Monday, 3 December 2012

Monthly inspirational author interview

This month’s inspirational author is Janine Ashbless the person who indirectly led to me becoming an author when she introduced me to Ellora’s Cave website and from there to erotic romance! When I first contacted her to say how much I liked one of her books she asked if I was a particular author (this was before I took up a pen name) and my response was, “Oh I’m not creative enough to write……” well the custard is on my face after making that remark!

I love Janine’s work, she is my favourite erotica writer so read more……..

I’m Janine Ashbless, and I specialize in erotica with supernatural and mythological themes. So far I’ve written nine books, published by Black Lace, Ellora’s Cave, Samhain, Mischief and Sweetmeats. On the heat scale, my tamest book is “Heart of Flame” (Samhain) which is an Arabian Nights romantic adventure stuffed with djinn, ghouls, desert ruins and magic. My rudest is my most recent, “Named and Shamed,” (Sweetmeats Books) which is full-on hardcore kinky BDSM filth all about Faeries, and should be approached with extreme caution and asbestos gloves. I’m also the co-editor of the Geek Love anthology.

I live in the UK, surprisingly close to Jennifer Denys.  I like dogs and minotaurs and trees, “Game of Thrones” and “Doctor Who.” I’m a fantasy and roleplaying geek. After all these decades, I still read comics and play Dungeons and Dragons!


What makes a great hero?
Awesome hair. (Haha!)

Do you have anything in common with your characters?
I have different things in common with different characters. Eloise in “The King’s Viper” has the shy over-earnestness of my younger self. Tansy in “Named and Shamed” has a self-confidence in her expertise and a sexual cheeriness that’s more my older self. 

One thing I can’t abide in romance writing is the character who’s too dumb to be aware of their own feelings, or in denial about desiring someone. So almost all my characters, male and female, are pretty honest when it comes to sex and love. They don’t try to fool themselves, and though they may keep their feelings hidden they don’t lie to others. I think that’s me to the core.

(Oh I can SO relate to what Janine is saying here)

Is there any trivia about your latest story that you can share with?
Edmund, Tansy’s first lay in “Named and Shamed,” looks exactly like Richard Dawkins in my mind’s eye!
(I must google this person I still have NO idea who he is)

What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Fancying Richard Dawkins?
Or perhaps it’s secretly watching “How I Met Your Mother”… or my addiction to Hollywood waxes.
Other things … well, to be honest I’ve got to an age where I don’t feel very much guilt over my pleasures. Life’s too precious to waste feeling guilty or regretful.

What are you currently working on, or what’s on the horizon?
I’m finishing off another book of short stories right now. Next, I’ve signed up with Cleis to deliver the first book of a trilogy in 2013. It’s going to be about fallen angels, and it’s going to be a dark romance with a heaped side-order of heresy. I start writing in the new year. I’m terrified.

Who did you dedicate your first book to?
My partner (now my husband). It would’ve been rude not to! We’ve been together since university and I owe him my whole life.

What’s the hardest part of writing?
Not getting distracted by the tons of other thing that seem to demand attention – facebook, e-mails, looking after the dogs, laundry, personal hygiene … you know the sort of tedious unimportant stuff I mean. Sitting down and getting started is the hardest part of writing.

Favourite rainy day activity?
Sex, of course!

How can you fans find you on the internet?
I blog at four times a week
My rusty old website is at I so need to get in there and update it…
I’m on Facebook under Janine Ashbless – author page

And here’s an excerpt from “Heart of Flame”:

‘Don’t look at me.’ She averted her face.
‘Sorry.’ He didn’t sound it. ‘Let me not offend your sensibilities.’ He rubbed his hand over his forehead. ‘So. Not a slave at all then. A witch, all the time.’
Taqla clenched her teeth. ‘Not a witch.’
He laughed. Then he walked around a few paces, before speaking up again. ‘I knew, you realize. I’ve known—I’ve guessed—for a couple of days.’
‘You talk in your sleep, you know. With a woman’s voice.’
Taqla’s jaw dropped. How was she supposed to have guessed she did that? ‘What did I say?’ she stammered.
He gave her a guarded look. ‘Nothing clear enough to make out. But your voice is female. And once I noticed that … well, there were other things that catch the attention. You don’t make eye-contact when you talk, you don’t like to stand too close—and no offence, but you fight very dirty, like a woman does.’ He tightened his lips, his eyes as hard as the edge of a sword. ‘I took you to the bath-house to make sure, but after that I thought that if it’s a disguise, it’s a very good one. Magic.’ He said the word like it stained his mouth.
Taqla bit her lip.
‘You’re the girl from the empty house, aren’t you? The watchman’s trull.’ He smiled humorlessly. ‘I recognize that glare.’
‘The spell finished early,’ she said, feeling like she was talking through a mouthful of ashes. ‘I was stuck for an explanation.’
‘Ah. And does your master Umar know about your real identity?’ He paused. ‘Or, seeing as how I’ve not seen Zahir and Umar together, can I assume that you’re Umar too?’
Taqla said nothing, feeling sick. She just wished he wasn’t so sharp. I’ll have to leave Dimashq, she thought. My entire household; we will have to leave forever.
‘Wonderful. So now I’ve been lured into the wasteland where I’m surrounded by ghouls with a witch to keep me company. This isn’t one of my good days, I’d say.’
Taqla’s anger flared. It was probably a good thing that she was veiled, because she was baring her teeth at him now. ‘Lured?—you’re the one who came looking for sorcerous help! This quest was your plan!’
‘So what’s yours then? What were you meaning to do to me?’
‘Do to you? We had an agreement, I thought.’
‘I had an agreement with Umar the Scholar as I recall—not with a witch.’ His voice had risen to match hers. A couple of the ghouls looked up curiously.
‘And I’m so much less to be trusted than the nice old man!’ she hissed.
‘Oh—Should I be taking the deceit as a sign of your good faith? Or is there some justification for your duplicity?’
‘Don’t be a fool,’ she snapped. ‘Would you have made the same bargain with a sorceress?’
‘If I thought she was being honest with me!’
‘Could I have come out alone with you into the desert if you’d known I was a woman?’
‘Alright—you tell me. Why the hell would you want to?’

Thanks for being interviewed Janine. Next month’s inspirational author is Tammy Dennings Maggy.



  1. Hi Jennifer! Thanks for having me on your blog. It's an honour to have inspired such an amazing prolific author as yourself - I've watched you set off on your career at a pace I can't possibly keep up with! :-)