing interior design, which is also much less romantic than it sounds.

When you get some down time what would you be doing?

In winter I snowboard nearly every weekend, and in summer I love to take the kids to the pool and just read. We have a second house in Grand Lake, CO, and we spend a lot of weekends up there, hiking, going to the beach, and hanging out with friends. Like I said, I’m very social, so I go out a lot, too. Punk rock concerts are my favorite party spots.

Who are some fellow authors you enjoy reading?

I love everything Carol Berg writes. George RR Martin, of course, and what a nice man! Stuart Neville is a good friend and I have the distinct pleasure of reading his work raw. It’s so good. I really like what Charlie Huston does; he has such great style. And Richard Kadrey’s work is fascinating to me. It’s got such heart. I’m really enjoying Stacia Kane’s Downside series, and of course every word Neil Gaiman writes turns to gold. James Ellroy, Erica Orloff, Stephen Parrish, Paulo Bacigalupi, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series. I get to critique my fellow editors’ work, as well, Lesley Smith and David Hughes, plus the rest of my group…Ok. I’ll stop now.

Any advice you would like to give to future authors?

READ. Devour books, magazines, blogs, facebook entries. READ. And write all the time, every day, even if it’s a few words. (I just started a story on the airplane. Writers are compulsive sometimes; give into that.) I’m a huge proponent of the million word theory: most writers it takes 10,000 hours, or a million words, to come into their own. For me, blogging was where I started to develop my voice (or one of them, I’m told I have a few) and it’s where I got the encouragement to be free. Learn to write from your heart!

I’ve done a lot of free writing with other people to develop my creative process. That has given me so much confidence and depth. The more you write, the more your work is seen by other people with good or bad responses, the better. Learn to take and use criticism. Also, short stories are a great way to hone your skills. There’s a reason most writer programs focus on the short form.

How can readers learn more about you and your books?

My books are available primarily through Whiskey Creek Press,, though QUENCHED is on Kindle. Instructions for how to easily download my books to Kindle can be found on my website.

I’ve lived online at Sex Scenes at Starbucks since 2004; (I’ve had more than a few people say they’ve read the entire blog. That stuns me every time I get an email like that.) There are links to everything there, including my short stories online, book excerpts, and sometimes even contests. We have some fun around there. I also edit Electric Spec and have done for 5 years:

I lurve me some new online friends, too, so find me on Facebook:

And Twitter:

Thank you Ainsley it was great to have you with us and hope you come back again soon.

You can read my review of Lost Prince: Salt Road Saga Book 1 here

Also read the review of Quenched here 

Other titles available Quencher

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