Hi, Ashlynn. Can you tell me about one or two of your books- I mean where should we start? What should we read first?
If you want to know me through my writing, the short piece titled “In a Mirror” will tell you what has been in my heart for years. If is one of the chapters in my first book, “Finely Disciplined Thoughts,” which is a collection of spanking essays and short stories available from Blushing Books. I wrote it, because I could no longer help myself, on a drive home from a friend’s wedding four years ago. It was not the first spanking piece I ever wrote, but it was the first honest one, and the first one that appeared publicly, even though it was entirely fictional.
If you want to know the absolutely amazing “but then …” part of my story, you’ll have to check out “The First Time” in BB’s upcoming book of spanking writers’ real stories titled “Confessions of a Spanking Author.”
But before you read “Leading Her Home,” you need to delve into my first novel, “Reading Her Heart,” from BB. You’ll feel much more at home with Andee and Nick then.
What was the first book you wrote?
The first book I wrote lies, still, at the bottom of an antique trunk in my upstairs guest bedroom. I was 12 years old when I wrote it. It is, quite literally, weighted down by the pounds of school girl notebook paper I filled with bits and pieces of romantic Civil War-era novels-in-the-making over the course of my high school years.
I shared those books and bits of books with friends for years; it was a heady experience. They loved my strong, masculine heroes and beautiful, headstrong heroines and were lavish in their adolescent praise.
It was also completely safe, because no matter how naughty my heroines were, I was much too shy to allow my Rhett Butler-type males to give them what they deserved on paper. But, oh, how I imagined it in the dead of night …
And what inspired you to start writing?
“Gone With the Wind” made me first put pen to paper.
A dear friend who sent me a package, across country, that contained a lovely journal-type notebook, a decent pen and a note that said, “It’s time to share with the world what you’ve been sharing with your friends all these years,” made me start my freelance career with housewife humor columns, which lead to my full-time job as a newspaper columnist.
My life as a writer of spanking novels started when I timidly typed in “spanking stories” on my new computer, selected writer Devlin O’Neill’s blog from all those available, and discovered a world I could be part of. No more shredding my “naughty” work and flushing it down the toilet, lest my lifelong obsession be discovered. (But I did buy a stout tool box with a strong lock for storage — and my family still has no idea. Let’s keep it that way, shall we?)
What genre do you like to read?
If spanking novels are not at the top of the list for fun and entertainment, they are very close; however, my reading choices are like my food choices. I gorge on one type and then set that aside for a time and explore another.
I love Elizabeth George’s mysteries and Maeve Binchy’s Irish tales, but I also love politics and clever takes on the state of the world.
Having said that, I have to admit that I will never grow tired of Rick Bragg’s fine work, whether he is writing as a newspaper columnist or a chronicler of his family and community.
His words lead me in such a dizzying array of dance steps across the page that I can hardly keep up, but I delight in the effort.
Do you have an author who influenced the way you write?
I hardly dare admit it, because readers would be hard-pressed to note his excellence in my own work, but Bragg set a standard for me, and I keep reaching for it, no matter what type writing I am doing at the time.
What is your toughest criticism?
That my sentences tend to grow long and convoluted. True, very true.
And your best compliment?
That I captured and put into words what someone else wanted to say; they just hadn’t quite found the right way.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Read. Travel — especially abroad.
Sit in English village tea shops and let the conversation flow around me. Ask questions of older Scottish citizens while we warm park benches.
Cook huge family meals, with a special dish for each one around the table.
Talk about spanking with people who know it first hand — you know, perfectly normal people, just like kinky me.
Are you a Morning or Evening person?
Used to be evening; now I’m at my best early in the day.
And for fun, does Prince Charming really exist?
If you mean is Nick real in my Andee chronicles, yes, he is, but I may have made him just a tad more perfect that he actually is (although we can’t tell him about that last part.)
Do I have an exclusive claim on him? No. But he lends me all the bits and pieces I need.
Andee Carlisle and Nicholas Benjamin have been tragically separated by the width of a continent, the span of a generation, and the misunderstanding of the century.
Now they have a second chance to overcome those obstacles and build a life together — a life that includes the discipline each of them has finally acknowledged must be a part of their relationship.
But will the tingle of that special chemistry they have discovered be as strong in a world where it seems there are no longer any mysteries and everything can be plainly seen?
Or is it possible Andee and Nick are only beginning to unravel strands from the past that are colored with emotion and life-changing truths? As each of them comes face to face with deep insecurities, fears from yesterday and hopes for tomorrow, will their passion and their commitment to a disciplined lifestyle be enough to see them through? Or is it too late?
And who is to say what will happen when Andee’s father reveals the truth about her past, when Nick refuses to be seduced, or when the bride desperately needs an attitude adjustment?
This is the sequel to ‘Reading Her Heart’ – Lessons From Nick’s Firm Hand: Book One, and was previously published under the title ‘The View Over His Lap’.