Monday, June 6, 2011

Author Interview: Christine Ashworth

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope June is starting off on the right foot for all of you. RWA Nationals are quickly approaching, so I've been busy finishing my current WIP. It's my first adventure away from urban fantasy novels--paranormal romance. Please forgive me for the sporadic posts. I promise things will pick up normally in July, but I'm going to try and keep up as much as I can this month as well.
We have a special treat today! Another author interview! Today we'll be talking with Christine Ashworth, author of Demon Soul, a paranormal romance. Here is the back-cover blurb for her debut novel:

"Gabriel Caine stands on the edge of the abyss. A vampire has stolen his soul and if he doesn’t get it back soon, his next step will be into Hell. Only the mysterious Rose can help him retrieve it. Without her, he really will become the devil himself.

Rose Walters has been sent back from the dead to complete one task – save Gabriel Caine. She’s drawn to Gabriel on the most basic level, but restoring his soul may cost Rose her life.

Rose has touched the whole of Gabriel, making him yearn for a love he believes he can never have. Her willingness to put her human life on the line for him forces him to bring all three parts of himself – demon, human, and Fae bloodlines, and the strengths of each – into harmony and into the fight that decided their fate."

Thanks for coming by, Christine! We're really glad to have you. Let's get started.  

Demon Soul is your first published novel. How did it feel to find out it would be published?

It felt fabulous. I was actually vacationing in Snowmass, Colorado at my best friend’s house. The acquisitions editor at Crescent Moon Press, Heather Howland at the time, and I had been emailing back and forth for several days. When I did finally get that email where she threw confetti and offered me a two-book deal, I was totally thrilled!

Is Demon Soul the first novel you ever completed? Does it have a special place in your heart compared to your other works?

I’ve been writing for ten years, have completed ten manuscripts and started a gazillion more.  Demon Soul has a special place in my heart because it sold first, lol!

What was your inspiration and how long did it take you to write Demon Soul?

I wanted to dive into paranormal but I didn’t want to write the same old vampires and werewolves mainly because I didn’t think I had anything new to bring to the table with those tropes. So I came up with a demon/human/Fae mix, just to keep myself entertained. I wrote the rough draft in about three months, then sent bits out to contests to see if it worked/didn’t work/needed work. The consensus, across the board, was that it needed work, lol! The feedback I received from those contests allowed me to rewrite the story and make it more cohesive.

Tell us a little about your main characters. Who did you create first?

I actually created Gregor Caine first, the oldest, in a short story. As he made his way through the story, Justin Caine came into being, and then so did their half-brother, Gabriel Caine. Gabriel is the hero of Demon Soul. Gregor shows up at the very end of the book.

Which characters were the hardest/easiest to write and why?

Rose was the most difficult character to write. Her name changed four or five times and so did the timeline between her first meeting with the Caines. The ending of the story was fairly locked down, but the beginning went through some drastic changes before I felt it was ready to query.

What was the biggest challenge for you in writing Demon Soul?

Good question! I have to say, seeing the book through my editor’s eyes. Liz Pelletier was my editor, and I learned so much from her. Whenever I received an editorial round, I’d have to sit back, absorb what she was telling me, and accept that I’m not perfect and there are other ways to write the book (lol!). Once I did that it was easy to make the changes she needed me to make. Once I actually started the rewrites, they took a week, and the book is much stronger because of her.

If you could tell us one fun fact about any of your characters, who and what would it be?  

Rose was an artist when she was a young teen. It’s been her dream to get back into it. In later books, she actually does some fancy artwork in the family home, to freshen the spells on the walls that the Caine family matriarch originally painted.

Can you tell us about what you’re currently working on? Demon Soul is a paranormal romance, but you also write urban fantasy. Is paranormal the only thing in the current future?

Ooh! Another good question! I’m currently finishing the sequel to Demon Soul, called Demon Hunt. I’m hoping that one will be out by the end of this year.

In the urban fantasy world, I’m currently working on a series tentatively titled The Damaged Ones. It’s about a demented vampire (my favorite kind!) who has been messing around with human biology – and Sheila Blue’s young twin daughters just may have the DNA he’s been looking for.  There’s a possessed sword, a corset-wearing witch, and a suspicious cop who are also involved.

Without giving too much away, what’s your favorite scene in Demon Soul? How did you feel when you completed that scene?

Wow, that’s hard. I’ve got to go with the scenes with Mephisto, though. They were so much fun to write, mainly because they were such a surprise to me.  I didn’t expect to like his character so much!

What’s your favorite line from the story?

Most of my favorite lines deal with fire, so I’ll pick one of those. “She embodied fire—warmth, life, energy, ruin and death.”
If you could go back to when you were first writing this story, what advice would you give yourself?

To start where the action starts. Maybe I wouldn’t have written at least six different first few pages of chapter one had I started in the right place the first time.
Which authors have most influenced your writing?

All of them, lol! I glean ideas, learn turns of phrase, learn pacing, from every author I’ve ever read.

Favorite book?   
My favorite books read so far this year? I did devour Rachel Firasek’s Piper’s Fury. I’m now reading Rebecca Zanetti’s Fated. And I truly enjoyed Deidre Knight’s Butterfly Tattoo.

Favorite author?
Today it’s Robert Jordan. I’m currently on book 4 of his 12 book series and I totally love it. Everyone else in the family has read the series so I’m the late bloomer.

Top three hottest fictional heroes?
Jamie from Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.  Devil Cynster from Devil’s Bride by Stephanie Laurens.  Acheron in the Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Not necessarily in that order!

Favorite Demon Soul character and why?
I love all my characters, but I must admit I adore Mephisto. As damaged as he is, he’s still got a heart. I hope to write his story some day.

Thanks again, Christine, for stopping by! We're glad to have you any time!

Thanks so much for having me!
Twitter: @CCAshworth

Make sure you check back on Wednesday to read the Nocturnal Readings review of Demon Soul. In the meantime, you can check out her website by clicking HERE. Til Wednesday!


  1. Christine, I love your favorite line - “She embodied fire—warmth, life, energy, ruin and death.” What compelling mood and atmosphere there. But all this talk about Mephisto has me eager to read his story now, too! lol

    Great interview!

  2. Great glimpse into your book and characters. This sounds like a good series and the way you say the heroine is brought back from the dead peaks my interest. Best of luck!

  3. it's always interesting to see what a writer is reading.

  4. What a terrific interview.
    This gives me hope for my own process.

    Thanks for an interesting read.

  5. Interesting tidbits on your character development, and good advice on where to start a story. Best of luck on your release!

  6. Debora, Mephisto just tugs at my heart! I hope I get to write his story. Thanks for your support!

    Jenna, thanks so much for dropping by. I hope you enjoy DEMON SOUL!

    Therese, I can always count on you to drop in - thanks so much!

  7. Sandy, there's always hope, lol...I'm still learning my process. I hope I get it down in the next ten years.

    Catie, thanks for dropping in - I do appreciate it!

  8. Thanks for commenting, everyone! I'd love it if you joined my followers list =D And thanks again to Christine for great interview answers!

  9. Loved the interview! And can't wait to read your book, Christine. :-D

  10. Ah Rhonda, you made my day! And thanks Kaitlyn for having me! Please all follow Kaitlyn - I've already signed up!

  11. Thanks for the support, Christine! =D