Wednesday, July 27, 2022



I want to thank Ashley A Quinn for taking the time for this interview!


Ashley started writing in her teens and never stopped. Her first novel, Smoky Mountain Murder, came out in 2016, and she has since published two more series and has plans for more. 

When not writing, you can find her with her nose stuck in a book or watching some terrible disaster movie on SyFy. An avid baseball fan, she also enjoys crafting and cooking. 

She lives in Ohio with her husband, two kids, three cats, and one very wild shepherd mix.

When and how did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve had an interest in writing since I was a teenager. I wrote a lot of fanfiction all the way through my early twenties. I also started a few stories with my own characters, but never finished any of them. 

I didn’t really think, “Hey, this could be a viable option for me,” until I was in my mid-twenties and I had two young children. I was fortunate in that my husband has a job that supports our family. But I wanted something to fill my time while my kids were at school and still be available for when things like illnesses and doctor’s appointments cropped up.


Did you have any influencing writers growing up?

I write romantic suspense because those are the types of books that appealed to me most. 

I suppose Beverly Barton would be one of my influences. She’s one of the earliest romance writers I can remember reading. I also loved Nancy Drew, so Carolyn Keene would be another. I cut my mystery teeth on her books.


Are any of your characters based on people in real life?

Bits and pieces are, yes, but not an entire person.


Where do you draw your book inspirations from?

My inspiration usually comes from something I’ve seen or heard. 

A Beautiful End came about because of a photograph I saw on Instagram. It was of the ruins of an old stone mission in Texas. It was an ominous and haunting picture, and I couldn’t help but think how great of a place it would be to hide a body. 

That first scene popped right into my head and I immediately sat down to write.


Do you use have a basic outline when starting a new story or do you let the characters lead the way?

I can go either way. I usually know the basic plot just from what’s running through my head. Sometimes, I sketch it out, but more often than not, I just start writing and see where it takes me. 

If I get stuck or I start to feel like I’m going off the rails, I’ll break out a notebook and outline a bit to get the story back on track.


When you are picturing the characters in your book, do you have a cheater photo for inspiration?

No, not usually.


Many people read as a form of escape and relaxation. What is your favorite way to sit back and relax?

Television and movies. I like police procedurals and medical documentaries. Action movies and romance films are good ways for me to decompress as well. 

I do read, but not as much as I used to. I can only stare at words for so long.


Who are your favorite current authors to read?

I like Laura Griffin and Melinda Leigh. I also really enjoy Julie Garwood and Irene Hannon. James Rollins is great, too, especially if I’m in the mood for a fast-paced military thriller.


What are your favorite books by others?

My all-time favorite book is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. The symbolism and romance in that book is incredible. 

For modern-day books, I like pretty much anything by Laura Griffin or James Rollins.


Do the locations in the stories have any meaning to you?

Yes. They’re all places I’ve been and loved, or places I wish to go. Places that fascinate and interest me.


Do you write in single or multiple POV?

I write in dual POV. I like getting both sides of the coin in a book, and I think it’s difficult to write a good romance from just one person’s point of view.


What do you find to be your best research tool?

Google. It’s true! I can find just about anything on the internet. 

Reading books in my genre is also helpful. Looking at what the bestsellers are doing helps guide my own writing.


Do you write under a pen name? Also, do you write under more than one name?

I have two pen names. The one I write under most, Ashley A. Quinn, and a second one I use for urban fantasy romance, Jade Hayes.


What genre do you write and why is this your preference?

I write romantic suspense because I love mysteries and thrillers, but they have to have romance. It creates this great undercurrent that adds a little more urgency and humanity to the story.


Tell me something about yourself outside of writing. Jobs, accomplishments, family, quirky trait...what led to you being you?

I’d say the biggest thing that led me to being me is my children. I don’t think I’d have the same outlook on life or the drive to do what I do without them. They changed the way I view the world as well as my priorities.


What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

Just get the words down. It doesn’t matter if it’s exactly the way you want it. That’s what the self-editing rounds are for. 

Write the book, polish it, then worry about publication. You can’t publish without a finished product, and it won’t sell if it’s not polished.


How do you deal and process negative book reviews?

By reminding myself that I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s fine.

What is the most difficult part of your writing process?

Publishing. It’s tedious. I just want to write and create stories. But I also want to share them with the world, so I do the publishing stuff too.

What do you need in your writer’s space to keep you focused?

Silence and/or instrumental music. I typically write in my living room on my couch. My kids, even though they’re older now, also like to hang out in the living room. 

I now have a good set of headphones and a playlist full of instrumental music. It helps me stay focused when there are other things going on around me.

What is your naughty indulgence as you are writing?

Too much coffee. And chocolate. But mostly coffee.

If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose? And why?

Probably James Rollins. I would love to see his research notes and hear how he goes about crafting his novels. They have so many twists and turns that tie obscure facts together. 

Writing a book like that is my one of my life’s goals.

What is your schedule like when you are writing? Do you have a favorite writing snack or drink?

My schedule fluctuates based on whether school’s in session or not. When it is, I tend to write while the kids are gone. 

In the summer, I write whenever I can. 

As for a snack or drink, I guzzle coffee—both caffeinated and decaf—and I munch on popcorn and Chex Mix.

Do you listen to music when you write – what kind of music is your favorite?

Sometimes, yes. 

For writing, I like instrumental. Stuff with words distracts me because I want to sing along. 

Outside of writing, I like Americana/Folk stuff as well as a cappella and some pop and country.

Have pets ever gotten in the way of your writing?

All the time. We have three cats and a dog. 

The dog likes to get into trouble by eating things she shouldn’t or injuring herself. We’ve had her two years and we’ve made three emergency vet visits—twice for injuries and once for accidental ingestion. I spent a day cutting down a wild honeysuckle in November because she gorged on the berries and poisoned herself.

What is your kryptonite as a writer? What totally puts you off your game?

Fatigue. I just can’t focus and the words won’t come.

Have you ever killed off a character that your readers loved?

Yes. In my urban fantasy romance series under my Jade Hayes pen name. I brought him back, though. Sort of.

How do you celebrate after typing THE END?

By putting the laptop away and relaxing with a good movie or TV show. Sometimes there’s wine involved.


I hope you enjoyed this interview!

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