Well, I certainly did this week…have faith that was. As I sat down on Monday to round two edits and the news the book is coming out on March 29th – oh please my quivering stomach be still, I thought…pulease let Faith Ashlin get back to me pronto with answers to the questions I had just bunged her, having, promised to bung them in mid December. Pulease. Pulease. Purty, purty puleeeease. Save my ass. And she did. What a woman.
So, without further ado here she is. All the way from London and what looks like a lot of writing, to talk about forthcoming releases but also her book, Pathfinder. A very different book. What’s more she’s not come alone…
Q. Faith, it really is a pleasure to have you here today. Please can you tell us a little about yourself?
Faith: Hello, I’m Faith Ashlin. First of all I’d like to say a huge thank you to the wonderful Shehanne for inviting me on her blog. As someone new to publishing it really is appreciated.
I’ve been writing seriously for about 12 years. However, I’ve been making up stories for as long as I can remember. As a little kid it was about families of talking rabbits and sheep. Later, I worked out complicated stories about how I married David Cassidy and we lived long, happy lives together with our dozen children. Or maybe it was Donny Osmond, I honestly can’t remember! The big change came when I started writing the stories down. That took a lot of practice and a lot of work.
The ole teen pin up, David himself – never thought to see the day his pic was on a blog of mine.
Q. Hee hee. Maybe not David, or Donny, but I think we all did that! Now I see you have a new release from Silver coming up shortly, so an exciting time for you.
Faith: Yes, it’s very exciting. ‘What You See Isn’t Always What You Get’ is due out on 23rd February. I also have a third book, ‘Knights and Butterscotch’, due a while later. It doesn’t have a release date yet. Plus, I have a short story called ‘My Unintended’ released on February 9th 2013 in Silver Presents, anthology: Love is Love.
What You See Isn’t Always What You Get
Sex for money. That’s the simple deal ex-freedom fighter Richard offers Denny when he buys his freedom. But as they get to know one another they become bound together, until a ghost from Richard’s past threatens to tear them apart.
It’s a throwaway announcement, a fait accompli, but one that makes Noah suddenly stop and think. Everyone else seems so certain about the future but he’s not sure if he’s ready to let go of old expectations.
Knights and Butterscotch
A story of modern day honourable knights, kings, paint-splattered artists, butterscotch whip desert and a lightening bolt of attraction that hits so hard that Matti’s head is spinning and his cock hardening. And then things get even more complicated.
Q. I’m hoping to talk to you today about your first book, Pathfinder, which has had some great reviews and is a really unusual story. What’s more you’ve brought along Bobby and Lewis, your two leads. Readers, don’t you believe Faith and I have a time machine here? Of course we do. Writers have everything…ahem. Pathfinder is the story of two American airmen flying bombing raids with the British in WW2. What gave you the idea to write about that era?
Faith: Watching old WW2 war films, as a child, on a Sunday afternoon with my mum was a great inspiration. The intensity, the emotions, the uniforms and two gorgeous men squashed into a small cockpit all made a life long impression on me. Plus it’s a period of history I love and I’ve always been fascinated by planes.
Q. Okay, this is not the actual vintage but I can’t resist showing this old card I have, being a sucker for old films and music.
Q. So Bobby, you’re the navigator and the one who is truly committed to fighting this war. Would you like to tell us a bit about yourself?
Bobby: I don’t think this war is anything like the last one. I think this time the fight is against something truly evil, something that has to be stopped. I believe in this war. Freedom, democracy, standing up against fascism. They’re important ideals, ones worth fighting for and building a life around. I fight for what I believe to be right.
But good navigation makes a huge difference. With a first class navigator we can go deep into enemy territory, pinpoint the target, then do real damage without wasting bombs. Imagine the difference that makes.
Q. What has changed for you?
Bobby: Nothing really, I still believe all that. But my mom sat me down when I was about eighteen, and told me not to get too close to other boys. She said it wasn’t natural. She made sure I knew where we both stood. I thought there could never be anyone for me, certainly not anyone special. Then I met Lewis and… Good things really can come out of bad.
Q. You never listened to your mom then! Lewis, you think this is a lucky pairing, which we’ll come to in a moment, what’s it like flying these raids?
Lewis: It’s amazing. And scary. Scarily amazing. Life expectancy is counted in weeks for many airmen and the job is a tough one. But it’s also a really important one. It has its plus points as well. I get to fly a Mosquito, which has to be one of the most incredible planes ever made. She’s so fast she doesn’t need to be armed; she’s in and out before the Germans even know what hit them. Plus she’s made of wood. Amazing. Then, of course, I get to fly with Bobby, who’s almost as pretty as the plane!
Q. Despite all this you have time to fall in love with each other, as if things weren’t difficult enough already. Now what would happen were this found out?
Lewis: I don’t even want to think about it. What we do is illegal and, in the military, what we are is banned. Everyone knows that. We’d get thrown out and probably put in prison. After that… let’s just say it would be bad. Very, very bad.
Q. Bobby of course, you refused to stop flying, despite the worst happening.
Bobby: Lewis wanted me to stop flying when he was out of action because he thought we were a lucky pairing. A pairing that stayed alive because we were together. But I couldn’t stop, I needed to fight and I still do. I want to. I couldn’t stop then because things are too important. Lewis is important as well; more important than I ever thought possible. But the war is about nation fighting nation, the whole world is involved. The war is about good versus evil and I have to fight.
Q. Well I’m not going to ask about the HEA…readers can find out for themselves. But before you go can you tell us a favorite piece of music?
Bobby: Oh don’t worry about the Happy Ever After, it’s war and there are no guarantees but I do know, that in my mind, Lewis’ plans for our future work out just as he wants!
This is my favorite piece of music. Vera Lynn – We’ll Meet Again www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Drw4aZhdT8
There are better recordings of the song but here she’s singing in front of a RAF Badge. Lewis and I were standing in the audience. Can you spot us?
Lewis: This is mine. Dooley Wilson – As Time Goes By
It’s one of the best love songs of the era. Even though it was written long before the war, it captures the spirit so well, and it seemed to just fit our story.
Faith, a big thank you for coming by and all the best with the new releases. My own favorite music from that era, Billie Holliday, I’ll be seeing you.
Here’s the blurb for Pathfinder
The story of two American airmen who join the Royal Air Force towards the start of WW2, before America enters the war. Both accept that they are gay but Bobby, the navigator, has put any thoughts of love to one side because he passionately believes in the war. Things change with the arrival of his new pilot, Lewis. Lewis believes in the war but also loves the new plane.
They connect immediately and start a sexual relationship, but know they have to be extremely careful. During many dangerous raids their bond gets stronger until Lewis pushes Bobby to admit they are in love. Then the worst happens and Lewis is badly wounded. He wants Bobby to stop flying while he recovers, because he believes they are a ‘lucky pairing’ who stay safe because they fly together.
Bobby won’t stop and goes on to be Squadron Leader, while Lewis heals. Eventually they come back together as part of the new Pathfinders. During an emotionally charged night in bed they resolve the issues of Bobby continuing to fly, plan a possible future and admit the depth of their feelings for each other.
Excerpt from Pathfinder
Bobby’s eyes wandered over the Mosquito again. Not a huge plane, not like the bombers, and without the glamour of a Spitfire, but none the less impressive. A beautiful plane, freshly painted in a patchwork of brown and green, one that stood proud, nose held high. Her wings swept out gracefully, with two big propellers ready for action and the glass canopy that would protect her crew of two just visible. His mouth watered at the possibilities.
He was still there, still looking, twenty minutes later when he heard the sound of feet and turned to meet his new pilot. Another big man, his dark blue-gray RAF uniform fitting snugly across his broad shoulders. His cap was pushed firmly onto thick dirty-blond hair, over a wide smile and brown eyes. He was tall… really, really tall.
“Hi.” A big hand was thrust in Bobby’s direction. “Pilot Officer Lewis Winters, you must be Flight Lieutenant Davenport, my navigator.”
“Yeah, but…” Suddenly, there were a lot of thoughts whirring around in Bobby’s head. He’d deal with the most important first. “Can you actually fit inside a cockpit? Will there be room for me?”
Lewis threw his head back as he barked out a laugh, the sound catching Bobby off guard. There hadn’t been much laughter around him since… for a long time. “It’s a bit of pinch but, don’t worry, I’ve had a lot of practice. I won’t squash you.” Lewis’s eyes made a swift journey up Bobby’s body, lingering on his face. “Unless you want me to.”
So it was like that, was it?
Books by Faith
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