Today I’d like you to meet a lady after my own heart especially with her addictions! Brenna Ash loves two of my favorites, coffee and chocolate. And writes some wonderful tales of Highlanders falling in love as well as her latest release about a gargoyle-human guardian. But I’ll let her tell you all about her stories. First, here’s her official bio:
Brenna Ash is addicted to coffee and chocolate. When she’s not writing, she can be found either poolside reading a book, or in front of the TV, binge-watching her favorite shows, Outlander and Sons of Anarchy. She lives in Florida with her husband and a very, very spoiled cat named Lilly.
Betty: How many books have you written and published?
Brenna: I’ve written 5 books, published 2 and have many more in the works.
Betty: What genre(s) do you write in and why?
Brenna: When I first starting writing, I wrote Scottish Historical and paranormal romance. Scottish Historical is hands-down my favorite genre to write. The beautiful settings, the Highlanders, the accent. I just love everything about it. With Paranormal romance, there’s no limits. I can let my imagination really run wild and build the world around the story. But, the first book I published was actually a contemporary romance. I love the book and the story, but once it was published, my heart and mind pulled me back to Historical and Paranormal, and that’s what I’ve been focusing on the past couple of years.
Betty: What themes or motifs did you use in your recent release and why were they important to your story?
Brenna: To look outside the box. When you let down your guard and allow the world in, you’ll see all the amazing things you’ve been missing.
He needed to remind himself he was only there to protect her…
By day, Gregor Magnuson is a bodyguard to the stars, responsible for keeping Hollywood’s elite safe. By night, when he’s not defending the mortal world, he’s tasked with capturing wayward demons and returning them to the otherworld where they belong. This gargoyle-human hybrid is part of an elite warrior guard, the Dark Moor Guardians. After letting his heart get in the way of a previous job that ended in disaster, Gregor swore he’d never make the same mistake again.
Krista Wallingford is Hollywood’s reigning scream queen and a hopeless romantic, who has no idea Supernaturals exist. When a rogue skin walker becomes obsessed with her, Gregor is hired as her new security detail. Krista has a long history of getting involved with the wrong guy and the relationships never end well. She suspects Gregor is one of those guys. Yet, she can’t deny the magnetic pull she feels the instant she lays eyes on her new bodyguard.
Gregor feels that pull as well, and he soon finds himself wanting to protect Krista for more than the lucrative money he’ll be paid. Could she become part of his world or will her newfound knowledge of a supernatural world be too much to take?
Betty: Do you have a specific place that you write? Revise?
Brenna: I’m lucky enough to have a home office that I work out of, so most of my writing and revising is done there. Sometimes I just want to escape the confines of the house and I’ll grab my laptop and go outside and write by the pool or head to a nearby cafe and settle down with a mocha and get my words in.
Betty: Do you have any writing rituals while you write? Did you have a special drink, or music, or time of day that you gravitated toward?
Brenna: I create a soundtrack for each book I write and I listen to that on repeat while I’m writing the book. I post the soundtracks on my website and load them up to Spotify.
Betty: What helped you move from unpublished to published? A mentor or organization or something else?
Brenna: So many people played a hand in my becoming published. I’ve belonged to RWA (Romance Writers of America) for many years and my local chapters, first in Maine, and then when I moved, my Florida chapter helped me tremendously. The willingness of members to share their information and expertise was invaluable to me throughout the whole process. I also have a few writers that I’m incredibly close to and we talked about the book, the process, what worked and didn’t work. They pushed me when I needed it and talked me down when I felt like I was going crazy.
Betty: What do you think is your greatest strength in your writing?
Brenna: I think my greatest strength is dialogue. My editor says I ‘do creepy really well’. Which I found funny since I don’t write suspense.
Betty: What comes first when you’re brainstorming a new story: setting, situation, characters?
Brenna: Usually, it’s a character that triggers the story.
Betty: Do you have a structured time to write or is it more fluid/flexible? Do you have to write between family obligations or do you set aside a block of time?
Brenna: I work a full-time day job which requires me to be on call most days, so my writing time is usually late in the evening. But really, for the most part, I try to fit writing in whenever I can.
Betty: What is one recent struggle you’ve experienced in your writing?
Brenna: I’ve been struggling with the plot of the current book I’m working on. I had fully plotted it out, but then when I started writing it, the plot didn’t work, so I had to go back and replot and re-outline the whole story.
Betty: Do you participate in NaNoWriMo? Why or why not?
Brenna: I don’t. I used to and I found it so stressful that now I just write on my own and if I happen to hit 50,000 words for that month, I’ll give myself a pat on the back.
Betty: What are you reading right now?
Brenna: I just finished The Wrong Kind of Love by Lexi Ryan and loved it. It’s the first book in a series and once I finished it, I turned around and added all the other books in the series to my TBR pile.
Betty: What is your favorite genre to read?
Brenna: I have three favorite romance sub-genres to read: Scottish Historical, Paranormal and Contemporary. I pretty much read anything and everything, but those are my favorites.
Betty: What are your keeper books? How often might you reread them?
Brenna: I have quite a few books on my keeper shelf, which is actually a whole bookcase. On there, you’ll find historicals by Kinley MacGregor and Karen Marie Moning. Paranormals by JR Ward and Sherrilyn Kenyon, along with books by Janet Chapman, Maya Banks, Tracey Garvis Graves, Jude Deveraux and Bertrice Small. I don’t reread the full books, but I often go back and revisit favorite passages.
Betty: When you’re writing, do you read in the same genre as your work in progress or something else?
Brenna: I do.
Betty: What advice do you have for new writers?
Brenna: Keep writing and write the story you want to see out there in the world. Don’t be scared of what others may think.
Betty: Any hints of what your next writing project might be?
Brenna: I have two projects that I’m working on. Both are Scottish Historicals and will be part of my upcoming Highland Mercenaries series.
Betty: What kind of writing would you like to experiment with? Or what’s a different genre you’ve considered writing but haven’t yet?
Brenna: I have a Romantic Suspense/Thriller that I started writing a few years ago, but shelved it about halfway through. I’d like to get that one out in the world at some point.
I love the variety of genres you write, Brenna. Your ambition to write a romantic suspense is amazing to me. I wish you all the best success in your career!
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