Today my guest is Jessica Aspen, author of Little Red Riding Wolf. I’m so excited to have her on my blog. Welcome Jessica!
JA: Thanks for having me here Meggan!
MCC: How about we start with some easy questions. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?
JA: I live I Colorful Colorado where I appreciate the sun, snow and mountains. I love to hike and get outside daily with my lab-mix Molly. I’ve been a romance reader ever since middle school and a serious romance writer for the last four years. Give me a good book, a comfy chair and some dark chocolate and I’m yours!
MCC: That’s my idea of heaven! Do you have a day job?
JA: I used to work part time all year round and I found that by the time I got to work and got home it was time to pay attention to all the other things in life besides writing, so my writing was very slow. Now I work for part of the year scoring standardized tests. When I’m working I do little besides keep up with the blogs and tweet, but when I’m not working I’m a writing fiend.
MCC: How do you balance writing with all of your other obligations? (I ask, because I have yet to find it!)
JA: Well, in addition to splitting my year instead of my day, I’m a FlyLady fan. FlyLady is a fun way to keep your house organized. A few minutes each day on the FlyLady’s jobs and overall the house stays clean. She also divides the week up into focus days. My favorite is anti-procrastination day because I can procrastinate everything all week until that day. Then there are no excuses.
MCC: Wow. Sounds like I could use some of that. In the spirit of procrastination (because I’m far better at that than I am at “anti-procrastination”) What’s your favorite book of all time, and why? (Because I’m a lit geek, I’ll let you get away with listing more than one)
JA: Wow! I’m a lit geek too and I really can’t pick one. I’ll start with the Scarlett Letter, Sense and Sensibility and Jude Deveraux’s the Summerhouse. Why? I love Hester Prynne and the way the Scarlett Letter explores women, men and sensuality (yes, I linked sensuality and Hawthorne together). Jane Austin, well, I could read any of them, but I particularly love Col. Brandon and the idea that love takes many forms. And as for Jude Deveraux, The Black Lyon is one of the reasons I started reading romance and I just love her writing, but the Summerhouse is an exploration of what could have been and how one day can change your life forever.
MCC: I haven’t read The Black Lyon, but maybe I need to. In the spirit of fairness, let’s do some TV. Who is your favorite movie/TV character and why?
JA: Right now I’m in love with Justified. My husband won’t watch it with me so I tape it and watch on my writing breaks. No one is bland or boring on the show.I love the dark edges of that show, how good and bad are twisted inside every character.
MCC: What are your interests outside of writing?
JA: Besides the chocolate and the hiking? Hmm, let’s see. I love to find new recipes and try them out, reading (of course), and really that’s it. Right now writing has consumed my life. I am very active in my local RWA chapter Colorado Romance Writers but usually I’m either blogging, tweeting or writing, if I’m on the computer. Writing has turned me into a geek.
MCC: I like to try new recipes, too, and of course, chocolate and hiking are plenty. But if I talk too long about food, I’ll get hungry, and that’s not a good thing. So, let’s talk a little about your writing instead. Answer as many or as few as you want…
Are you a pantser or a plotter and why?
JA: I am struggling with becoming a reformed pantser. I have trouble getting to know my characters unless I place them in situations. Once I see them react in a situation, then I know why they did it, then I can do their character sheets. So I have to start writing to really get into their heads. But I find writing this way is slow and requires way too much editing, so I am trying very hard to reform my ways.
MCC: I tried reforming my ways, but I have decided to let my characters control my life. When I control them, they get all angsty and refuse to talk to me. Is there a particular author who may have influenced you?
JA: I’d love to say yes, but truthfully I think I’m inspired by so many great authors. From Bram Stoker to Jim Butcher I love the gamut.
MCC: A girl after my own heart. Tell us a little bit about what inspired this book.
JA: A few years back there was a contest for a twisted fairy tale, and I entered much shorter and rougher version of Little Red Riding Wolf in it. It did well, but not well enough for publication so a year later I dusted it off, played with it and added ten thousand words. I love twisted fairy tales and so far most of my stories are based on those. I think I could re-write and morph one tale over and over again, there are so many possibilities in the stories. (Oh and this version did win an Honorable Mention in the Stroke of Midnight contest.)
MCC: Congrats! That’s fantastic. And I do love me a dark and twisty (and twisted!) fairy tale. This sounds right up my alley, Jessica. In that spirit, what is your favorite sentence or quote in your new release?
JA: “Grandma! Those are some big teeth!”
“Put those pop-eyes back in their sockets! Do you think I haven’t got it in me? I’m stronger than all those lazy curs in town. I chop my own wood and I still do my own hunting! I made it to Elmer and back on my own four feet and I made good time, if I say so myself!”
MCC: Who do you envision as your lead characters?
JA: I don’t pick actors or cut out pictures when I’m writing my characters, but I think someone spunky and cutting edge, like Warehouse 13’s Allison Scagliotti for Red. Evan’s tougher. I actually had someone I dated a long time ago in mind, so I think I’ll just keep that one to myself.
MCC: That’s funny! Do you have any advice for an aspiring writer?
JA: Schedule the time and stick to it. Even if it’s sitting down and typing one to two hundred words a day, getting into the daily habit of keeping writing time sacred will get you where you want to go.
MCC: Where can your readers stalk you? Because I think I want to join the Jessica Aspen stalky club.
MCC: Tell us about your new release… Oh, and check out this cover! Isn’t it fabulous?!
JA: It’s easier if I give you the blurb:
Fraternizing with humans is taboo, but when feisty werewolf Red runs into hunky new forest ranger Evan Brewster, she jumps on the opportunity to let loose her desires. Evan is stoked when he meets the petite red haired hottie, and combined with his new discovery of wolves in Colorado, thinks his career and life are made. Then Red pushes him away, her hostile brother threatens his life, and things begin to spiral out of control. Caught between her sexy lover and her pack can Red trust Evan with her secrets, or must she sacrifice her human lover and her heart?
To promote Little Red Riding Hood’s release I have a contest running during January and February. To participate in this contest leave a comment on Meggan’s blog and register HERE for an entry. Other things you can do to earn entries are leave a comment on my blog today, Friend me on Facebook, Tweet about the contest. Complete list HERE on Rafflecopter. Prizes include copies of Little Red Riding Wolf, t-shirts, sticky-notes and of course, chocolate!
Sounds fabulous! So what do you say? Leave a comment and perhaps win free chocolate! Does it get any better than that?