JJ is delighted to be taking part in Ashlinn Craven’s blog tour with a Q & A.
Ashlinn Craven enjoys writing “head versus heart” romances where lovers face toe-curling problems. She’s lived in five countries and worked as hospital cleaner, pizza chef, university lecturer, sales rep, and environmental activist before succumbing to blissful Alpine serenity, writing, marriage and motherhood. She lives in Zurich, Switzerland.
Please summarise Maybe Baby in 20 words or less.
Two professionals fall in love but then discover they’ve donated eggs and sperm to the same couple.
What was the idea/inspiration for your novel?
I wanted to push the hero and heroine into a terrible situation that prevented them from simply jumping into bed and having their relationship defined around sex. This was the toughest situation I could come up with within the bounds of acceptability (!)
If you could choose to be one of your characters in your book which would you be? and why?
Polly, definitely. Because she learns a lesson early enough in her life to swerve into a different, healthier direction. Not every woman gets this chance.
Did you do any research for your book? What resources did you use?
Heaps. Infertility forums and blogs, articles, I visited clinics, talked to people doing IVF. As for the geeky part, I’ve actually been a web-designer so that was easy to write, and my big brother is a computer games CEO. I grew up, and still work in, a 100% geek environment.
Did you travel to any places? Undergo any new experiences, i.e. a particular job?
I went to London. Visited IVF clinics. The former was more fun than the latter.
What inspired you to write?
Since my primary schooldays, I’d been told “I should write”. One day, feeling restless, I decided to test that theory out by doing a correspondence course (http://www.lsj.org/web/novel.php) in creative writing run by the London School of Journalism. Half way through, my tutor surprised me, by suggesting my writing was publishable. I’ve been a dedicated writer since then. One kind word from a professional is all it takes sometimes.
How do your characters come into existence? Do they have a bio?
Yes, they all have bios. The plot and characters are built in a cyclic process of mutual influence… by that I mean the plot needs such and such a person so I’ll make her like this. And then, because she’s like this the plot goes in this direction, which in turn calls for the character being more like this, and so on…like chickens and eggs.
What is your WIP?
It’s the first of a series, co-written with another Crimson author, Rachel Cross. A female helicopter rescue pilot falls for a dashing Formula One driver. The world of F1 lends itself to high octane romances in glitzy international locations. We need to do some research on luxury yachts in Monaco I think… (most definitely )
Do you think movie adaptations do books justice? Do you have a favourite?
I get very distracted by the visuals and the acting, and I see movies as art forms in their own right, because they comprise so much more than just the screenplay. For example, “Bladerunner”, my favourite movie, isn’t even all that faithful to the book “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” and yet, the author loved it. What can I say? If anyone’s going to direct a movie of my book, I want Ridley Scott
And finally, what tips do you have for other aspiring writers?
Just this: Imagine they’re reading your story on the radio. No, don’t just imagine it—put it though a text-to-speech program and force yourself to listen for more than a minute. Like it? (what a fabulous tip – thank you!)
Thanks for the opportunity, Shaz!
Print Length: 242 pages
Publisher: Crimson Romance (24 Feb 2014)
Uber-organized Polly Malone leaves nothing to chance. Running her web design company on a shoestring, she’s determined to make it a success. Her career plan doesn’t include a man or a family. When she’s approached by a stranger with an unusual request, she hasn’t the heart—or the bank balance—to refuse.
Sexy, wealthy, top London games entrepreneur Julian Ripley is battling for control of the company he built and picking up the pieces of his post-divorce life. But his sister makes a plea he can’t refuse.
When Polly and Julian meet in a dusty post office, feelings spark to life, but each harbours a secret—one that both binds and repels.
Caught between family and commitments, can their love survive or is it inconceivable?