I am delighted to welcome Ashlyn Chase, author of the newly published Strange Neighbors, to Psychotic State. She has graciously agreed to answer some questions for me and my readers.
Hi Ashlyn! Welcome to Psychotic State and thank you for taking the time to chat with me and my readers.
Thanks for having me.
Congratulations on having your first mainstream novel published! What can you tell us about Strange Neighbors?
I'm in love with this series! It's a lighthearted look at what happens when birds of a feather flock together...literally. Our apartment building at 496 Beacon Street attracts unusual tenants. Most of them are paranormal misfits who couldn't belong anywhere else. When the occasional human moves in, they get some unexpected surprises. Jason Falco, a professional baseball pitcher bought the building and resigned all the tenants' leases, without looking into their backgrounds. When normal nurse Merry Mackenzie moves into apartment 1B, it's love at first sight. As the series unfolds, we discover that anyone who moves into 1B finds the love of their lives almost instantly. By the end of book two, 1B is known as the love shack. I'm having the best time with these quirky characters. They constantly surprise me!
What made you choose vampires, werewolves, witches and shape shifters as the basis for Strange Neighbors?
I wanted to begin with paranormal characters readers were familiar with. As characters move out and new ones move in, we add even more unusual paranormals! I won't spoil the surprises. Let's just say my imagination got a workout! (Snicker.)
Strange Neighbors is the first book in a new series. Did you originally conceive it as the first book in a series or did it evolve as you wrote?
I had wanted to write a series for a while. It was just a matter of waiting for the right idea. When I populated the building with the original tenants, my editor came up with the idea of one apartment acting as a catalyst for true love. We both got excited about it, realizing the series could go on and on.
If you could use one word to describe Strange Neighbors, what would it be?
Quirky and fun. Sorry. That was two words.
What made you choose the romance genre over any other?
They say, "write what you know." I've always been a die-hard romantic. As soon as one relationship ended, I'd think, "Okay, not the one. Next..."
Was it difficult going from erotic romance to paranormal romance?
Not at all. The erotic romance genre is just a hair hotter than what I've written in Strange Neighbors. The language might be a little less crude. Sometimes my erotic romance editor will encourage me to go beyond my comfort level, but I don't like to cross certain lines, so I'm enjoying the heat level of my mainstream books.
Are there any particular authors that inspire you or that you enjoy reading?
I love reading Mary Janice Davidson, Gerry Bartlett, Katie MacAlister and others like them. I've often said that if MJ Davidson and Katie MacAlister had a baby, it would be me.
Can you take us through a normal day in the life of Ashlyn Chase?
Sure, why not? My morning starts with a cuddle from my husband. When we're good and ready, we get up and make coffee. Yes, together. One gets the water, the other measures the coffee. Then we watch the news until we're fully conscious and the coffee pot is empty. Hubby goes to work in Boston, so he hits the road early and I go to my office upstairs. I answer email first, then try to be writing by 9 a.m. each day. Someday I'll fit exercise in there, but so far, well...I haven't been inspired.
If you could offer one piece of advice to an unpublished author, what would it be?
Don't give up. It might not be the first novel that catches the eye of an industry professional. So, as soon as you finish one and send it out to the appropriate agents and editors, begin another. Rinse and repeat until it happens.
And lastly, are you Team Vampire, Team Werewolf, Team Witch or Team Shape Shifter?
(Laughs) I'm team Ashlyn. You can decide what kind of abnormal I might be.
Thank you, Ashlyn, for taking the time to stop and chat with us today. I hope everyone got as much of a hoot from you as I did. I wish you the best of success with Strange Neighbors and your blog tour!
STRANGE NEIGHBORS BY ASHLYN CHASE—IN STORES JUNE 2010
He’s looking for peace, quiet, and a little romance…
There’s never a dull moment when hunky all-star pitcher and shapeshifter Jason Falco invests in an old Boston brownstone apartment building full of supernatural creatures. But when Merry MacKenzie moves into the ground floor apartment, the playboy pitcher decides he might just be done playing the field…
A girl just wants to have fun…
Sexy Jason seems like the perfect fling, but newly independent nurse Merry’s not sure she’s ready to trust him with her heart…especially when the tabloids start trumpeting his playboy lifestyle.
Then pandemonium breaks loose and Merry and Jason will never get it together without a little help from the vampire who lives in the basement and the werewolf from upstairs…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A multi-published, award-winning author, Ashlyn Chase specializes in characters who reinvent themselves, having reinvented herself numerous times. Among her many day jobs, she has worked as a psychiatric nurse, run blood drives for the Red Cross, and now uses her degree in behavioral sciences to avoid writing exhaustive character sketches. She lives with her true-life hero husband in beautiful New Hampshire. For more information, please visit http://ashlynchase.com/.
And now for the GIVEAWAY! The lovely Danielle Jackson at Sourcebooks has offered a copy of Strange Neighbors to TWO lucky readers! I am currently reading this fun, imaginative and sexy book and, trust me, this is a terrific giveaway, so don't miss out!
To enter, simply leave me a comment and let me know if you are Team Vampire, Team Werewolf, Team Witch or Team Shape Shifter. That's all! Leave me a comment with your name and email address and you're entered to win your own copy of Strange Neighbors! U.S. and Canada only (my apologies to our overseas friends) and no P.O. boxes. NO EMAIL ADDRESS WITH YOUR ENTRY = NO ENTRY! Contest to end on Friday, June 25, 2010 at 11:59 P.M. EST and the lucky winners drawn on Saturday, June 26, 2010.