Today we’re so pleased to welcome a first time visitor to The Novel Approach, author Charlotte Ashe. Charlotte is here with us to chat about her new novel The Sidhe and is offering one lucky reader the chance at a Grand Prize $25 e-gift card at Interlude Press, and an e-copy of the book to FIVE runners-up.
Hi Charlotte, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Thank you for having me! I am a social worker in Portland, Maine , and The Sidhe is my first novel. I majored in creative writing and literature way back in college, but it took me some time to find my way back to writing. I am so excited to finally write the books I’ve always wanted to write, combining elements of fantasy and romance with a focus on LGBTQ characters.
1) Why did you choose to write M/M stories?
I kind of feel like M/M stories chose me! It wasn’t a conscious choice, really, and I don’t strictly write M/M, though I do prefer to write queer romance of one variety or another. I think part of it is that I like turning traditional stories and tropes on their head, and when you write an M/M or F/F story, you are forced to think about gender roles in a way that you might not if you are writing hetero romance. I find that especially in fantasy settings, this can be an interesting challenge with limitless possibilities. I mean, sure, I’ll admit that two gorgeous men together is hot, and that’s definitely part of the appeal, but they’re fully realized characters. I could strip all of the hot boy-on-boy action out of The Sidhe and it would still be a meaningful love story between compelling characters. I guess what it boils down to is that the characters were male, with or without my permission, and I was more than okay with that.
2) What inspired you to write your first book?
I wanted to write a book that I wanted to read but couldn’t find. I’d always wanted to write fantasy novels, and I’ve always been a closet romantic. I wanted to lose myself in a love story and a rich fantasy world at the same time, I wanted the love story to be queer, and I wanted to depict queer love and sexuality as something sacred. so I decided to see if I could make it work.
3) When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing for pleasure very, very young (age 6 or 7) and began to take it seriously at age 8. I started writing because I loved it immediately and because I got fidgety if I went too long without writing. An active writing life has always been essential to my well being.
4) What are you current projects?
I’m currently writing book 2 in The Heart of All Worlds trilogy. It’s titled The King and the Criminal, and it comes out in 2016.
5) Off topic: What secret talents do you have?
I’m an insanely good parallel parker, and I’m also quite good at untangling jewelry without breaking it. I’m a pretty decent cook, too, if I do say so myself.
Blurb: Since his childhood, Brieden Lethiscir has admired The Sidhe, the beautiful and magical beings native to the Faerie world outside his homeland of Villalu. Though he grew up in a culture accepting of Sidhe enslavement by Villalu’s elite, Brieden finds that he can no longer tolerate the practice when he becomes a steward to Prince Dronyen, who is viciously abusive of his sidhe slave Sehrys. Captivated by the handsome and mysterious sidhe slave, Brieden vows to free and return Sehrys to his homeland.
As they escape the capital and navigate a treacherous path to the border, Breiden and Sehrys grow close. Breiden soon learns both the true power of The Sidhe, and that the world that he thought he knew is not what it once seemed. If they survive to reach the border, he will have to make a choice: the love of his life, or the fate of his world.
Excerpt: The sidhe was tall, supple and lithe, as all sidhe tended to be, with milk-pale skin that glowed like moonlight over lean, taut muscles. Like all the others before him, he was naked, giving potential buyers a full picture of what they were bidding on.
And he was extraordinary, head to toe.
His chin-length hair was violet-red and it gleamed in the afternoon sun. His lips were pink and delicate with a pronounced bow, his nose had a narrow, smooth slope and his eyes…
It wasn’t that they were the most incredible color imaginable: a storm of deep, contrasting, impossible greens unlike any Brieden had ever seen. And it wasn’t that they were large and almond- shaped beneath a fan of plum-colored lashes.
It was that they were full to the brim with life.
Never before had Brieden seen a sidhe slave with such lively and expressive eyes, even as he stood for auction. Those eyes were not dull or defeated in the slightest. Wary, yes, and utterly devoid of trust, but also blazing.
Blazing like the eyes of that sidhe Brieden had seen at the riverbank when he was twelve years old— the only free sidhe Brieden had ever had the chance to behold.
The elf stood on that platform as if he owned it. As if he were judging every human man before him, and not the other way around.
He tucked a lock of hair behind a delicately pointed elfin ear, then jutted his chin to reveal a chiseled jaw that contrasted beautifully against his tender features.
And though he knew it was insane, Brieden was quite sure that he was in love.
About the Author: Charlotte Ashe is a social worker by day and a writer of romantic fantasy by night. A long-time fan of speculative fiction that skews feminist and features LGBTQ characters, Charlotte loves writing stories that are sexy, heartfelt, and full of magic and adventure. She has put her B.A. in literature and creative writing to use over the years as a writer of online fan-based fiction, and her most popular work has drawn more than one million readers worldwide, been translated into several languages, and been featured in online publications including The Backlot.
Charlotte lives in Portland, Maine and can be found sleeping at the beach all summer and clomping along the cobblestones in her Bean boots all winter, writing fairytales in her head to distract from the cold.
Tour Dates & Stops:
28-Jul: BFD Book Blog
30-Jul: Amanda C. Stone
31-Jul: Inked Rainbow Reads