Friday, January 5, 2018

Jennifer Ashley Author Interview

Photo Content from Jennifer Ashley

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Jennifer Ashley has lived and traveled all over the world, and now lives in the Southwest. She writes historical, paranormal, and contemporary romance as Jennifer Ashley; mysteries as Ashley Gardner; and paranormal romance and urban fantasy as Allyson James.

Jennifer’s/Allyson’s/Ashley’s more than 83 novels and novellas have won RWA’s RITA award, the Golden Quill, RT Reviewer’s Choice awards, and the Prism award, among others. Jennifer’s novels have been also been translated into French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese, Norwegian, Hungarian, Italian, Thai, and other languages.

Jennifer enjoys writing and reading above all else, but her hobbies include cooking, hiking, playing flute and guitar, painting, and building miniature rooms and dollhouses.


What were your inspirations for the character development?
I’m never certain what inspires characters, because most of them just show up in my head and start doing things. I’m sure sparks of inspiration sheet down at me, but I don’t notice them until the character is walking, talking, and acting. I watch and write down what they do.

Was there a particular event or time that you recognized that writing was not just a hobby.

Writing has never been a hobby for me. Even when I was twelve, and writing stories as homework assignments, I knew that someday, I’d submit a novel to a publisher and be a published author. All the writing I did before that was practice. Some people dream of mansions or riches—I dreamed of seeing a book with my name on it on the bookstore and library shelves, LOL.

What was your unforgettable moment while writing DEATH BELOW STAIRS?
When I was lying facedown on the floor (just relaxing, no drama) and “saw” Kat’s dilemma about her daughter. The entire book clicked for me at that moment.

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to have a life in writing?
Be aware that writing eats your life. It takes a lot of time and focus to write a book, especially to a deadline, especially to multiple deadlines. Distractions abound, like a day job, family, pets, day-to-day existence. You have to train yourself to shut that all out and put up with the guilt for doing so. You also have to realize only another writer will understand what you’re going through, so make connections with authors so you have someone to help you through the rough patches. I’m not even going to mention money. The time and effort you put into your book is the same whether you’re making twelve dollars or millions.

Are there authors that you’re excited to engage/work with?
I have met the most wonderful people since I started down the author road. Authors are amazingly generous. I can’t point to a specific person, because there are just too many authors who have become close friends, too many who have gone out of their way to help me when they didn’t know me from a hole in the wall. I love meeting authors.

What part of Kat did you enjoy writing the most?
I like Kat’s voice, her thoughts, just her. Getting to know a new character is fun for me. I also enjoyed creating Lady Cynthia and Mr. Thanos, two people who don’t fit in their world.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Daniel?
Who Daniel really is and where he comes from (which I won’t spoil!). He’s a complex character with a multi-layered past. I will be exploring him for some time to come.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?

I’m writing many, many things. I have another mystery series (Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries), which will see the release of book 13 in 2018. I’m also continuing an urban fantasy series as Allyson James (Dragon Bites) out sometime next year. Plus more in my Shifters Unbound series and Mackenzies (historical romance) series. I write six or seven books a year—I’m seriously busy!

What book would you recommend for others to read?
If you love mysteries with lots of atmosphere or history, check out Donna Leon’s Venice (present-day) mystery series and Lindsey Davis’s two mystery series set in Ancient Rome.

Where can readers find you?
My website has the most information: I also have a site dedicated to the Kat Holloway books so non-romance readers don’t have to look at my romance covers, LOL. That is at I’m also on Bookbub as an author to follow, on Twitter at @JennAllyson or @GardnerAuthor (for mysteries). More of my historical mysteries can be found at And Facebook at this long URL:

  • Victorian London
  • Cross-dressing lady of the house
  • Daniel McAdam
  • Kat’s daughter, Grace
  • Trains
  • Action / adventure
  • Mr. Thanos, the mathematical genius
  • Kat’s no-nonsense attitude to life
  • The upstairs – downstairs interaction
  • And of course: Descriptions of tasty food!

Victorian class lines are crossed when cook Kat Holloway is drawn into a murder that reaches all the way to the throne.

Highly sought-after young cook Kat Holloway takes a position in a Mayfair mansion and soon finds herself immersed in the odd household of Lord Rankin. Kat is unbothered by the family’s eccentricities as long as they stay away from her kitchen, but trouble finds its way below stairs when her young Irish assistant is murdered.

Intent on discovering who killed the helpless kitchen maid, Kat turns to the ever-capable Daniel McAdam, who is certainly much more than the charming delivery man he pretends to be. Along with the assistance of Lord Rankin’s unconventional sister-in-law and a mathematical genius, Kat and Daniel discover that the household murder was the barest tip of a plot rife wi
th danger and treason—one that’s a threat to Queen Victoria herself.


"A top-notch new series that deftly demonstrates Ashley’s mastery of historical mysteries by delivering an impeccably researched setting, a fascinating protagonist with an intriguing past, and lively writing seasoned with just the right measure of dry wit.” Booklist

“This exceptional series launch introduces Kat Holloway, a brilliant cook [and a] cast of distinctive, well-drawn characters… Kat’s displays of her knowledge of food and preparation techniques add to the story’s appeal. Readers will look forward to this fascinating lead’s further adventures.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“This mood piece by Ashley is not just a simple murder mystery…. The characters are a lively, diverse group…and [a] thoroughly entertaining cast. A well-crafted Victorian adventure.” —RT Book Reviews (Top Pick)


“Skillfully nuanced characterization.” —Chicago Tribune

“Heartrending, funny, honest, and true.” —Eloisa James, New York Times bestselling author

“Exceptional storytelling.” —Fresh Fiction

“Ashley excels at creating multilayered, realistically complex characters.” —Booklist

“Smart, skilled writing.” —Publishers Weekly

You can purchase Death Below Stairs at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you JENNIFER ASHLEY for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Death Below Stairs (Kat Holloway Mysteries #1) by Jennifer Ashley.


  1. "Is there something you've dreamed of doing for a long time?" No!--there are many things!

  2. Thanks so much for hosting me here today!

  3. I have dreamed of getting my own delivery business for years.

  4. I have dreamed of traveling around the world for a long time.