Here’s an author interview with Cara Covington/Morgan Ashbury. Take it away…
- How did you start writing erotica?
I’d always written romance. Then one day I attended an author’s conference. There was a speaker there, an author who was published with Ellora’s Cave, and for the first time I heard about erotic romance. And I said to myself, why, I can do that! I also heard about “e-books” for the first time. I figured if I was going to write a new for me genre, I might as well aim for a new medium, too.
- What’s your favourite published work of yours and why?
Just one? Then I would have to say I truly love my entire Lusty, Texas series – 23 books and counting. There are buff heroes, kick-ass heroines, hot steamy love scenes – and a town where people thrive and matter.
- What erotic authors do you enjoy reading?
I love reading books by Heather Rainier, Bella Juarez, Corrine Davies, Elle St. James, and Tymber Dalton—all five of these talented authors are published with Siren Publishing, my own publishing house. But I also loved the Roughrider Series by Lorelei James.
- Where do you draw your inspiration from?
My inspiration, for the stories and characters and plot lines, come from life. For the rest – well, I have been married for 42 years.
- Do you have any unusual writing rituals?
Only one. You know how some writers like to write to the sounds of their favorite bands, or singers, or to the sound of music that inspires them? Well, I like to write to the sounds of silence. Literally. I can’t focus if there is noise of any kind around me.
- Where’s your favourite place to write?
Years ago I purchased an antique oak library desk at a flea market. It sits in my office, that has a lovely view of the quiet residential, treed street on which I live. My desk holds my pc, and has enough room for a towel and whichever of my two pets gets there first.
- Who is your favourite character from one of your stories and why?
There is one character who first appeared in the fifth book of my series, though she was mentioned previous to that. Her name is Katherine Wesley Benedict—Grandma Kate. She’s in her nineties, but she is no one’s little old lady. I love Kate because she is the grandmother we all wished we had.
- Do your nearest and dearest know what you do, and if so, what was their reaction when they found out?
It was never a secret that I write erotic romance. My husband has read all of my stories, and he’s my biggest fan. My daughters and my son are proud of me, although they have declined to read my books. They said they didn’t want to know that I knew those things. We did have the talk, about the birds and the bees, so I’m pretty sure they know how they came to be.
- What was your ideal career when you were a child?
I wrote my first story when I was eight or nine. I’ve always wanted to be a published author because I’ve always been an author. But I did have a back-up plan, even then. If I couldn’t get published, I was going to be a secret agent.
- How do you get yourself in the mood to write?
I tend to treat writing like a nine-to-five job. I’m a professional, with commitments and deadlines. So every morning, I get that first cup of coffee, do a couple of puzzles to make sure the brain is awake. Then I do my daily devotional, and then I get to work.
- What’s the best writing tip you’ve ever been given?
The best writing tip I’ve ever been given, is the same one I give: keep writing, and don’t quit. You must never, ever quit. Not ever.
- If you get writer’s block when you’re writing, how do you get around it?
Writer’s block, in my opinion, happens when you’re trying to make your characters do something they’re not meant to do—something that goes against their core beings. In other words, if you have writer’s block, you’ve done something wrong. I sit back and think, and then I go back and find the mistake and fix it.
- If you could bring one of your characters to life, which one would it be and why?
I think I would love to bring Adam Kendall to life, just for a while. Not the contemporary sheriff of Lusty, Texas, but the man for whom he was named: Adam Kendall, Texas Ranger. He dared to be different in a time when that difference could have cost him his life. And with Warren and Amanda, with Caleb and Joshua and Sarah, he helped to found a town, and a way of life.
- Which author, erotic or otherwise would you love to meet and why?
I actually have met Nora Roberts at a couple of RWA National Conferences, but I would love to sit with her for an hour and talk.
- What’s your favourite genre within erotica and why?
First of all, I write erotic romance. And under that subgenre I love suspense. Nearly every one of my books has elements of romantic suspense. Of course, some of them also have shadings of BDSM. But to definitively answer the question, I would have to say romance. I love the ideals of love and humanity, and I crave a happy ending.
- What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on the 24th installment of my Lusty, Texas series, Love Under Two Outcasts. It’s this year’s “cross-over” book with Heather Rainier, who writes the wildly popular Divine Creek Ranch series. This is our third collaboration, and Heather’s title for this endeavor is Absentminded Angel. Heather and I are great good friends, and we love working together. And, outside of our once a year cross-over, where each book stands on its own, but the story is richer for the shared scenes and plot points, we also borrow each other’s characters from time to time. I don’t know of any other authors who do the same. Do you?
- What’s the biggest writing challenge you’ve ever taken on? Did you succeed?
A.The biggest challenge was the time, in 2005, Kelley Armstrong said to me, “let’s do NaNoWriMo. It’ll be fun! A quick recap, I met Kelley, a New York Times bestselling urban fantasy, YA author, just after her second novel, Stolen, was published. She actually lives not far from me. And when she formed a writing group on her website, I joined and eventually became a moderator. So when she suggest NaNo, I agreed, because I was writing my first novel deliberately to sell, and I was overwhelmed by the prospect. So I thought, I’ll just do a fast, fun story. You have the entire month of November to write a 50,000 word novel. My writing caught fire, and yes, I succeeded. I produced a 54,000 word novel in a fortnight.
- What’s your biggest writing achievement? Why?
The above NaNo novel, because it formed the basis of my first series, The Magic and Love trilogy. I love those stories – The Prince and the Single Mom, The Princess and the Bodyguard, and A Prince for Sophie. If you love erotic romance but don’t like ménage stories, I recommend my Magic and Love series. By the time you’re finished reading them, you’ll believe in both magic, and love.