If you haven’t read any of her books, I urge you to start with Rock Chick and I caution you to carve out time for what will undoubtedly become an addiction. Be prepared for the Hot Bunch and their crazy friends and spit fire women.
Recently, Kristen Ashley was gracious enough to indulge us with an interview. I knew when she saw one of Henry Cavill’s photos and said he reminded her of one of the Hot Bunch that Henry and her books were a match made in heaven. After the interview, read on to find out about the fabulous contest we are having to win her books.
HenryCavill.org: Thank you so much for your willingness to do an interview with us. We are so excited to be promoting your next book in the Rock Chick series, Rock Chick Revolution. Finally, we get to read Ally and Ren’s story. The truth of the matter is — I and many of my friends are addicted to your book series. As you know, we read them, tweet about them and share photos of who reminds us of our favorite male protagonists. Recently, Henry Cavill has made his way in to our minds as the image for several of the hot guys in your books. So, we are excited to talk to you about your books, your inspiration and of course, Henry Cavill as our book boyfriend.
Kristen Ashley: I’m thrilled that you asked me to do an interview! And, I dig following your tweets. Those between you and your girls but, must say, especially those that include links to pictures of Henry Cavill. What can I say? I’m a hot guy follower. It’s part of my job.
HenryCavill.org: It sounds like you had quite an adventurous childhood and you have lived in cities around the US and in England. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what led you to writing?
Kristen Ashley: I don’t know if I had an adventurous childhood so much as had a hankering for adventure so if I had to make them happen, I did — even if they were in my head. But more, I had a big, loopy family, we were/are very close and all of us were/are up for anything. So adventure wasn’t hard to find.
But, I got into writing mostly because I have terrible issues with trying to get to sleep. So, as a young girl, I used to tell myself stories in my head. Then, I’d remember where I drifted off the night before and pick up the plot the next night. One day (when I was no longer a young girl, mind), I decided to start writing these stories down. And, now my readers get these stories as this is still how I do much of my plotting!
HenryCavill.org: You have self-published 31 books in series that range from romance to supernatural to action/adventure. Where do the ideas for these wide ranging stories come from?
Kristen Ashley: Actually, I’ve published 38 books (I have an active imagination and type fast) and two of those are published with my not-so-new-anymore publisher, Grand Central Publishing. They also purchased eight of my other books as well! So I’m known as a “hybrid” (totally dig that terminology, it makes me feel like an X-Man). That is to say, traditionally published and self-published.
And ideas come to me from everywhere. I could look out the window and see a woman walking her dog and come up with a full-blown romance. I could be watching a TV show, something will strike me and my imagination will take flight. Luckily, being a “hybrid” I get to write whatever I want and thank God for that since I want to write everything.
HenryCavill.org: The Rock Chick series has such a wonderful combination of fabulous, kick butt women with their hot, bad ass, men telling stories filled with action, drama, laughter and great sex. Where did the idea for the Rock Chick series originate? Did they come to you all at once or were they a natural progression as you write?
Kristen Ashley: Well, the Rock Chicks are a conglomeration of things. First, there was a used bookstore very close to where I lived in Denver that had an espresso counter (alas, it’s no longer there, but it was called “Ichabod’s” — now is that a cool name for a used bookstore or what?). I used to go there all the time to buy books, get a coffee and hang. And the people that worked there… Unbelievable! They were so weirdly awesome, or awesomely weird. I’d sit there, watching them, and think they should have a book written about them.
Then, I moved to England and was very homesick not only for Denver and The States, but also for friends and family.
Putting those two together, the Rock Chicks came to me. It was my way of being “home” while being far away. There is a great deal of me and my friends in the Rock Chicks, where we used to hang, our homes, and even direct links of people I love to characters I created.
HenryCavill.org: We were very excited when you told us that Henry Cavill reminds you of the bad boy, sexy, somewhat controlling private investigator character Lee Nightingale from Rock Chick. What about Henry makes you think of Lee? Or maybe I should say what about Lee reminds you of Henry?
Kristen Ashley: Ah, the tweet that had a Henry picture that I opened, my stomach dropped and I thought, “Gah! Lee!”
Well, Henry is dark. And he’s hot. And he’s built. But, I think it’s the intensity of his stare in that photo. Lee is very intense. And Lee is far from dumb. And, hot guys are hot guys but they all don’t have whatever-is-working-behind-his-eyes to pull off that intensity. My sister always said, “If you ever get these books made into movies or a TV series, the most important role to cast is Lee. The guy has to act with his face, his eyes. He has to have something working back there.” And that picture was all about the outside hotness, but there was something “working back there” in his eyes that reminded me of Lee.
@PiperKD: If you were stuck and had to call upon one of your alpha males to rescue you, which one would it be and why?
Kristen Ashley: OMG! This is such a freaking great question! Holy cow. And so hard to answer.
I hate to say it because there’s a lot of chatter about Lee in this interview but it would probably be him (obviously backed up by the Hot Bunch).
See, there’s this scene in Rock Chick Redemption when something bad happens and then the Hot Bunch get on it and there’s a conversation on the car phone (I’m being vague to avoid spoilers). Vance, one of the Hot Bunch, asks if Lee is around and Lee says over the phone, “I’m here.”
Whenever I read that line in that scene, my hear settles. This is because knowing Lee is on the job; I know it’ll get sorted. It may take some time, headache and (hopefully) hilarity, but he’ll make it happen. I’d trust Lee with anything: myself, loved ones, no matter what. He’ll get the job done even if he has to work himself to exhaustion to do it.
@Stefter: Where do you find all the inspiration to make each character so different and varied (and need I say HOT)? They make me want to move to Denver!
Kristen Ashley: Well, girl, I’m now in Phoenix and this place where the sun always shines and the desert laughs heartily at the ridiculous attempts of any snow flurries in the winter (so they rarely show) is the freaking hot guy mother lode! The three b’s: Bikes. Big trucks. Badasses.
But I digress. Kind of. This is where I get my inspiration from. I can catch one glimpse of a guy (or a girl, or anyone/anything, even a dog or cat) and mold a character out of them. I never stop thinking (this is why I don’t sleep). My mind is always in overdrive. And that overdrive is shifted to “make-believe.” Good way to be, no?
@RTP4ME: What’s the last “rock chick” quality activity you did? Rock concert (crazy)? Disco Nap (tame)?
Kristen Ashley: Um. Well. I AM a Rock Chick so pretty much every breath I take is Rock Chick Worthy. But let’s see.
I mini-flirted with the hot security guard at my bank today, (he opened the door for me, he deserved a mini-flirt; and he was hot, so that demands a mini-flirt). I’m also new to my area of this ‘burg so I got lost trying to find the Post Office. And, I did this twice. In about a twelve block radius! Then I drove by it and had to circle back. Argh!
@Stefter: I always got the feeling that Ally and Darius have a special relationship. Is this something we'll get more insight into with the release of Rock Chick Revolution?
Kristen Ashley: Oh yes. Most definitely. You’ll see a lot of Darius in this book. And just to say. You’re right. Ally and Darius have a special relationship. Beautiful. Just wait and see.
As a self-avowed Rock Chick, I was thrilled to read on your blog about Rock Chick Nation. Can you tell us a bit about that? And, we would love to hear more about Rock Chick Rewards your generous giving back program.
Ah. The Rock Chick Nation will be rolled out more fully sometime hopefully soon. But the first program is Rock Chick Rewards.
See, telling myself stories since I was a little girl, obviously, being a storyteller for a living was a lifelong dream. And having that dream come true…well, there are no words to describe how meaningful that is to me. And I owe it all to my readers not only for reading me but for shouting that they dig my work from the rooftops.
Now, I can’t take all of them to dinner (alas) so I had to find a way to give back. I am also — and it’s an important theme to all of my books — all about the sisterhood. Bringing the sisterhood together, highlighting how we women support each other, trying to break through the ideas that we have to be some rendition of “perfect” when whatever form we come in is already just that: perfect — even with imperfections because your beauty is about history, personality, actions. It has nothing to do with what size jeans you wear.
I put one with the other and decided to raise money for women’s charities. Right now, I send a callout to my readers to nominate women’s charities to get a Rock Chick Reward. One is randomly selected (so, in essence, my readers decide who to give the money to). Then I auction off some good stuff and match that gift at $500. We’ve done two and given more than $2,500 to two very good charities who support women. It’s freaking awesome. And I can’t wait to keep going!
We’ll be doing more, and giving more, and building more. Soon!
HenryCavill.org: Finally, can you tell us the role that social media plays in the promotion of your books?
Kristen Ashley: Back in the day, when I had no publisher (and no money, and completely no understanding of marketing), I relied on Facebook, and in part Twitter (only recently delving into that more) as well as Goodreads to “get the word out.” I actually didn’t get the word out so much as blog reviewers started to find me and share the word about me. But once they did, my “following” started to increase.
And now, it’s my lifeline. It’s my touchstone. It’s my way of “connecting” with my readers and that’s hugely important to me. They’re my “girls” (and sometimes guys). My Rock Chicks and Rock Gurus.I t isn’t about selling books. It’s about so much more. I get up every day and go almost immediately to Facebook so I can commune with the Rock Chick Sisterhood.
How many people can say that’s how they start every day? Communing with their sisters who “get them” and are important to them?
I’m a lucky girl, indeed.
And just to say, that luckiness extends to this interview. I’m delighted you asked me. And it’s been a blast! Rock on! xoxo
- Website: www.kristenashley.net
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/KristenAshley68
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Kristen-Ashley
Comment below to enter the random drawing to win one of the following prizes.
GRAND PRIZE: A signed copy of Rock Chick Revolution and a complete set of the Rock Chick series in ebook
First Prize: A set of the Rock Chick series ebooks
Second Prizes: Four people will get a copy of the ebook Rock Chick Revolution
You have until 9pm EST on Friday, August 16. One entry per person. Open to U.S. and international. Rock on and Enter now!