My name is Ashley Dooley. I am a new author and a homeschooling mom of two. I am originally from St. John’s, Newfoundland and am currently living in Alberta. I am a believer in fairies and breeder of gingers (Ha-ha!). I married my JUNIOR High school sweetheart and together we’ve created ArtsyDarlynn Books. We hope to sign many authors and have them publish under our name!
Tell us about your latest book.
My first and latest book, Altering Authority has been out since May. It is currently number three on Listopia’s King of the Bad Boys list and has been selling wonderfully. It’s about a girl named Tatum who has always lived luxuriously, in the shadow of her mobster father. After taking over the family businesses when he dies unexpectedly, a family secret comes to light and turns her world upside down.
She is thrown into the mix with another gang of criminals with very different lifestyles and opinions.
She meets their leader, the sexy, mercurial and very dangerous Jager and is annoyed by his icy cold demeanor and his belief that their lifestyle is no place for a woman.
Determined to change his mind, she sets out on a course that not only causes him to open up to her and see her as an equal, but forces him to face his past and acknowledge that he’s fallen in love with her.
What do you have coming out in the future?
I am currently writing book two in the Authority Series.
Is your book a stand-alone or a series?
The Authority series is a trilogy, although I have some spin-off stories in mind. I’m thinking of maybe doing a book of short stories that branches out from other characters in the book when the series is all done.
Why romance and what makes your particular brand of romance special?
I have an appetite for books with romance. I devour them! Stories where there is none bore me. My particular brand of romance is special because I don’t believe in helpless females. My characters don’t need a man to save them. They can save themselves. They are flawed and real, yet tough and easy to fall in love with.
Is romance the only genre that you write in or do you write in other genres? If so what other genres do you write in?
So far romance is the only genre I’ve been published in. I have a story that I’ve been working on for years that is kind of Sci Fi. Once the authority series is done, I’m hoping the finish up that series. It’s kind of my baby. I want it to be just right and at the moment I’m not really in a fantasy-type of mind and you definitely have to be all in to write a story as outlandish as this one.
She is thrown into the mix with another gang of criminals with very different lifestyles and opinions. When she meets their leader, the sexy, mercurial and very dangerous Jager she is annoyed by his icy cold demeanor and his belief that their lifestyle is no place for a woman.
Determined to change his mind, Tatum sets out on a course that not only causes him to open up to her and see her as an equal, but forces him to face his past and acknowledge that he’s fallen in love with her.
When they accept their feelings, will their obligations allow them to be together? Or will it be too late?
My inspiration comes from real life, TV shows that I watch, songs that I listen to. Basically everywhere. I’m a huge daydreamer and come from a long line of amazing story tellers (I think it’s the Irish in me ;)).
Do you ever base your characters on real people in your life?
Some of my characters are based on friends and family in real life, however the similarities are pretty limited. While I love Tatum and Jager, I thank my lucky stars that I don’t know anyone really like them in real life. They are kind of terrifying. Haha!
What authors inspire your writing?
I like to think that my writing is all my own. I’m pretty new to it actually. Authors that I love however include Jojo Moyes, Cassandra Claire, Richelle Mead, and Deborah Harkness.
How have your real life experiences influenced your writing?
It depends on the book I suppose. The Authority series is about gangsters, prostitutes, drug dealers and strippers. I’d have to say that thankfully, none of my real life experiences have had anything to do with that.
The fantasy book that I am writing is about fairies, which were a huge influence in my town as a child. Kids were terrified of them and truly believed they existed, however the Newfoundland legend of fairies is a lot darker than the stories other moms and dads read to their children at night.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
When I’m not writing I draw. Before publishing I ran a successful shop on etsy selling my art. Also, my husband and I are big movie nerds so we do that a lot.
What was your road to publishing like? Tell us about it.
Publishing was surprisingly quick. The process was tedious. Writing, editing, promoting… That stuff takes a lot of work.
How did you come up with the title of your book?
I knew that the main character in my book, Jager, was going to have a nickname as the gang leader. I thought about words that gave the character a sense of ‘Authority’ and then realized that that word in itself would work. Ha! The title of all three books will be a play on that name. Altering Authority represents Jager changing his frame of mind, how he feels about women and love. It also marks him giving up his role as authority, to an extent. When he and Tatum fall in love, they kind of share in the title together.
Do you read romance or do you prefer other genres?
Romance is my favorite genre. I typically only stick to that however every now and then a story will come along that is out of that realm that I fall in love with. The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay for instance.
What is your absolute favorite book or books and why is it special to you?
There are so many. Jane Eyre was definitely one of them. The girl you left behind by Jojo Moyes as well. They have strong females, and despite the adversities they face, they still get their man!
What celebrity would you chose to play the main character(s) in the movie rendition of your book?
I have this narrowed down to a science! Tatum is strikingly beautiful but kind of rough around the edges. Megan Fox would definitely play her and Jager, while tough and dangerous, also has a soft side. I feel like Garrett Hedlund could do him justice.
Have you joined any writer’s groups?
I am on a few writers groups on Google+ and Goodreads although I’ll be honest, I have no idea how to work them! Threads confuse me and I don’t have the patience to constantly scroll through the dozens of post on a daily basis. My favorite was to connect with other readers and writers is through Instagram and Facebook.
Which of your characters is your favorite and why?
I have a bit of a weak spot of Tatum’s biological (When you read the book, you’ll know why I had to call him that) father, Phil. He’s a Scottish biker with a crazy moustache who shoots up warehouses with his criminal friends, yet he plays with Jagers kids, loves his daughter and tells her so daily. He calls other women ‘darlin’’. Swoon.
What is your preferred writing environment?
I love just hanging out on my bed with a good frappacino and my laptop. I’ll lock myself in there after supper, leave the kids and my husband to fend for themselves and write for hours, or until he can’t handle it anymore and calls on me to settle an argument or discipline by son for being a pain in the ass.
Do you have a careful plan when plotting your stories or do you just go with the flow?
I always do jot notes before hand so that I know that my story has a beginning, middle and end. It has a climax, a problem, a solution… if I didn’t do this, I’d ramble on and on forever.
With many publishing routes available today, which felt the most reliable to you when it came to the many choices?
I’m probably the most impatient person in existence. I knew I wanted to be published. I knew that people would love my story and I knew that it needed to get out there as soon as possible. The only way to do that was through self-publishing. I also wanted full control over my book. All the rights, permissions… promoting is a little bit harder on your own however, if the story is good enough, it will promote itself.
What is your favorite quote?
“You see, in my view a writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, because everything she does is golden. In my view a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway." – Junot Diaz
Do you have any advice for other writers and what is it?
Just do it. Don’t second guess yourself, don’t worry about the critics. J.K. Rowling has critics. Stephen King has critics. George R.R. Martin has critics. Not everybody will like your reading but what matters is the people who do.