What is your book about?
BLEEDING HEARTS: Book One of the Demimonde is the story of an advice columnist who’s saving the world, one damned person at a time. (Unfortuately, the world has vampires and werewolves in it. Chaos ensues.)
How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?
My husband was extremely worried that this book would be autobiographical. But really, I’m not an advice columnist so, what’s to worry about? Sophie is a bit mouthy, thanks to me, and she has a thing for shoes, but she’s a coffee drinker. That’s where I draw the line. I am a Darjeeling kind of girl.
How long did it take you to write your book?
It started out as a hobby when my son was in Preschool. It was accepted for publication in the Spring of his fourth grade. There was a temporary agent and a lot of contest final rounds between those two points.
How much of a story do you have in mind before you start writing it?
Bleeding Hearts was begun with random chapters that eventually fell in line. My other projects are planned by a variety of ways: I am NaNoWriMo’ing a paranormal romance that I outlined six ways to Sunday and I have a YA fantasy on the back burner that is blossoming from a synopsis seed into a OMG-will-this-synopsis-ever-end kind of thing. I don’t have a single method of planning a book.
Do you have specific techniques you use to develop the plot and stay on track?
For BH, I had key chapters written that guided the rest of the story. For my paranormal romance, I have a massive story board. (It’s ugly but very useful.)
How (or when) do you decide that you are finished writing a story?
When the editor says it’s done. Otherwise, I’d never stop tweaking it.
Is there a message in your writing you want readers to grasp?
Beauty and goodness exist everywhere. You have to put effort into life or you’ll never see them.
What was the most difficult part about writing the book?
Finding time to write. I’m a full-time pharmacist and a mom of two middle schoolers who torment me by joining countless activities. The summers are the hardest time to get things done.
What has changed for you personally since you wrote your first book?
I have a profound sense of accomplishment. I’ve also met so many wonderful people along the way and I am absolutely dumbfounded when they say they love my stories. I never thought I’d be worthy of praise like that. I love this confidence and wish I’d been born with it.
What are you working on right now?
Right now, I’m using NaNoWriMo to get the bulk of my paranormal romance done. After that, it’s time to gear up for the release of Bleeding Hearts in early 2012. I have a lot to learn about promotion so I’m cramming best I can.
Do you have mental list or a computer file or a spiral notebook with the ideas for or outlines of stories that you have not written but intend to one day?
I do! My notebook is called my Portable Brain and I once wrote about it at the Query Tracker Blog.
What advice would you give other novelists about book promotion?
It’s not enough to promote your book—you have to promote yourself as well. It’s uncomfortable for a lot of people but it’s essential for the marketing success of your work.
Where can people learn more about your books?
I am all over the web so hit me up anytime! Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AshKraftonAuthor Twitter: http://twitter.com/ashkrafton Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/ash_krafton and Spec Fic Chick http://ashkrafton.com
Thanks so much for this opportunity to talk about Bleeding Hearts: Book One of the Demimonde. It’s forthcoming in early 2012 via Pink Narcissus Press http://pinknarc.com