We got together with DARE and Modern author Jackie Ashenden to discuss the first in her new Billion $ Bastards series, Dirty Devil. Read on to find out more about some of Jackie’s favourite hobbies, upcoming books and her ideal romantic hero!
What inspired you to write your latest book Dirty Devil?
I can’t remember exactly what started me thinking about it, but the idea of what it would be like to have a photographic memory got stuck in my head (no pun intended!). I kept thinking that it would be such a double-edged sword: you’d never forget the good times, but then you’d never forget the bad times either. Of course then I started wondering about heroes (as I am wont to do) and how tortured they’d be if one of them, say, had a photographic memory, and what they’d have to do in order bury the really bad memories… And so Damian Blackwood, playboy extraordinaire was born.
They’re linked via the heroes who are all friends and are all ‘difficult’ in their way. Damian has a photographic memory, Everett is super grumpy and thinks he’s a beast, while Ulysses is ‘different’ and very literal. They’ve all had very difficult childhoods and are basically bastards in other words.
Can we have a hint about what to expect from your upcoming books?
I’ve got a few out this year! In Feb is Crowned at the Desert King’s Command for Mills & Boon Modern, which concerns an archaeologist stumbling by accident into a secret desert kingdom and being held captive both literally and figuratively by the sexy sheikh who rules it. Also in Feb is A Cowboy For All Seasons, which is anthology with some of my favourite people – Maisey Yates, Caitlin Crews, and Nicole Helm. It’s four stories about four women who have to spend a season each in their grandmother’s farmhouse, and what happens to each of them. The experience was kind of magical and so are the stories (if I do say so myself!). And then there’s Sexy Beast, my next DARE, which is about Damian’s friend Everett and his best friend, Freya. Freya has a very sexy request to make of Everett, but she doesn’t know he’s a Dom or that she’ll really like taking his orders! Friends to lovers is one of my favourite tropes…
What do you enjoy about writing for DARE?
I love the sexiness of DARE and the way writing hot love scenes can get to the heart of a character’s emotion. I also really like writing first person and that’s how I write all my DAREs.
How would you describe your ideal romantic hero?
He’s alpha (naturally) and tall and strong. He’s decisive. Protective. Very caring. He knows his own mind, respects yours, but he won’t let himself be walked over. He’s the guy you can count on to be in your corner, who has your back, who won’t let you down come hell or high water. He stands up for what he believes in and for those he cares about, the guy who steps up when no one else will. A hero, in other words.
What does your writing routine involve?
My routine tends to involve at least an hour on the treadmill – I write while I’m walking (I don’t run) – and then after a breakfast, I sit down at my computer. I deal with my email and social media, and then I start writing. I have a daily word count that depends on my deadlines and I make sure I at least write the minimum I need. Most of the time I’ll go over it if I’m in the zone.
What do you do in your spare time when you’re not writing?
I’ve recently discovered the joys of knitting, so I get on with my latest project – that is if I’m not perusing Etsy for hand-dyed yarn!
What’s in your TBR pile at home?
At the moment, The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. But that’s it! I’m a super picky reader, which I blame on being a writer, sadly, and I’m in a bit of a reading slump.
Damian Blackwood is hot as hell! And no one can resist this devil’s allure…
I didn’t make billions letting others rob me blind. So when I catch Thea Smith stealing a priceless necklace, I can’t release her. Not before the mystery woman spends a few nights in my bed! But what started as a sexy distraction is becoming a dangerous liaison. And if I’m not careful, this fiery little thief may steal my most guarded possession – my heart.