Interview with Aspen J Lee

What is your writing process?
My writing process is chaotic. I don't have a dedicated place to work. Mostly I'm at my kitchen table where the sun streams in and I have a great view of the bush if I get stuck on the next sentence. I can, however, write anywhere and be just as productive. I've been caught typing away on my computer in the back seat of my car while waiting for my daughter to finish drama, or at a cafe (I know that's a common one) with a muffin and huge hot chocolate close at hand.
I don't plan my stories. They may come as a scene or a piece of dialogue. When they flood my mind, I capitalize on the flow and just start writing, even if the scene is halfway through the story. I then go back and fill out the first chapters, which usually means I'm deleting a lot of what I first wrote because most should have appeared closer to the start.
I can be halfway through a novel without a firm outline. I have one work in progress at the moment, sitting in the 'to be continued basket' because I reached three quarters of the way through without a firm idea of the ending, and it still hasn't arrived.
If I'm really lucky, when the story arrives, it comes fully formed. That way it saves the deleting and redrafting that goes on when the stories change in my mind.
Fluid form story writing. That's what I may call my style.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
This first stories I read, which I remember, where Enid Blyton's Famous five. I thought the world was full of mystery with riddles to discover at every turn. My two older sisters and I would wonder our neighborhood looking for clues. Nothing was too small for us to solve, even if it meant following dog foots prints in the sand of the building site next door, because after all you never know what naughty business that dog's been up to.
How do you approach cover design?
I think cover design is crucial, along side writing a great novel. It is your marketing and sales package all in one. I'm always on the look out for new authors and exciting reads. When buying print, I peruse along the bookshelf looking at the covers. If one grabs me, I pull it down to read the blurb and a chapter inside. If the cover hasn't grabbed me then the book is over looked, perhaps it was a great read, but I will never know as I have already passed it by. On line I use keywords, but again I will scroll the results for covers that jump out at me. When you think about how many books and ebooks are being published, how little time we all seem to have these days, it's no wonder many people do speed selecting. So if the cover doesn't grab, it disappears to the top of the screen and is gone in seconds as the browser keeps going.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read anything for pleasure. I don't stick to the genre I write in. I've always had varying tastes in books, such as recently discovering crime-thriller, which I never thought I would love. I love the genre I write in, but there are so many fantastic stories out there to be told, I can't help but spread myself across any and all genres. What I am passionate about is dystopian. I have read some great books in that range Benjamin Percy, Justin Cronin, Veronica Roth to name three.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I use my computer. Yes, I know, It's not that portable. But I find I have little time to read during the day anyhow. Saving it till I'm sitting up in bed at night is fine by me. If I have a spot of time free during the day, like waiting in the doctors surgery or on the train, I pull out my small note book I take everywhere with me and jots notes on new novel thoughts, further chapters, scenes etc. My novels are rarely far form my head.
Describe your desk
My desk is my kitchen table, which is usually full of family stuff. The kids are always leaving this or that lying on top because they are too lazy to return it to their rooms, and they know I'll nag if it sits on the floor. If I'm sick of the table, my desk turns into my lap while I sit on the sofa in our atrium and soak up some sun. Also my lap while I sit in my car waiting (always waiting) for one of the kids to be finished with sports training. My desk can also be my local cafe, because I can't quite make the hot chocolates or the cakes the same.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing about eighteen months ago. For five years, I dreamed about being an author, but felt intimidated at the thought of trying every time I read a novel. Two workshops with two inspirational female authors helped me discover my genre, then a great writing group, which set me on my path. I ignored the 'you can't do it' nagging whispers in the back of my mind and replaced them with the encouragement I received from the gathering band of writing friends.
So if any one wants to start writing I suggest, jumping in and doing it. Don't hold back from internal judgements, or fears. Learn the craft (there's plenty of great tools and workshops on line), find a great writing group, or critique partner, or best beta reading buddy. And begin.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I have two ebooks published with Siren-Bookstrand, Slipping Through His Fingers, and His Target His Desire. I feel really happy I was able to experience being published traditionally first before launching into indie publishing, because I was able to get a feel for the whole editing process. Having a publisher edit your work makes you start writing differently. No, you don't change your author voice, but you start to see where your common weakness are in story telling. I found as I wrote His Target His Desire, I would quite often change a phrase or sentence because I'd been pulled up before about the structure of that particular style. When I wrote Agent Provocator, I refined my writing even further after experiencing the process with my second release.
I decided to go indie because ebook publishing is so easy these days. I get to be in complete control of my novel, the cover design, pricing, promotional pricing and where I want it sold. To me there was no sense in having someone else do what I could so easily do for myself.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of course is seeing my hard work up for sale, the writing, editing and cover design processes complete and your baby is sent out into the world. That's a real thrill. I also love standing at the beginning of a new adventure, deciding where I would love to go next, developing the characters and thinking up the plot and twists. I love playing with my characters, putting them in situations I would hate to be in, and equaling, putting them in situations I would love, but have never had the chance to experience. The whole process is mostly fantastic. However, it's common for me to slow toward the end. I must admit, the story starts to get old and the characters too familiar by the end, which turns writing it into a agonizing grind. At those moments, it's great to have another work on the go, so you can flip to a new story for a while, refresh your creative flow, before heading back over and finishing off that almost finished novel.
What are you working on next?
Since I love dystopian, that's what I'm doing. It's going to be erotic, off course, because I can't seem to get enough of writing that genre. I have another contemporary story hidden up my sleeve, which is equally exciting to me, so both stories are going to battle it out for first place in the writing line up.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Day time does that to me. I never have a problem getting out of bed in the morning, because I think there are too many great things in life to be doing and wasting time in bed wastes my life. I do give my husband some time in bed on the weekends for a sit-up-against-the-pillows coffee chat, but most of the time I'm up. Winters are not my favorite time of the year, and a cold winter morning is not something to relish, but my son leaves early for the school bus, so he is my wakeup call on those super cold winter mornings.
Published 2015-06-24.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Agent Provocator
Price: Free! Words: 35,120. Language: English. Published: June 23, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Suspense/Mystery, Fiction » Erotica » Women's Erotica
Ami Knight is contracted to seduce criminal devilish Lucas Coltran, by charismatic Marcus Sheldon. She ends up entwined between both. Who's seducing who in this game of cat and mouse?