Skip to content Skip to footer

Author interview with Brenna Ash

Sweet Rogue O’Mine comes out tomorrow! Brenna was kind enough to answer some questions for us.

You can get your copy of this delightful historical romance HERE!

Did you always know you wanted to be an author? What is the first story you remember writing? How did you get from there to where you are today?

From a very young age I was smitten with the written word. I was voracious reader and by the time I hit my teens I knew I wanted to be an author. The first story I ever wrote was A Sweet Valley High type book full of all that teenage angst we had at that age. I went through periods of writing like mad, and then long periods of no writing at all. Family, work, different responsibilities, played a huge part on how much time I could spend on my craft. But even if I couldn’t write, I could aways read, and I read a lot of craft books over the years (still do), took a lot of workshops, attended many conferences, met a lot of other authors (some are my best friends to this day), and just kept moving forward. I just refused to give up, no matter what. Push forward and persevere.

What is the most inspiring place you’ve visited and has it shown up in one of your books?

By far, Scotland. It is my favorite place to visit, especially the highlands. It’s such a beautiful landscape with a rich history and ideas are in abundance when I’m there. Many of the places I’ve visited have shown up in my current and future books. Dunvegan Castle is one of my favorites, and I used it as the inspiration for Straik Castle which appears in a couple of my earlier books.

Where is your favorite place to write? Does it change depending on where you are in the process?

When I’m home, I can only write in my office. Every place else is too distracting and I have all my research books at my fingertips. When I’m on a writing retreat, and the place has a pool, that’s where I love to write. The sound of the running water makes a lovely type of white noise and the fresh air just puts me in my happy place.

Which comes first for you: the plot or the characters?

It depends on the book. Sometimes a song I hear will trigger a plot, other times a picture will give me an idea for a character. So it really just depends.

Do you know where the story is going before you begin, or does it come to you as you write? Do scenes come to you fully formed or are you as surprised as the reader?

No, not really. I try to get a general idea written down, a really loose outline of sorts, that just has some bullet points of things that need to happen in the book, but it doesn’t list everything and every time, the book surprises me on the turns it takes. I’ve really tried to do a fully fleshed out outline but I have never been successful at it. The one time I had one, the book strayed so far from it, that it was like two different books.

Does your writing process include any kind of ritual? Story specific playlists, tea, or candles, for example?

I always have to have music playing when I’m writing. For most books, I have a playlist that I create and listen to when I’m working on that particular book. Before we got our kitten, I would burn a candle on my desk, but since she likes to sleep on my desk, I no longer do that. I’ll just take the cover off the candle and can usually smell the scent that way. A cup of tea is a must. I just got this new (to me) butterscotch tea that I’m loving right now.

Do you write better in the morning or evening? How do you handle the distractions of working from home, especially if you’re sharing the space with others?

I write better at night. Usually after 7. I’ve tried writing in the morning, but it doesn’t work for me. I find myself distracted easily, so if I do anything writing related in the morning, it’s focused on the business side of things.

When it’s difficult to physically travel, how do you find ways to escape?

YouTube is great. There are so many documentaries for every location. Or even people who just walk the paths or the area and record it and upload their videos. Those give a great sense of the area if I’m unfamiliar with it. Also, historical shows on one of the many streaming platforms out there. They may not be historically accurate, though some more than others are, but they are great for putting you in the setting and the right mindset. As for escaping, reading and music are always my escape.

From all your books, who is your favorite hero and why?

I love this question and I have to say, the hero I’m currently writing. Right now, it’s Finlay Primrose in No Rogue Like You. Each book I write, the hero ends up being my favorite—until the next one, and then that hero replaces the last one as my favorite. So, it’s safe to say that at some point in time, each of my heroes have been my favorite. A cop out, but it’s true!

What do you like to read when you’re not reading in your genre? Did you have a favorite book or series when you were growing up?

I read a lot in my genre, but when I’m not I’ll read thrillers and dark romance. Growing up, I absolutely loved the Trixie Belden series. I gobbled those up so quickly. That series got ALL of my spending money.