Interview & Contest: Jane Ashford

JaneAshfordJen:  Today we welcome Jane Ashford to Romancing the Book.  Jane, please share a short bio and links to where you can be found online.
Jane: I’m a story junkie. According to my parents, I started telling stories almost as soon as I could talk. When they took me out in the car as a toddler, I’d provide a running narrative, incorporating whatever we passed – cow, gas station. Fortunately, this amused them! I’ve always loved to read stories, too. I studied literature and creative writing. Though I’ve worked as a teacher, editor and communications professional, I’m delighted to now be a full-time writer.

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Jen: Please tell us about Once Again a Bride and where the idea came from.
Jane: The book originated with a phrase that came to me one day – “the widow Wylde.” For some reason those few words gradually unpacked into a story. The widow turned out to be a young woman, Charlotte, who’d been pressured into a miserable marriage to the heartless Henry Wylde. When she’s freed through his shocking murder, she’s left with only her maid Lucy as companion and supporter.

Henry’s nephew Alec is astonished to discover that his uncle was married, and even more surprised that his widow is a lovely twenty-year-old. At first, Charlotte seems just another responsibility in his overburdened life, but soon she becomes much more. Meanwhile, Lucy is finding herself way too attracted to sassy footman Ethan. All four of them have to go through some changes before love can triumph.

Jen: What kind of research did you do for this book?
Jane: I looked into the British people’s response to the hard economic times that followed the Napoleonic Wars. There were a number of protests, which reminded me a bit of things that have happened very recently. I also did some research on Roman antiquities, the obsession of Charlotte’s elderly husband, and on period legal issues. When a woman married in the Regency era, everything she owned became the property of her husband. Legally, she was pretty much a nonperson.

Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing?  Easiest? Most rewarding?
Jane: I think one of the biggest challenges is just sitting down every day and facing the blank page. It’s easy to procrastinate, particularly when the rhythm is broken, as it often can be during the holidays. I find the editing phase easier. The words are there, just need to make them better! The most rewarding is hearing that readers have connected with the characters and the story and enjoyed it.

Jen: If you were able to travel in time, where would you go and what 3 things would you take with you?
Jane: I’m very interested in Neolithic Europe, so I think I’d go there. Archeological remains suggest that there were quite sophisticated, egalitarian societies. I’d love to see how places like Çatal Huyuk really worked. I think I’d take some practical stuff for exploring, rain gear and comfortable shoes. And I’d put in some antibiotics!

Jen: What’s the most interesting comment you’ve received about your books?
Jane: One reader said that Once Again a Bride reminded them of Downton Abbey (which I love). I wasn’t thinking about the show when writing, but I’m so flattered by the comparison.

Jen: What’s next for you?
Jane: My next historical is called A Compliant Husband. You can read a little about it on my website. I’m working on another. Also, in the fall, Sourcebooks will begin re-releasing my backlist titles, so they’ll be available as e-books for the first time. Audible will be doing the same in audiobook format.

Thanks for having me. I’ll be at the RT Booklovers Convention in May. Hope to see you there!

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20 thoughts on “Interview & Contest: Jane Ashford

  1. Karen H in NC says:

    I’d like to visit anytime in the 19th century..England and/or America. The 19th Century was an exciting time with the dawn of the Industrial Age, baby step advances in technology and medicine. I agree with Laurie…favorite book, wine and candy!

    Nice to meet another new-to-me author. Jane, I’ve never read your books, but I am checking your website out for details on every story! Thanks for the giveaway

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

  2. JoAnne says:

    I’ve always liked the Colonial America time period but not sure I could live without all the comforts I’ve grown to love. So if I did travel back then I would bring matches, a flashlight due to the lack of electricity and lots and lots of books.

  3. Jeanne Miro says:

    Hi Jen and Jane!

    Jen –
    I’m thrilled that you invited Jane over to Romancing the Book! I first started reading her books in 1996 and the first book I read was The Marriage Wager! Reading it was a fun way to make the long drive from Rhode Island to South Carolina on our drive to visit my younger son at college seem to go quickly!

    Jane –
    I love your books and was thrilled to learn that your backlist titles that I missed getting when they were released will be available for my Kindle!

    If I could travel back in time it would be to just after the Regency era to try to find a link to my ancestors. My middle name is Hastings and it is a name I’ve found multiple times in my search for my ancestors but I could never find out what part of England they came from I would love to travel to England and try to find try to find out more about my ancestors but what made some of them to cross the ocean to the unknown waiting for them in the “colonies”.

    My husband on the other hand, who is Italian, is a Master Stone mason and what he would love to go back in time with me to see the masons at the time creating true wonders of the world, the buildings and stone walls that had stood the test of time!

  4. Barbara Elness says:

    I would go at least 100 years in the future and I’d bring along some extra contacts, a few snacks and comfortable clothing. Hopefully there’s be lots of cool things to check out so I wouldn’t need to bring much.

  5. erinf1 says:

    Congrats to Jane on the new release! I think that I’d like to visit Ancient Egypt or Rome but I’d bring a toothbrush/toothpaste, soap and my glasses so I could see!

  6. June M. says:

    Although I would like to visit the past for a short while (a day or two), I think if I were going to stay, I would want to go a few centuries into the future. I would want to take my Kindle (can’t lose all my favorite books), my print library, and lots of chocolate (can’t forget that, lol).

  7. Jess1 says:

    I would want to visit the late 1800’s Vienna when it was at it’s height economically & culturally, and when the Waltz King, Johann Strauss Jr. was playing etc. My fantasy would be that I would learn to waltz in a fantastic ball gown. I would bring my Kindle, my meds, and my sunscreen.

  8. Diane Sallans says:

    1920 Ireland – before my grandparents left for the US – I’d bring a digital camera, some gold & a list of stocks they should buy (wouldn’t that be fun). It would be fun to see them when they were young & also to meet some of my great-grandparents.

  9. Maureen says:

    I would love to visit the Regency time period. I think I would bring a tootbrush, toothpaste and toilet paper.

  10. Veronica says:

    The day WWI ended. All the people in street filled with joy, kissing eachother. That would be awesome to see. I would also definitely bring lip gloss and I honestly don’t know what else I’d need. But I do love how she mentioned antibiotics, I would totally bring that depending on the time I went to.

  11. Nicole Laverdure says:

    If one reader said that Once Again a Bride reminded her of Downton Abbey! Well I guess your book is a must to read! I love historical romance. Beautiful cover! If I could time travel, I would visit England -1900. I would bring a camera, a Tablet and my running shoes!

  12. may says:

    I would like to travel back in time around 1900s… not too early since I love my hot baths… I like to take camera, runners and ipod.

  13. Janie McGaugh says:

    I’d go to a house party in post-Napoleonic Regency England. I’d take my eyeglasses, some comfortable shoes, and toothpaste.

  14. Michelle Tucker says:

    I’d go to london in the early 1800’s. I’d take my hubby (that’s allowed, right?), a camera, and a nice ball gown:)

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