Guest Interview ~ Janine Ashbless
Today we welcome Janine Ashbless, here with some highly original interview responses and a kick-ass book to tell us about. Take it away, Janine!
I’m an erotica writer from England, a bit like that “Fifty Shades of Grey” author … but without the squillions and squillions of £pounds. Mostly I write paranormal/fantasy based erotica which has been described as “hardcore and literate” (not by me, but I love that quote). Sometimes I write erotic romance instead, but I have to be in a soppy mood for that. I’ve got red hair which I dye even redder.
I live with a husband who has a proper day-job, and two rescued greyhounds. In my spare time I do Live Action Roleplaying and I’m currently obsessed with Game of Thrones. I just spent an hour beating a single stubborn game of Spider Solitaire, in order to psych myself up for this interview – that’s how totally badass I am 🙂
Tell us one thing about yourself people would be surprised to learn.
I wanted to say something really cool like “I can fell a tree using a chainsaw,” but actually that wouldn’t surprise anyone. So … I love Sesame Street!
Tell us about your writing:
Named and Shamed (out now from Sweetmeats Press) is my 9th full-length published erotica book. I started back in 2000 with a collection of short stories called Cruel Enchantment, published by Black Lace. I’ve written for a bunch of other publishers since.
Here’s a list to search on Amazon/B&N etc:
Cruel Enchantment (fantasy and paranormal short stories, erotica, Black Lace)
Divine Torment (swords ‘n’ sandals fantasy novel, erotica, Black Lace)
Burning Bright (swords ‘n’ sandals fantasy novel, erotica, Black Lace)
Wildwood (contemporary fairy fantasy novel, erotica, Black Lace)
Dark Enchantment (fantasy and paranormal short stories, erotica, Black Lace)
The King’s Viper (fantasy novel, erotic romance, Ellora’s Cave)
Heart of Flame (Arabian Nights fantasy/romance, Samhain)
Red Grow the Roses (vampire mosaic novel, erotica, Mischief)
Named and Shamed (contemporary fairy fantasy novel, erotica, Sweetmeats)
What made you chose to write erotic literature in particular?
I started out writing ghost stories, but erotica is truly my favourite genre. How else do you get to write something that’s gripping, exciting, character-driven and that brings such extraordinary pleasure to the reader? Really good erotica engages the emotions and the intellect as well as the body. It’s full of drama and unforgettable incident. It’s just unbeatable!
How do you get ideas for your stories? What inspires you?
I get ideas everywhere. The other evening I was out walking my dogs and I passed a field of canola in full bloom. The scent was overwhelming. There were parallel tractor tracks leading off into the yellow flowers, like a secret path into the gold, and I thought: “Right – remember that. That’s going into a story one day.”
Which comes first when you’re starting to write a new story: character, setting, plot, or theme?
None of the above. A scene will come first. A dramatic moment. I think visually – just like C.S. Lewis, for example, who created The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe from his mental picture of a faun running through the snow carrying parcels. Once I’ve got a seed picture in my head, I work out the setting and theme and characters from that.
Any advice for those who want to write?
Writing takes time. If you’re really going to write, you’re going to have to give things up. Television – Web-browsing – Social time – Cooking – Housework – I can’t tell you what, but something will have to go. Know this, and be ruthless.
What’s the sexiest feature on a man to you? And on a woman?
For either gender, a fully-functioning brain. I am a slut for clever-arse people.
What’s your own sexiest feature?
I asked Mr Ashbless and he says it’s my “liberation. Your openness to things and experiences and people.” A. N. Othersource said, “Your enthusiasm.” Make of that what you will!
Who are your latest crushes (celebrity, book character, or otherwise)?
Recently? Tyrion Lannister, from Game of Thrones. Tim Minchin, the songwriter. Charlize Theron, the actress. The late Christopher Hitchens, polemicist. I have a huge list of crushes. I crush easily, and almost always on really smart, sarcastic people. Or guys with little goatee beards. Or kickass women with tattoos. Hey, I have eclectic tastes!
If you could pick anyone in the world to be the cover model(s) on your latest release, who would it be?
Ooooooh …. Gerard Butler. He might not be particularly smart or sarcastic, but he’s cover model material in my book. (“My book” … see what I did there? *sigh*)
Do you have a favorite character out of all the ones you’ve written?
One of my favourite characters is The Malia Shai from Divine Torment (she’s renamed Myrna by the time of Burning Bright, the sequel). This may not sound like romantic heroine material … but she’s the physical incarnation of the goddess of famine, plague and earthquakes – all of Bad Nature. Or at least, that’s what she’s been brought up to believe. So she doesn’t think of herself as human at all, and when passion strikes she really doesn’t know how to deal with it. She’s totally innocent and hard as nails at the same time. A really strange character and so huge fun to write.
My other favourite character is the slave Kitten from a ferocious BDSM story called “Janissaries” in my collection Dark Enchantment. I can’t tell you much about her, but she is the most frightening character I’ve ever written.
Thinking about it, I like my male characters because I fancy them, and my female characters because they are bugshit crazy.
Is there a way for fans and others to contact you?
“And others”? Now I’m scared . . .
I blog at: www.janineashbless.blogspot.com
And I’ve got a website loaded with stuff about my books at www.janineashbless.com
I’m on Facebook.
My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
Tell us about your latest release – we’d love an excerpt, too!
Named and Shamed is a BDSM fairytale with a contemporary setting. It’s not romantic, and it’s full of unapologetic kink. It’s my rudest novel to date and a real romp – and it’s illustrated with XXX interior line-drawings by John LaChatte, which means you really can’t leave this one lying around for other people to find!
“Once upon a time . . . a naughty girl called Tansy stole a very precious manuscript from a kindly antiquarian. But all of the world’s ancient and powerful magic, lost for centuries, has returned – and now there is much more at stake than a few sheets of parchment.
Thus begins a rude and rugged fairytale the likes of which you NEVER read when you were little! Poor Tansy is led though the most pleasurable trials and the most shameful tribulations as her quest unfolds before her. Orgasmic joy and abject humiliation are laid upon Tansy in equal measure as she straddles the two worlds of magic and man.
From debauched dryads to oversexed ogres, fantasy and BDSM slither together to make Named & Shamed the consummate adult fable – all lusciously illustrated by John LaChatte. Immerse yourself in this dark and depraved fairy tale, and may all your endings be happy ever after!”
These e-versions include 19 illustrations by John LaChatte, as does the paperback:
Named and Shamed is also available on Kindle (via Amazon sites), but without interior illustrations
For a moment there was no response and I held my breath. Then came the bump of a cupboard door. I had the wit not to move. I held myself almost motionless, face down and ass up, my hands holding my cheeks open, my naked pussy splayed and pulsing with heat. I assumed the house-hob could see in the dark, after all. Gently I shifted my ass back and forth, hoping to entice it. The lino was chilly under my feet.
“Are you a good girl?” said a voice, as faint and whispery as dry leaves.
“Me? Yes, I’m a good girl.” My breath was condensing on the cold tabletop. “I swept the floor and made up the fire before bed. I washed up.”
“Are you clean? Are you careful? Not lazy, not silly, not dishonest?”
By most standards I reckoned I counted as deeply dirty and reckless, to be honest, but that wasn’t the answer the house-hob was looking for. And at least I don’t think I could be described as workshy.
“Yes,” I lied. “I’m a good girl. A good, sweet girl. Take a look.”
With the lightest of thumps it landed on the table next to me, and I tried not to flinch. Then it hopped onto the small of my back. I thought again of spider monkeys, as long, satiny limbs wrapped around my ass. Tiny hands spread my labia. The sigh of a long exhalation of breath reached my ears. Then the tongue. Wet and slick, slipping down my asscrack from hole to hole.