Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
My name is Ashlyn Drewek. I live in northern Illinois with my husband and my daughter. I have degrees in American History, but my actual day job is being a first responder. So I channel all of my odd loves, like history, and literature, and macabre things into my writing.
How do you make time to write?
It’s hard, especially when you work full time and have a family. When it’s slow at work, I squeeze in as much as I can. I also try to get some of it done either before my daughter wakes up or after she goes to sleep. Even if I’m not physically writing, I’m usually plotting in my head or figuring out scenes, so when I do get time at the computer, I can get it all out quickly.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes, and no. I know what it’s like to not be inspired to write, but know you have to do it anyway. I also know what it’s like to have a vague concept/idea for a story or a character or a plot-line and you just have no freaking clue how to weave everything together to get your point across. That’s why I tend to have multiple stories going at once, so if I’m stuck on one, I can bounce to another and at least be productive in some sort of way.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
At the heart of it all, I’m a romance writer. I love the interaction between couples, the push, the pull. I love all the warm fuzzies that go along with the newness of a relationship. But, more specifically, I write dark romance. Hallmark will never make one of my books into a movie, that’s for sure. I write about the paranormal, murderers, and mentally ill characters. I love tortured characters and “love” is the ultimate torture method.
How are you publishing your recent book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional)
Indie all the way. I am too, um, controlling shall we say, to turn my book baby over to an agency. I like working with my cover designer and formatting my own books and all of the behind-the-scenes work that goes along with it. Plus, the larger royalty payment is nice too.
Are you an Introvert or Extrovert?
Introvert. It’s great for the actual writing part. I’m quite comfortable sitting at a computer, whiling away the hours making up stories. Being an introvert only becomes an “issue” when it comes to promoting my work. I have a hard time “selling myself,” so that is something I’m working on.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
“To write something you have to risk making a fool of yourself.”~Anne Rice
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Do it! Don’t hold back. Write your first copy for yourself. Do NOT edit it until it’s finished. Be as crazy and outlandish and terrible as you want. Then, with each successive round of edits, tighten it up and polish it and present your originality to the world. There is literally an audience for every type of book, but you’ll never know if you don’t put your work out there for people to find.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
From THE MYSTERY OF LEANDER WELLES, a dark, psychological romance about a criminal psychiatrist who falls in love with her patient.
“It’s ok to be afraid sometimes. Everyone has fears. It’s not a weakness. It’s human — a natural response to the threat of danger programmed into us over a millennia.”
He tilted his head, considering me. “What are you afraid of, Doctor?”
Blinking, my brows furrowed. I supposed I walked right into that one. “I don’t know. The usual things I guess. Snakes.”
He smirked. “That’s a phobia.”
Damn it. Leave it to Leander to know the difference. “You tell me since you’re so perceptive.”
Nodding, I motioned for him to continue. I wanted to see how clever he thought he was.
He leaned forward, his exquisite gaze fixed on mine. “Surrender.”
The hair on the back of my neck stood up and my breath caught in my throat. “The last time we talked about surrender, we were talking about suicide. Are you having suicidal ideations again?”
He jumped to his feet. I stood just as swiftly, blocking his path. He moved in the other direction. I sidestepped with him, putting my hands up to help keep him from escaping. He could have easily shoved me away, but something about his mood this morning told me he wouldn’t.
“Let me see your arms, Leander.”
He scowled yet remained where he was.
I reached for his left wrist and touched it gently, hoping he didn’t explode. He let me lift his arm and take out the silver cuff-link, flinching only when I began pushing the sleeve out of my way. His chest rose and fell in quick succession the higher the fabric went. There were no new marks on his arms, just dozens of old scars.
I repeated the process on his other arm, satisfied to find fewer scars than the first. None of them were fresh. Nevertheless, I didn’t feel a sense of relief. “Are you cutting somewhere else? Somewhere you think I won’t look?”
“Would you like me to undress for you?” His words were so soft that if they weren’t being uttered near my ear, I might not have heard him.
“That’s—” I cleared my throat, staring straight ahead at the smooth whiteness of his throat. It was safer than looking up at his mouth or his eyes. “That’s not necessary.”
“I didn’t ask if it was necessary.” His fingertips grazed the side of my hand, trailing down the length of my pinky. He toyed with the very edges of my fingers, sending a spasm of yearning through me. The memory of his body against mine came back, along with the butterflies dive-bombing my stomach.