How did you start your writing career?
I have always written stories. I have a vivid memory of me, probably around three, getting a scolding and spanking for printing in a picture book so I could remember the story I’d told my little brother. Creative writing in school was my favourite subject. My teachers would tell the rest of the class to write at least one full page and me to keep it under twenty pages. At fifteen, after listening to a friend’s parents’ marriage dissolve, I wrote a poem and sent it in to a magazine. That acceptance letter angered my mother who said I had no business writing about something I knew nothing about; I stole that anguish. My parents forbade me from sending any of my scribbles in to any other magazine unless they approved. ‘Leave writing to the experts,’ they told me. Their edict corked my zeal to get published again, but never deterred me from writing. In the early eighties, I finished a Happily Ever After about a school teacher in rural Alberta. Somewhere I still have that personal, haughty rejection letter That rejection letter stung. I tucked my aspirations of being a well-known romance author to the back of my mind, continuing to make up stories for my appreciative audience, my a young child. But I promised myself that one day I would break into the publishing world.
Where do you dream of traveling to and why?
I’ve always dreamed of going to Raratonga in the Cook Islands. I want to see The Road. The Road is an ancient, extremely well made highway that goes into the ocean toward the Philippines. Just thinking about how it got there and when it did excites my imagination. It had to have been built during the ice ages, when more land showed above water. Who built it has never been discovered. Our scientists and archaeologists postulate that humans were at the hunting and gathering stage during that era. So who built this highway across the Pacific? I’d love to go there – yes the island is a gorgeous tropical paradise, the perfect place to laze about in a cove and enjoy the lush ambience – and, as Heinlein says in Stranger in a Strange Land, grok the whys of a road from nowhere to nowhere. Maybe set a story there about an ancient civilization’s fall from their gods grace, or how as they realized the Earth’s changing mood, their rush to save themselves somehow. There would definitely be magic. And maybe a connection to Earth as a conscious component. Whoa! I’ve come up with a book idea. Thank you.
Tell us about your current release.
Love ‘n Lies starts setting the stage in my paranormal world for a series of inter-related, but totally stand-alone stories. I’ve set the story in Calgary, starting with the Greatest Outdoor Show in the World, the Calgary Stampede as my backdrop because it is the city I know best. I have woven a tale of a young, lonely, who was born a vampire living in a young city where the paranormal are really just starting to settle. Leticia, conceived in the Old World, raised in the mountains at Evermore Keep just north of Banff, Alberta, is struggling to find a way to reduce an unexpected weight gain. Don’t all the tales tell us vampires are slender beings? So what happened to Leticia?
Tell us about your next release.
I am almost finished a story about a young Werewolf. She is struggling to find herself, while finding a job that makes her feel useful. And she has to come to terms with the fear of close relationships after having been spurned by a male recently. My working title is Howling Hearts.
What was your first sale as an author?
Although my story Be Mused was my first story not only sent out, but accepted at Foliate Oak and published in May 2010, I didn’t get paid for it. The first actual sale came from my story Tombs for Tomes at Sorcerous Signals in May 2011 for a whole $10. I wish they had sent a cheque. I would never have cashed that cheque, I would have framed it, keeping it above my computer for all times!
What is the hardest part of writing your books?
Love n’ Lies didn’t start out as an erotic novel. That happened when I introduced Justin, my enchanted cat/human/wizard. I had never, ever, until that point, tried to write anything erotic. The first try at writing a sex scene had me blushing the whole time. And it did not turn out well – stilted and reading like a how-to manual. Eventually I managed to write the scene better, adding a funny side to it. The erotic scenes are not easy for me to write, even now. And me, a long time married woman, with kids! You’d think I had enough experience…
What does your significant other and family think of your writing career?
My hubby darlin’ always believed I could write. He enjoys my writing days. He says I’m more willing to experiment in the bedroom when I’m trying to write erotica, and willing to talk about how I’m feeling. Although he did admit he’d like a little longer between the erotic scenes, just so he can get his breath back.
My mother is horrified at the turn of my writing. She will not have ‘that filth’ in her home. She’s glad I use a pseudonym, because she’d hate to try and explain the books to my relatives.
My older brother says he’s not sure he wants to let any of his friends know what his sister writes. One of my younger brothers (I have three brothers altogether) calls my book a ‘one-handed’ novel. And my baby sister says she’s thought about writing and might give it a try one day because if I can do it, anyone can. Gotta love families…
Does your significant other read your stuff?
No. Hubby darlin’ has a very good reason for that, too. He and I have argued over grammar for as long as I can remember. We’re both sticklers for proper usage, insisting the kids learn proper formats and correct pronunciations – all that good stuff. We both realize we’d argue over my wording, my choice to work rather loosely, and my word choices. He might read one of the books, one day, long after it’s been on the bookstore shelves, when I can no longer change it and I don’t feel quite as protective about that particular book.
Synopsis for Love ‘n Lies
Gaining weight is a human problem. At least that’s what Leticia always thought. But when this vivacious vampire wakes from her year-long slumber and discovers that her formerly svelte frame has retained a few extra pounds, it becomes apparent that something has gone amiss.
A girl just can't wander around the Calgary Stampede in clothes that don't fit! So she sets about the task of shopping and working out a low-cal diet of humans she can live on. When her friends notice how depressed she is, one of them suggests she adopt a tomcat named Justin to keep her company. Little does she know that she would fall madly in love with her new kitty. The moment she does, the spell cast over Justin is broken and he takes his true form – a long, tall, dark haired man with an insatiable sex drive. Letty is more tempted than she ever thought possible and can't keep her hands off him anymore than he can keep his off of her.
After taking him back to her childhood home, Evermore, to consult with the head wizard Silvius, she soon discovers the Warlock who cast the spell over Justin isn't letting him go so easily.
Throw in a nasty twin sister who'll do anything to get her hands on what Letty has, including Justin's more than hot body, and you end up with Love... 'n Lies!
Aspen lives in the Foothills of Alberta with her husband, two of her four children, a dog, a lovebird and a glaring of semi-feral cats. You will often find her watching the wildlife happily feasting in her vegetable garden in the early morning dawn. Being a lover of nature, and all things natural, she wouldn’t trade her country lifestyle for all the beans on the stalk.
A die-hard believer in fairy tales, Aspen hopes her fairy godmother is the Muse. Lending credence to this notion is one of Aspen’s earliest memories: writing a story for her little brother in crayon on a favored picture book and earning a spanking as her first critical review. Never deterred,
continued to make up stories, and hone her craft, until finally letting a few escape her clutches in 2010. Aspen
Love ‘n Lies is Aspen’s first work in The Evermore Chronicles, the concept for which was developed while she was employed in the seniors’ medical field. Do paranormal beings suffer from medical problems also? What happens to aging Vampires, Wizards, Trolls and the like? The questions begged to be answered... And of course, their stories needed to be told.