Serendipity: Sharon Ashwood

Few authors can churn stories that take you into a magical realm. Here are snippets of our serendipity with an awesome award winning writer. Meet Sharon Ashwood. 
GR: What description will fit you in real life? Please give a brief Bio about yourself.
SA: Sharon Ashwood is a novelist, desk jockey and enthusiast for the weird and spooky. She has an English literature degree but works as a finance geek. Interests include growing her to-be-read pile and playing with the toy graveyard on her desk. As a vegetarian, she freely admits the whole vampire/werewolf lifestyle would never work out, so she writes her adventures instead.

Sharon is the winner of the RITA® Award for Paranormal Romance. She lives in the Pacific Northwest and is owned by the Demon Lord of Kitty Badness.

GR: How does it feel to be a published author/writer? What are your preferred genres?
SA: It’s a great honour to be a published writer and have the opportunity to connect with readers far and wide. Knowing that my  books have meaning for someone else is the fuel that keeps me going. After all, storytelling is nothing without someone to hear the story.

Besides that, publishing is a dynamic and ever-changing industry that—love it or hate it—is never boring! In order to survive, a writer has to be flexible and keep up with changing tastes. My preference is urban fantasy and paranormal romance, and I’ve been fortunate to be able to carry on in that line.

GR: What does your writing place look like? 
SA: I write when and where I can—on the couch, at the kitchen table, at my desk, in scraps here and there as I go about my day. My desk has a large collection of toys—knights, dragons, unicorns, wizards—all kinds of little characters who weave their way into my adventures.

GR: Which fictional character created by you is closest to your heart? Why? 
SA: That’s a bit like asking which child I love the most! Impossible! What I can say is that each moves me in a different way. Gawain, the hero of ENCHANTED WARRIOR, is very close to my heart.  He’s angry and suspicious and in many ways hanging onto his identity by his fingernails, but he’s also passionate and extremely loyal. He takes enormous risks, both emotionally and physically, for those he cares about. That willingness to make himself vulnerable is what endears him to me. It’s a kind of courage that often goes unrecognized.

GR: What, according to you, are your strengths and weaknesses as an author/ writer?
SA: Over time, I’ve learned to plan my books more efficiently.  I used to write myself into some awkward corners and then spend ages rewriting.  Now I make myself plot even though I don’t always follow the outline to the letter. For me, any plan is better than nothing!

I believe I have two primary strengths as a writer. I connect with my characters—they walk into my head without warning, and if I take the time to listen well they tell me fabulous stories. The other is that I’m willing to take risks. I do my best not to deliver the same old, same old but go out on a limb to do something fresh. Readers can pick up my books and expect an adventure.

GR: Describe your latest book. Where can we buy it? 
SA: My new series is called Camelot Reborn, and ENCHANTED WARRIOR is the first story.  It’s based on the legends of King Arthur and what happens after the enchanter Merlin puts the heroes of the medieval court into an enchanted sleep to awaken when humanity needs protection from a great enemy. Of course the spell doesn’t quite work as planned, and my first hero has to figure out what’s going on. Here is the blurb from the book:

In an age clouded by legend, Gawain was one of King Arthur’s greatest knights. When he awakens centuries after the fall of Camelot, he faces his most daunting quest yet--the search for his missing companions. His hope is that Tamsin Greene, the alluring historian at Medievaland Theme Park, can help him. Then he senses the magic within her…

Gawain will now have to trust a witch-and his own heart-to rouse the knights of the Round Table and save humanity from a faery onslaught.
Book Links

GR: Who and/or What inspires you the most? Why?
SA: I’m a magpie when it comes to inspiration.  All kinds of things catch my notice and nag at me until it’s time to put them in a book. I love history and folklore so there’s always something more out there to explore. That being said, all of my books seem to circle around the question of finding a home to belong to. My most deeply felt stories are about outcasts and their search to achieve independence and community. The first series I wrote, the Dark Forgotten, is about the difficult integration of the supernatural into mainstream society. My current series, Camelot Reborn, is about what happens to the medieval knights of the Round Table when they land in the modern day. My characters are never quite accepted by the culture around them.

Maybe that comes from being a writer because anyone who spends so much time in their own fantasy worlds is a bit of an oddball!

GR: What all do you do when you are not writing?
SA: I work full time, so working and writing take up most of my day.  When I have time, I like gardening, cooking, and exploring antique shops.

GR: Which writing project are you currently working on?
SA: I just finished the second book of Camelot Reborn, ENCHANTED GUARDIAN, which is all about Sir Lancelot. He surprised me as I was writing it—he turned out to be much wiser than I expected.

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