Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Debut Author To Watch: Meet Katharine Ashe!!!

Welcome back for another edition of A Debut Author To Watch!!

Today, I'd like to introduce the newest jewel to grace Avon's crown, the lovely KATHARINE ASHE!!

It was quite by chance I learned of Katharine's soon-to-be-released debut novel SWEPT AWAY BY A KISS and I couldn't be happier to have another Regency author to read.

This week unlocks the door to the magical land of authorhood for Katharine with SWEPT AWAY BY A KISS set to hit bookshelves Tuesday, July 27th. (psst...that's tomorrow!!)

Better snitch a handful of cookies and a whipped creamed topped iced coffee and get ready to fall in love. I'm thinking we've found an author guaranteed to find a spot a on our keeper shelves!

Thank you for inviting me to join you today, Sarah. I’m so happy to be here!

1)If you were a book, what would your blurb be?

A passionate romantic with a heart full of dreams finds herself trapped in the unyielding life of a history professor. When she creates an alter ego as a romance novelist writing steamy adventure stories, she falls into her own adventure headfirst.

2)Using three words, describe your voice.

Sensual, vibrant, powerful.

3)What was your journey to publication like? What was your favorite aspect of the adventure? What did you dislike?

As so many novelists, I had written stories my whole life. I couldn’t help myself; the stories came and the characters insisted I pay them homage. Nevertheless, fresh out of college I answered another muse—Clio, the Muse of history. Off I went to graduate school to become (cue History Channel music) a Professional Historian.

Soon enough I found that Clio’s companionship, while invigorating, did not wholly satisfy me. So I grasped the hands of Erato—the Muse of lyric poetry, the poetry of love—and Calliope—the Muse of epic poetry, the poetry of adventure—and invited them to join us.

Together the four of us romped about aimlessly for some time, as new friends will often do.

Eventually I discovered RWA and learned about query letters and synopses, market trends and point-of-view. I sent out many letters and chapters. I received many rejections. This went on for a few years. I became somewhat discouraged. I continued to write with all my heart, but with less hope of publication. Then, when I was just about ready to tell my Muse friends that we would be going it alone once more—still romping with great joy but no longer with serious aim—I got The Call.

Upon this journey I have loved best the writing. I also love many people, kind, generous and endlessly fascinating authors. The professional grace and camaraderie of romance writers awes me.

I liked least those occasions upon which experts stated, “this is not marketable” or “you should not write that.” I hope to never hear myself saying that to an aspiring author. If you hear me do such a thing, I give you leave to smack me upside my head (metaphorically speaking, please).

4) Tell us about how you "Got The Call"! Was it everything you'd thought it would be?

I had just walked through the kitchen door, briefcase on my shoulder, and I flipped open my laptop upon the counter. I read an email message I thought was from one of my students: “I am in love with this book. I can’t stop thinking about it!” I thought, wow, I’ve never had that sort of response from a student to whom I recommended a book for term paper research. Then I saw the sender’s name, my agent now.

I jumped up and down. A lot. And I screamed a little. I couldn’t really breathe, so the scream was kind of squeaky.

A month later I was in that same kitchen when I got a phone message from my fabulous agent telling me Avon had made an offer on my trilogy. I got preternaturally calm. I couldn’t breathe again. It was kind of weird this time. It didn’t even seem real. It was My Dream.

5) Novice Writer to Debut Author: What have you learned? Any preconceived notions debunked or confirmed?

I have learned above all that there is a lot of enormous talent in the romance fiction world—authors, agents, editors, marketing and PR people, you name it. I’ve also learned that bringing a single book to publication at a big publishing house is a huge effort, and if your agent and editor are behind you it is a wonderfully affirming experience.

6) Any advice for aspiring authors?

Write what is in your heart. It sounds corny, and sometimes feels astoundingly unrealistic. And lots of folks will gladly tell you it is in fact unrealistic. Even after the book of your heart sits upon store shelves folks will still tell you it’s unrealistic! But in the end it is your heart and your time and your talent and your love of the characters and story. Every moment of life is precious. Write what you love because you love to write it, and not for any other reason. And don’t give up.

7)What's the rest of 2010 looking like for you? Give us the juicy gossip!

Happily, writing! Earlier this year I finished the third book in my debut trilogy filled with sailing ships, intrigue, and most of all deliciously sexy love. I am incredibly excited for books 2 and 3 to come out in April and October next year! The only way I can bear waiting for that, actually, is to keep writing. I just started my next series with Avon, and I am loving it—more romantic Regency-era adventure, this time featuring ex-spies.

There you have it! A star on the rise and we've been given the inside track on her journey. I'm thinking there's no better way to a start a new week than by getting a healthy dose of motivation. I'd like to thank Katharine for working us into her schedule. It was a last minute request, but she graciously agreed. Ain't that awesome?!

If you'd like to learn more about Katharine Ashe and her debut novel SWEPT AWAY BY A KISS, please head on over to her gorgeous website:

THANK YOU, TLN'ers!! I'm thinking a little
MAMA MIA and TAKE A CHANCE ON ME is the flavor of the day! What makes the scene is hottie Alexander Skarsgaard's dad saying, "I'm a writer--a lone wolf." LOL Oh, I love that movie! So, here's to all you "Lone Wolves" out there!! Catch ya back on Whip-IT Wednesday!!


Maryann Miller said...

Congrats on your release, Katherine. What a beautiful cover. Regencies sure have evolved in recent years. I remember the covers of the books my friends wrote in the late 80s and they didn't have bare skin. LOL

Margaret Tanner said...

Congratulations Katherine,your story is the one all writers dream of. Best of luck with all your ventures.


Katharine Ashe said...

Thank you, Maryann. There certainly are many styles of covers for Regency-era romance these days, no doubt to reflect the enormous diversity of the types of books in the sub-genre. The Avon art department does a beautiful job, I think, of matching cover to novel, and cover style to the style of the writing and story within. I'm so happy with this cover--it suits the book quite well. :)

Margaret, many thanks! I was listening to a song from Disney's animated Hercules just this morning (seven-year-old son here :) )--young Herk singing in his hopeful tenor about beating the odds and going the distance. I truly believe that's the key, going the distance, never giving up, and making every moment of it a joy.

Sarah Simas said...

Oh, I love Hercules! Danny Devito is just awesome in that film. Who knew he could sing?!

I love the cover too, Maryann and Katharine. That pastel green is just perfect. It's kind of nautical in a way. The Cover Gods definitely blessed you!

My favorite cover ever is Johanna Lindsey's Gentle Rogue. It's just gorgoeus and yes, they both had a reasonable amount of clothes on. LOL

HI Margaret! I have to say one of my favorite Q's to ask is about how an author got from newbie to published. I always find the answers very uplighting. :)

Anonymous said...
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Karen Michelle Nutt said...

Lovely cover and the title is great. Who doesn't want to be swept away by a kiss?

I wish you the very best with your debut novel.

Anonymous said...


MarthaE said...

Just coming over to say I love this cover but I see that Asian comment. Another blog site has advised that that ..... link leads to MALWARE. SO IF ANYONE sees it around Blogland DO NOT click on it and if you are the Blog administrator you may want to delete it if it shows up.

Now back to SWEPT AWAY BY A KISS - I love the cover, the title and the three words for voice are good choices. Another book to add to my wish list. Best wishes to Ms. Ashe.