Interview: Kristen Ashley


First, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVERS you!!! I also very much enjoyed your interview with Searock!

Awesome, honey! Thanks xx

And also, thank you to you both for wanting to ask questions!!!!

As a co-appointed boyfriend finder on the Kristen Ashley casting couch, my first question would be about your men. The men range in ages, but for the most part, they are mature men, who have been there, done that, have the coaster. I love the fact that they are so different from mainstream heroes, pre-fab, clean cut and under 35. Do you find that your readers respond more to these heroes (divorced, with kids, crazy ex's) because we can relate to them more than the 25 yr old pretty boy?

Well, what I find is, I got a lotta sistahs out there because my men resonate with me and obviously they agree. I can’t say for sure what works for my readers though J. What I can say is that I’m more into a man who has lived a little, made a few mistakes, hopefully learned from them but, if not, is willing and has a history that makes him interesting. I enjoy exploring a romance that isn’t smooth sailing but everyday things rock that boat, kids, exes, history, baggage and watching the tale unfold as the hero and heroine deal with that stuff and grow closer even as they might make mistakes along the way. And when I was twenty-something, I was totally clueless and I like to write from a place of knowledge when it comes to heroines especially. That doesn’t mean I won’t eventually write younger characters (in fact, Tabby and Shy may be in their twenties when their story unfolds, we shall see). I just haven’t yet J.


Okay, now it is my turn to gush over Kit! I have read many,many of your books and I just can not get enough! Are there any aspects to writing that you find challenging and and what are your top three reasons for writing romance?

Thank you, Brandi, sweetheart. J

Um, writing isn’t a challenge to me at all. Actually, I have to tear myself away from the computer to do other stuff because if I could, I’d be writing, writing, writing all the time. And I need to have a life, fill the well so I can pour it out in my writing. This isn’t to say I don’t enjoy other things (ho boy, I do!) it’s just to say if I get started, I don’t stop. If I had to identify a challenge it is that sometimes my characters take me down roads where I don’t want them to go. I want to climb in my head, do a Cher in MOONSTRUCK, slap them and shout, “Snap out of it!” But normally, if they dig themselves in holes, they dig themselves out eventually. I just gotta go along for the ride.

I also have “that time” in each book, about ¾ of the way through where I start dragging my heels and I want to move onto another story. This isn’t because the story isn’t coming to me. This is because I know soon the climax is going to happen and that means I’ll have to say good-bye. After I wrote Law Man, no joke, I wandered around the house in a daze. Finally, when I realized I was in a daze, totally didn’t know what to do with myself, I understood that I missed Mitch, Mara, Billy, Billie, Elvira and the gang. Like they were real people torn away from me that I’d never really get back. Not that they wouldn’t come back in other books, but I’d never be immersed in their story. Not ever again. I didn’t realize it but this happens after each book. Although I feel elated on the one hand when a book is done, I also crash at the same time. So it’s a challenge to push through that part and finish. ‘Cause this is my livelihood and I got my girlies to keep fixed so I don’t have a choice!

As for my top three reasons for writing romance, I only have one. I love it. Hee hee. I’ve been reading romances since I was very young and there really isn’t ever anything else I wanted to write. I couldn’t fathom writing something else. I just love it. I love romance novels, romantic movies, romantic TV… truth be told, although I can get into it, if it doesn’t have even a hint of romance (or a hot guy for me to perv on), I find it difficult to get into something. For instance, I’m addicted to the TV show SOUTHLAND and it is an awesome, mind-bogglingly brilliant television show and there are many characters that I love but if I didn’t have Sammy Bryant to perv on, um… J. I’d still watch it, of course, but the Sammy factor helps me love it all the more!


The setting of Colorado is close to both my heart and yours. My sister having been evacuated was lovingly taken in by her boyfriend of only 4wks! In real life, this is shocking and "fast". But in a KA book, the quickie hook up, the move-in for her safety, and the keeping the girls close and "busy" are all common place. What made you use this strategy to tie the women to your men?

Aww… your sister’s boyfriend! What a sweetie! I hope your sis is okay! That was scary.

Anyhoots, I love it that you touched on this Karia because it was kind of an inside joke for me when I started writing, specifically the Rock Chicks. See, in romances, quite often it is “love at first sight” and in real life, it doesn’t happen that way (often). So except for Rock Chick Regret, every one of those books has a two week-ish timeframe. Hee hee. It was my challenge to make that attraction/growing love/commitment feel real. It grew from there mostly because you kinda gotta get the party started, you know? And love at first sight fictionally is a totally awesome concept. A happy dream. A beautiful fantasy.

This also touches on another theme I have going that I’ll probably keep for-eh-vah and that is my men are a lot of things but if you were to ask me what their most pronounced trait is, it would be a protector. So to protect their loved one, they have to have something to protect them from. And that’s how my stories roll, baby!


This one is pretty easy but tells us more about you! What is your guity pleasure?

I’m not guilty about much. HA! Life’s way too short to be guilty about stuff. And I don’t tend to be the kind of person who doesn’t own who I am, what I do and what I like. For instance, there is a lot of geek TV that I love. And I’m totally down with that. And I’m vain about my hair. But I have really thick hair, long and it’s pretty so, you know, I got that one thing that rocks, I’m gonna work it. And I have way too many clothes, shoes and handbags but I dig that stuff, nothing wrong with that. I’m wracking my brain and can’t find one pleasure I feel guilty about. Not one. Maybe my guilty pleasure is that I’m not guilty about my pleasures! HA! 



Rock Chicks is awesome...and I for one am waiting patiently for the last story. Ren and Ally we know get together (from one of your AWESOME epilogues), but why did you have none of Ally's feelings or flirtations with Ren or any other guys in the other books? She did have a boyfriend in book one, but quickly, her love life faded from the series. Are we going to see this "back story" and who Ally has been with all these years? I am really hoping for some good angst, sexual tension and hot lovin' (but then, I know you will not disappoint, so really a mute point.)

Shhh… girlie, I can’t tell my secrets but um… yes. And yes, yes, yes. IfyouknowwhatImean. *wink*.


I agree with Karia, the Rock Chicks kick ass and they are some of my favorite heroines.Do you ever take real qualities of people close to you to create your characters?

Absolutely. Tod and Stevie are real and I mean as in, they are not made up in any way. They are my old neighbours in Denver and they are freaking crazy, lovable men who I adore. And we played Yahtzee all the time. And I wore Tod’s dresses and shoes. I worked in charity and often had balls to go to and I think only once I wore my own dress. No, twice. But mostly, if I needed one, over to Tod and Stevie’s I’d go and we’d have a fashion show. I even have a Dress Up with Tod and Stevie section on my website because when I was home a few years ago, we did it. Love those guys. Annette is based (but exaggerated) on one of my best friends. Tex is a conglomeration of two men in my life, an old neighbour named Tex and someone I don’t name because he means the world to me and that’s just for me. Mr. Kumar is based on my friend who owned the little corner shop by where I used to live in Denver (Ava’s house in Revenge). Ally is partially based on another one of my best friends. Aunt Bette and Uncle Marsh are based very, very closely on my aunt and uncle. So yes, absolutely J. I draw on real life all the time. In fact, the Haunted House scene in Redemption actually happened to me and my friend Cat (without the psycho ex stalking one of us, but with the chainsaw guy). Ah, good times.


As for the self-publishing...I just read an article in the Globe and Mail (Canada's National paper) and the authors complaint was the everyone thinks they are an author. Because they can have a website, put out a blog and get a book published, Tom, Dick and Harry are becoming authors. The iconic book(s) are of course, Shades of Grey series. Do you find you get more respect from your actual paper Rock Chick books? And, do you even care? FYI, I would love a copy of those Rock Chick books!

Nope. The paper books barely sell. This could be because most people would have to promise their first born child to buy them (they are very expensive and this is not in my control). But no, it has nothing to do with print vs. ebook.

And honestly, I mean no offense to anyone, but I get my respect from readers. I don’t need someone who does not know me or my work but simply how I publish it pronouncing me an “author”. I do that by writing and having the courage to put my work out there for consumption, interpretation and review.


We have been anticipating Chace's story in Breathe (new release in the Colorado Mountain series). What specific element do you feel pushes this story over the edge and what is one thing you want to caution readers to keep in mind while reading?

Faye pushes it over the edge. I worship her. She is the… fraking… BOMB. I love her to bits. Truly. She’s awesome. She is the real deal. The whole package. I am on pins and needles about how readers will connect with her because I know not everyone is going to love her but I hope that she becomes a fast favorite because I adore her.

The one thing I’d caution readers to keep in mind is that Chace is messed right the hell up. In Lady Luck, Ty goes through some serious shiz and I think people recognize that and give him some leeway because his head has been messed with so much. Chace’s demons may be less identifiable because he hasn’t had something as hot button as heinous acts done to him because of racism plague him. But that doesn’t mean his demons aren’t embedded which makes who he is and what he does in Breathe all the more fantastic. He might be my most vulnerable hero. Oh God, sitting here, typing this, I’m tearing up for Chace. At the same time feeling good because he found Faye. Can’t wait to get this out!


Thanks to you Brandi for including me and looking forward to Chace and Faye (along with my girlies Dhes, Kristen, Carrie, Michele and Searock!). Again Kristen, the offer for campfires, wine and Euchre on Vancouver Island is a standing offer!

You never know, my lovely. Vancouver, euchre and campfires sound good to me. Maybe we can get Hector to come and he’ll make us some s’mores! Yum!


Thank you Karia for joining in the fun and of course to Kit for making our day in answering our questions! I think we need a Rock Chick party!!

A Rock Chick party is always needed! And thank YOU Brandi, for asking to interview me and giving a shiz about my answers. Love to do this, love that people dig my stuff, love that they have questions and want to know the answers. So it was my pleasure, both of you lovelies, sincerely.

Rock on!


  1. Love it! RC party at RT in Kansas City next year? *nudges with elbow* eh, eh, eh?

  2. I am a new fan and I'm hooked. I just started The Gamble 2 days ago. I will have it finished tonight, for sure. If I didn't have to work it would be done by now. I can't get enough of it.

    I love that you don't have the game playing for the first half of your books. I hate the "does he like me? He doesn't act like he likes me today, but yesterday he did" stuff. Max saw what he wanted and laid it out. It's okay that Nina is taking a bit longer, but at least she admits she's scared and dealing.

    Thank you so much for writing these characters, Ms. Ashley. They are amazingly heartfelt and addicting. I have since downloaded the entire Colorado Mountain series and the Dream Man series. You are awesome!


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