Interview with Ash Elko

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I’d say living in California is a big influence. People not from California often think of it as one place that is roughly the same no matter where you go. That’s not true. The state is a big place, and it differs in where you are. San Francisco is very different from LA. And the desert is different from the mountains which is different from the beach. I like living in California. It’s never boring. Every place has a story. I think that is what inspired me to write Sierra Hearts. A large part of that story is about feeling like you’re out of place even though it all happens in California.
Who are your favorite authors?
There are so many! Off the top of my head, I really like steamy K. Bromberg’s romances. She has a great way of crafting readable characters. Jane Austen is a classic. In sci fi, I like Peter Heller’s Dog Stars. It is beautifully written and switches between heartbreak and hope so well. James S.A. Corey’s The Expense series is wonderful for sci fi action. I read a lot of mysteries, too. Mysteries are fun not only for the who-done-it aspect. The good ones have really well written characters. I could spend a lot of time listing mystery authors, so I’ll just list the ones I can always read no matter what: Dashiell Hammet and Raymond Chandler.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
That feeling of knowing you've come up with the perfect turn of phrase to describe something.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I really love cooking. I wouldn’t say I’m an expert cook or anything but I just really find it relaxing, especially after a long day of writing. I try to force myself to try to cook things I haven’t made before every so often. That can be fun. I made pork tenderloin with fennel a few days ago. It was delicious. That was a recent highlight I can be proud of!
How do you approach cover design?
That's easy... I don't! I ask my arty friends to design them for me:) I'm so grateful!
What inspires you the most to write?
Movies are a big inspiration for me. One of my favorites is The Lady Vanishes by Hitchcock. The story is about two strangers on a train, a man and a woman. The woman meets an elderly woman and the falls asleep. When she wakes up again, the elderly woman is gone. No one on the train claims to have seen her. So the woman asks the man for help to figure out what is going on. The fun of the movie is that initially the man and the woman extremely dislike each other, but they trust each other, if that makes sense. So the course of the movie is a mystery and also about their relationship. That’s the kind of thing that I like, where over the story you can see a relationship grown and change. Out of Sight is good two. George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez’s chemistry in that is great to watch.
Describe your desk.
It's a mess, actually. There are legal pads with notes and outlines all over the place. Usually there are stickies every that are my ever-changing to-do list. There's usually at least one of my two cats around. My laptop. Depending on the time of day, there might even be a drink close by.
What is your writing process?
I’d say first that when I develop an idea for a story—and I did this for Burn for Home, Sierra Hearts, and Remote Pleasures—I like to come up with the characters first and then think about how those characters would react in situations. Not necessarily life or death situations, either. It could be an awkward phone call or waiting in line and being annoyed it takes so long. When I finish a story, I like to think about the future of those characters. How would that character behave now that all of these things have happened to them? How would they react differently? Or would they behave the same? It’s safe to say that I have those kinds of questions in my head for all of my characters. I would love to create new adventures for them. I expect that I will follow up with some if not all of them at some point.
Why did you write stories with very different setting. Why did you chose to write in such different genres?
I think they are all actually pretty similar Burn for Home deals with space travel and Remote Pleasures is more of a mystery set in a world where virtual reality is a common technology. I like exploring the relationships of people, and I like writing about people’s sense of home. In Sierra Hearts, I’d say the characters deal with the nitty gritty of the world as much as the characters in the other two stories, even though it isn’t science fiction. Her space ship is as important as snowy mountains are to other characters.
What new release are you most looking forward to?
The next Expanse novel by James S A Corey!
Published 2015-07-15.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Sierra Hearts (Part Three)
Series: Sierra Hearts. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 17,430. Language: English. Published: July 15, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » New adult, Fiction » Erotica » Contemporary
Late night sexting and flirty weekend visits keep the spark alive as Jenn and Danny live apart, but what will distance do to their blossoming romance? "Quite the physical spark… keeping it realistic yet sexy." - Kirkus Reviews praise for Ash Elko
Sierra Hearts (Part Two)
Series: Sierra Hearts. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 14,810. Language: English. Published: July 15, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » New adult, Fiction » Erotica » Contemporary
Jenn is determined not to fall in love too quickly with this sexy man from her past, but when the temperature drops and the fireplace heats up, Jenn questions all of her decisions in life and love. "Quite the physical spark… keeping it realistic yet sexy." - Kirkus Reviews praise for Ash Elko
Sierra Hearts (Part One)
Series: Sierra Hearts. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 17,400. Language: English. Published: July 14, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » New adult, Fiction » Erotica » Contemporary
Jenn never dreamed she'd have to move back home. Little did she know that a man from her past would transform her future… Praise for Ash Elko: "Quite the physical spark… keeping it realistic yet sexy."
Burn for Home (Part Three) : Moonlight
Series: Burn for Home. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 14,190. Language: English. Published: July 14, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi, Fiction » Erotica » Sci-Fi Erotica
Join Andrew and Theresa as they fall in love all over again, blending love, lust, and a lifetime together. Kirkus Reviews' praise for the Burn for Home series: "Creative sci-fi tales that paint a picture of two people very much in love."
Burn for Home (Part Two) : Firelight
Series: Burn for Home. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 12,500. Language: English. Published: July 14, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi, Fiction » Erotica » Sci-Fi Erotica
It was supposed to be a romantic getaway. Or so they thought. Now the pair who’ve traveled the stars struggle to make it out of the wild alive. Kirkus Reviews' praise for the Burn for Home series: "Creative sci-fi tales that paint a picture of two people very much in love."
Burn for Home (Part One) : Starlight
Series: Burn for Home. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 10,820. Language: English. Published: July 14, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi, Fiction » Erotica » Sci-Fi Erotica
Theresa burns to be back in the arms of the man she loves. But nothing is that simple when traveling across the stars… Kirkus Reviews' praise: "Creative sci-fi tales that paint a picture of two people very much in love"