Today I have the distinct pleasure of welcoming Aspen deLainey, author of Love ‘n Lies to the FlipSide. Welcome Aspen, why don’t you take a moment and introduce yourself to the captive audience that you now have before you.
I live in the Foothills of Alberta with hubby darlin’ and two of my four children, a dog, a lovebird and a glowering of semi-feral cats. You can find me at dawn on some mornings watching wildlife strip my vegetable garden. But I wouldn’t trade country living for all the beans on the stalk.
I think I might have been born with the Muse as my fairy godmother because story ideas pellet me daily; some days hourly. One of my earliest memories is writing a story for my younger brother, in crayon on a picture book, receiving my first critical review moments later, in the form of a spanking. Never deterred, I continued to make up stories, finally letting a few escape my clutches in 2010.
The Evermore Chronicles developed its concept while I worked in the seniors’ medical field. One sweet old lady, a patient’s wife, confided to me she wished she’d been born a fairy so she wouldn’t have to get old and useless. That brought oodles of questions to mind about paranormal beings having medical problems in life? What happens to aging Vampires, Wizards, Trolls and the like? Who would have the experience, the knowledge to treat them? Can you imagine? The questions begged to be looked into. Any of course, immortalized.
Tell us about your writing process?
I seem to get story ideas pelted at me when I’m minding my own business, watching people, listening to music or a TV show. I think about it off and on for a day or two. If I dream about it then I know I’ve got a good idea, so I write enough of the story down to get my subconscious involved. Once I get a bit some flavour to the story idea, I write down the beginning and the end. My first idea of those – not written in stone. I develop a character, write down bits of info about her/him, get to know them. They need a birthday, approximately. They need a body type, an age, hair color, eye colour. I have to be able to see my characters, hear them, know them well.
So, yes I’m a part time plotter, definitely using quilting in my story, but mostly I write by the seat of my pants. I’ve been known to protest, very late at night, that I have to finish a scene ‘cause I want to know how it ends.
Is there a genre, other than the one you currently write in, that you wish you could break into?
I’d love to write a believable murder thriller. I read and read books in that genre, but I haven’t the cold-blooded mindset to pen my own yet. The stories I try seem a little too friendly so far.
What are the 5 books that have influenced you the most, and why?
Goddess, that’s a hard one. I read and reread Zelaney’s Zen and the Art of Writing weekly, mainly to get my fingers in motion. That whole ‘I’ll dream a bit more about the story, make it better’ procrastination ploy I think lots of writers fall into.
I fell in love with fantasy stories when I found Andre Norton’s Witch World series. Lately Jim Butcher’s Dresden series and Anne Bishop’s Black Jewel series intrigued me enough to try writing a more playful, looser style that I believe/hope makes Leticia, in Love ‘n Lies feel like a neighbour you just don’t know well. Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series helped me see other creatures having human-like behaviours. And, believe it or not, I like to read Mark Twain for hints on timing.
If you could cast one of your works, who would you choose to play your main characters?
Leticia would be excellent played by Molly Quinn who plays Alexis Castle in the TV show Castle.
I think Taylor Lautner, who played Jacob in Twilight, or Zachary Quinto who plays Spock in the new Star Trek movies would make a decent Justin.
What is the first thing you would do if you woke up one morning to find one of your books on the NY Times Bestsellers List?
Probably I’d immediately go back to bed, sure I’m dreaming. When I woke up the next time, I’d ask my family to confirm that information. Then I’d panic, run around gibbering. I’d make sure hubby darlin’ saw the Best Sellers List. I’d phone my mother and email everyone I know to brag.
Do you have any vices that you turn to while you are writing?
I am a horrible person. I smoke cigarettes. If I’m stuck in a scene I grab a smoke and walk outside. A glass or a bottle of wine helps me over the intense parts. Has to be pretty bad to get me to drink more than a single glass as I don’t write well – my fingers forget where the proper keys are – when I’ve had too much to drink.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I’m a reader. I always have more than one book on the go. I love surfing the Net. And I live in the country, so I like to take my dog on long walks. In the spring I’ll walk for miles to this pond I know. I watch the swans come in, nest and raise their little ones. Not too close though. Swans are mean about their territory. They are faster than you expect and can hit hard enough to leave big bruises.
If I’m sitting watching TV I like to keep my hands busy, so I crochet, knit, embroider, quilt and sketch.
Please share with us the first nine lines of your current work-in-progress. If you’d rather not share, we can insert the first 9 nines of the book you have just published.
I’m writing Howling Hearts at the moment. It’s another of the Evermore series.
Ah Goddess, don’t fail me now, Rand prayed.
Adrenaline spiked through her body lending her the strength to fight the slide she felt through the steering wheel. She braked. One tire caught traction, swinging her vehicle closer to an edge Rand sensed but no longer saw.
“No!” she shouted. “Don’t you dare!” Her knuckles whitened as she tightened her grip, forcing her strength and will into the battle for control of her steering wheel.
A touch of gravel under a second tire, and Rand goosed the gas, straightened the wheel in what she hoped was road-direction.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Everywhere. I love to listen to people, watch them interact as I make up stories concerning the who, what, and when about them. I often get ideas from phrases in songs or shows and news on TV. The Evermore series actually conceptualized during my stint working with seniors. I wondered what might happen to supernatural beings when they got sick or old. And any time I wonder about things my mind makes up a story to explain the workings for me.
Thank you Aspen for taking the time to answer my questions. If you’d like to keep up-to-date on Aspen’s writing and the Evermore Chronicles of which Love ‘n Lies is a part of, you can follow her on her blog or on Twitter.
Now let’s take a peek into Love ‘n Lies…
Gaining weight is a human problem. At least that’s what Leticia always thought. But when this vivacious vampire wakes from her year-long slumber and discovers that her formerly svelte frame has retained a few extra pounds, it becomes apparent that something has gone amiss.
A girl just can’t wander around the Calgary Stampede in clothes that don’t fit! So she sets about the task of shopping and working out a low-cal diet of humans she can live on. When her friends notice how depressed she is, one of them suggests she adopt a tomcat named Justin to keep her company. Little does she know that she would fall madly in love with her new kitty. The moment she does, the spell cast over Justin is broken and he takes his true form – a long, tall, dark haired man with an insatiable sex drive. Letty is more tempted than she ever thought possible and can’t keep her hands off him anymore than he can keep his off of her.
After taking him back to her childhood home, Evermore, to consult with the head wizard Silvius, she soon discovers the Warlock who cast the spell over Justin isn’t letting him go so easily.
Throw in a nasty twin sister who’ll do anything to get her hands on what Letty has, including Justin’s more than hot body, and you end up with Love… ‘n Lies!
If you would like to pick up a copy, they can be found online at: