Hello Charlotte and welcome to The Hat Party <3 Thank you so much for subjecting yourself to the RANDOMNESS that is a Raine O'Tierney interview! Please don your best hat, and let's get started!
What important thing would you give up in order to continue writing?
So many things! I would give up chocolate, which is very important, and a number of less important things, like my smartphone, my kindle, even my car, if it came down to it. Honestly, the first thing that comes to mind is my day job. I love it, but I would give it up in a heartbeat to write full time.
What is your favorite literary quote?
This may not be the most original choice, but it really hit me the first time I ever heard it, and it’s been a guiding principle in my own writing ever since. It’s by Toni Morrison, one of my favorite writers of all time: “If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.”
Describe your perfect lazy day.
My answer to this depends entirely upon the weather. The perfect lazy day starts late 9 or 10 a.m., with coffee and a book. If it’s nice out, I’ll sit and read on the back porch, and if it’s cold or rainy, my kitchen table is cozy enough. If it’s a gorgeous summer day, I’d head to the beach with a cooler, a blanket, some reading material and a heap of sunscreen and wile the day away napping, swimming and reading. If it’s too cold for the beach, I can happily fill a whole day with reading, marathoning shows on Netflix, and cooking tasty things that involve a lot of downtime (I love throwing a bunch of stuff into the crockpot first thing in the morning on a cold winter day and having something awesome to eat for dinner). And there’s nothing like a hot bath and fresh sheets at the end of the day.
You have 200 words—Make. Me. Swoon. (PLEASE!)
I suppose it depends on what makes you swoon. That smile from a new lover that you feel all the way down to your toes like a tender caress just beneath your skin? A map of kisses written on the landscape of your body, your own secret texts that you will take with you to the grave? The feeling you get when you wake up to find your lover already looking at you, and you catch that barest tender glimpse of the way they see you when you don’t know you’re being observed? Or do you find yourself swooning over more visceral displays of passion; hot breath on your sweat-damp neck when you’re being taken from behind, knuckles white and slippery against the headboard as you hold on for dear life? If only I knew what made you swoon so I could answer this question…
If someone challenged you to a water-gun fight *to the death* how would you fare?
It really depends who challenged me, but more likely than not, I’d end up both dead and slightly, temporarily famous—I’m pretty sure that death-by-watergun is rare enough to make headlines!
Do you know any cool party tricks and are you brave enough to do them at parties?
My only real party trick is pretending I can hear what someone is saying when the music is too loud. And yes, I bravely perform this trick on a frequent basis.
Give a shout-out to another author who may, or may not, know how much you appreciate them.
Well, since I MUST choose just one, I’d love to give a shout-out to the brilliantly talented Jude Sierra. Jude writes heartbreakingly gorgeous prose, and I couldn’t stop thinking about Hush (her debut novel) for weeks after reading it. I keep starting to write a proper review, but words fail me. It’s just that good. It’s a unique, genre-busting work, and is in turns heart-wrenching, hilarious, and hot. Plus, Jude is just a really sweet and supportive fellow author. I’m as blown away by her quality as a person as I am by the quality of her writing.
What is the hardest part of writing?
Pushing past self-doubt and frustration during the process. I’m a perfectionist, and it’s difficult to have a clear picture in my mind of what I want, but to have difficulty getting it onto the page, and it is very tempting to stop writing when I feel like I’m not getting it quite right. I’ve had to learn to push through and force myself to keep writing, even when the words are trickling rather than flowing.
Do you dance in the rain?
Sometimes, but only in summer. When I was a kid I used to put on my bathing suit and run around in the summer rain all the time, but it’s not such a frequent occurrence these days.
And finally, you’ve just inherited a dachshund farm. What do you do now?
I would immediately order hot dog costumes for each and every dog. Then I would cuddle the heck out of all the dachshunds while I waited for the costumes to arrive.
(Raine says: OMG YES!)
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Book Name: The Heart of All Words, Book One: The Sidhe
Release Date: July 21, 2015
Pages or Words: 442 pages
Categories: Fantasy, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: Sarah Sanderson
Since his childhood, Brieden Lethiscir has admired The Sidhe, the beautiful and magical beings native to the Faerie world outside his homeland of Villalu. Though he grew up in a culture accepting of Sidhe enslavement by Villalu’s elite, Brieden finds that he can no longer tolerate the practice when he becomes a steward to Prince Dronyen, who is viciously abusive of his sidhe slave Sehrys. Captivated by the handsome and mysterious sidhe slave, Brieden vows to free and return Sehrys to his homeland.
As they escape the capital and navigate a treacherous path to the border, Breiden and Sehrys grow close. Breiden soon learns both the true power of The Sidhe, and that the world that he thought he knew is not what it once seemed. If they survive to reach the border, he will have to make a choice: the love of his life, or the fate of his world.
The sidhe was tall, supple and lithe, as all sidhe tended to be, with milk-pale skin that glowed like moonlight over lean, taut muscles. Like all the others before him, he was naked, giving potential buyers a full picture of what they were bidding on.
And he was extraordinary, head to toe.
His chin-length hair was violet-red and it gleamed in the afternoon sun. His lips were pink and delicate with a pronounced bow, his nose had a narrow, smooth slope and his eyes...
It wasn't that they were the most incredible color imaginable: a storm of deep, contrasting, impossible greens unlike any Brieden had ever seen. And it wasn't that they were large and almond- shaped beneath a fan of plum-colored lashes.
It was that they were full to the brim with life.
Never before had Brieden seen a sidhe slave with such lively and expressive eyes, even as he stood for auction. Those eyes were not dull or defeated in the slightest. Wary, yes, and utterly devoid of trust, but also blazing.
Blazing like the eyes of that sidhe Brieden had seen at the riverbank when he was twelve years old— the only free sidhe Brieden had ever had the chance to behold.
The elf stood on that platform as if he owned it. As if he were judging every human man before him, and not the other way around.
He tucked a lock of hair behind a delicately pointed elfin ear, then jutted his chin to reveal a chiseled jaw that contrasted beautifully against his tender features.
And though he knew it was insane, Brieden was quite sure that he was in love.
What inspired you to write The Sidhe?
I love fantasy books, romance, erotica, fairytales and mythology, and I’ve always wanted to read a book like this one, that draws elements from each: high fantasy with a diverse cast of characters, an intense love story at its core, exploration of sacred sexuality--especially amongst queer characters, as LGBTQ folks are frequently told that our sexuality is not only not sacred but actively profane—in a vivid world that readers can easily get lost in. Because I have read many fantastic books and stories that contain several of these elements but none that weave them all together in the way that I craved, I decided that I needed to write it myself. And once I began
imagining the world in which The Sidhe takes place, I couldn’t stop thinking about it until I had it down on paper.
Is there anything special you’d like us to know about it?
The earliest version of the first book in The Heart of All Worlds trilogy was a work of fanfiction, but it has changed quite a bit over many revisions. One of the most exciting changes was the development of a sidhe language. I was able to work with Nicki Harper, a linguist who did incredible, extensive work with me on this, and I am so excited about how it turned out. The artwork is also stunning; Sarah Sanderson did incredible work on the cover, and RJ Shepherd, the art director for Interlude Press, created an incredible map that is included in the book.
What are your hopes for this title?
I hope that people read it and enjoy it. I would certainly love to see it become a commercial success, but mostly I just hope it has an impact, no matter how large or small, on the hearts of those who read it. I would also absolutely love it if this trilogy ended up with its own fandom, even a tiny one. The fanfic version of The Sidhe inspired something of a fandom-within-a-fandom, and it was incredible to see other people creating art based on a world and characters that I created. I know what an honor a dedicated fandom truly is, and it would blow me away to see The Heart of All Worlds merit one of its own.
About the author:
Charlotte Ashe is a social worker by day and a writer of romantic fantasy by night. A long-time fan of speculative fiction that skews feminist and features LGBTQ characters, Charlotte loves writing stories that are sexy, heartfelt, and full of magic and adventure. She has put her B.A. in literature and creative writing to use over the years as a writer of online fan-based fiction, and her most popular work has drawn more than one million readers worldwide, been translated into several languages, and been featured in online publications including The Backlot.
Charlotte lives in Portland, Maine and can be found sleeping at the beach all summer and clomping along the cobblestones in her Bean boots all winter, writing fairytales in her head to distract from the cold.
Where to find the author:
Tour Dates & Stops:
Rafflecopter Prize: Grand Prize: $25 Interlude Press gift card; also, five multi-format eBoook editions of THOAW: The Sidhe