by Ainsley Ashby
Ainsley Ashby is a talented new writer of sweet to spicy, contemporary romance novels. Born in Canada, she lives with her two children in a small city where she works for a non-profit organization.
With characters that are mature, confident, and compelling, Ainsley’s inimitable tales will draw you in as you escape into a woven world of words. Characters will always be tested in some way, and with Ainsley’s brilliant guidance, they will face those challenges head on.
Well-paced and skillfully written, Ainsley’s books contain unpredictable twists that showcase the intelligence and clever wit of this exciting new author.
2nd Chance Romance welcomes Ainsley Ashby and is pleased to have a frank chat with her. We are delighted that you’ve joined us today.
- When did you decide to seriously write a novel and why?
I have recently separated and divorced. During this past year of getting on with life as a single parent, I’ve found myself exploring my creative side. After a string of (really) crappy online dating experiences, I joked with friends about writing a book on the ordeal. I tossed it around in my mind for weeks wondering what a story would look like and how candid I would/could be in a tell-all book but somehow that felt mean spirited. That’s when I decided to write a story of fiction, weaving in some online dating tales into Waverly’s past.
- Will you tell us a little about Love’s Journey and why it is a must-read?
From young adults to retirees, there is something for everyone to relate to in this novel. Stallions, stables, and the world of show jumping is just the tip of the iceberg.
In her early forties, Waverly has stepped out of the chaotic restaurant business to become an entrepreneur. She’s an every day woman, going about life like the rest of us, trying to find the perfect balance of happiness and love.
While charming and handsome, fifty-year-old Jimmie Gallagher has endured his own share of heartache, but he doesn’t let it consume him, choosing instead to focus on his love of horse jumping and the gentlemanly courtship of the woman who unexpectedly catches his eye.
Powerful horses, unsavory online dates, unexpected twists, and gut wrenching anguish fill the pages of this inimitable tale.
For Waverly and Jimmie, love, is a journey.
- What is your favorite part of the writing process and why?
I love the feeling, somewhere around the 10,000-word mark when the characters are really starting to take shape. As a writer, I am really getting to know them and they start to come alive in my mind. That’s the point when I stop guiding the story and I let my characters take over. Then, it’s all about chasing them around the page as their lives unfold.
- Can readers expect additional novels? If so, do you have plans to include either Jimmie or Waverly?
I have a second novel in the works, but this book is with brand new characters. Kip and Eden have been best friends since grade school. Here’s a glimpse inside this developing story:
Kip Cavanaugh can barely remember a time when Eden Masters wasn’t a part of his life. Growing up she had earned the nickname of Freddie when on the same street, they had banded together with other latch key kids to survive middle school. It was the quiet beginning to their twenty-year friendship that has weathered more than a few heartaches and personal challenges along the way.
Single and on the cusp of turning forty, Kip finally admits to himself that he has feelings for Freddie and gets up the nerve to ask her out to an upcoming gala.
Eden, will have no part in it. Crippled with the fear of losing her only friend if they embark on a romantic relationship and it fails, she holds Kip at a distance.
An antique steamer trunk, a blizzard, and an island paradise all play a role in bring together this biopharmaceutical executive and the soft-spoken, reserved woman who insists he drop her childhood nickname and accept her as, Eden.
- What would the main character, Waverly, in your book say to you?
She would probably put her hands on each of my shoulders and emphatically say, “DELETE THAT ONLINE DATING APP OFF YOUR PHONE!” Then she’d probably tell me to stop trying so hard to make a relationship happen, and get out and enjoy life. If there’s a guy out there and it’s meant to be, he’ll find me.
Then because she’s an avid reader like you and I, she’d probably ask me to sign her copy of, Love’s Journey to put up on the bookshelf Jimmie built for her.
- Where do you gather inspiration for writing? Do you believe in the Writer’s Muse?
Inspiration comes from all over. Sometimes it’s a song on the radio that triggers an emotion or an idea that I think a character can relate to and that prompts a specific scene. Sometimes it’s a conversation with a friend that plants an idea in my brain.
The idea for Waverly’s Chef business came out of a conversation with a guy I briefly dated. He had commented about the challenge of ‘cooking for one’. That’s when the concept of a meal service business popped into my head. When I decided that Waverly would be a chef, I integrated the idea into the story. One innocuous comment shaped much of her character.
- What has been the toughest and greatest critique or advice you’ve received prior to publishing your first novel?
In preparing to market and promote this book, I have been active on social media. I’m connecting with readers and have been sharing little teasers about Love’s Journey. I had one follower criticize my posts. She gave me all kinds of tips on how I could be doing social media better.
…This all stung a little, given that in my day job, I’m an award-winning social media marketer.
- What writing plans do you have for the next five years?
I have a goal to write and publish three novels a year for the next few years. I’d like to write a series…except I haven’t been hit with inspiration just yet.
I plan to attend 4-5 RomCons each year if they fit my schedule. I love connecting with readers and book signing events are a great way to talk about what type of books captivate them.
As a woman in my forties, I’ve enjoyed writing about more mature characters. I plan to include more 40+ men and women in the future.
- Outside of writing, what are your favorite past-times?
Just kidding. I love to cook and there just always seems to be a glass of wine involved when I get working away in the kitchen. I also love to travel. Sometimes a last minute road trip with a friend can be just as exciting as a week long trip that’s been planned out for months.
I read, every day.
Friday night campfires with my kids are the highlight of my week. We hang out, laugh, talk, and roast marshmallows. These are precious moments with my kids that are growing up, way too fast.
After two long years of trying to find love, Waverly Scott has become disenchanted with the world of online dating.
When her phone rings one morning during a heavy thunderstorm, Waverly expects it to be a customer calling, but she’s startled, and more than a little curious that a complete stranger with a kind voice has called to ask her out on a date.
Apprehensive at her decision to meet, Waverly is in awe when she comes face to face with her exceptionally handsome admirer. At the age of fifty, it’s only his salt and pepper hair that gives away Jimmie Gallagher’s age.
Major Boot’s, Jimmie’s jet black thoroughbred is Waverly’s introduction into show jumping and a life of stallions and stables that take their blossoming relationship on a very unexpected journey toward finding love.
Click Here for Love’s Journey Book Excerpt