Author interview: A romance author with a soft spot for technology and controversy – Ashlinn Craven

Maybe Baby cover - Ashlinn CravenI am very excited to have Swiss-based Irish author Ashlinn Craven on my blog today, following the release of her debut novel Maybe Baby.

I’ve been lucky enough to have had Ashlinn as a critique partner, and was fortunate to read an early version of this book, which I absolutely loved. Because I’ve been hoping to see this book in print one day, it makes it even nicer for me to announce its publication, by Crimson Romance on 24th February 2014, and to congratulate Ashlinn on the first of what I hope will be many publications.

Thanks for joining me today, Ashlinn!

I loved the premise of this book. Will you give us a brief summary?

Thanks for hosting me, Kimberly, you’re very kind!

My heroine, Polly, schedules her life around work. She’s scheduled her biological clock right into the next decade. It can happen, right? But when she takes the unusual step of freezing her eggs and then donating them, she starts to lose her grip on this controlled life, especially when she meets Julian, a debonair top London CEO. She gets sucked into his world that’s crazier than any of the computer games he sells…a lunatic ex-wife, a clingy sister, corporate backstabbing, and just as they start to fall for each other, a truth emerges that makes their love inconceivable.

How did you come up with the idea?

I kind of worked backwards. I wanted a romance where for some reason, sex wasn’t allowed, albeit very much desired. Why, you may ask, when sex sells? Well, the romances I’ve loved most (think Austen, Heyer) have zero sex on the page—and yet the attraction sizzles underneath all the suppression. I wanted to explore ways in which people today can be sexually repressed by their own choice, or by lack of it, by biology, by sociology, and even, in this somewhat exaggerated case, by technology. I wanted two characters to fight through a tough dilemma to prove their love for each other…before jumping into bed.

I’ve been lucky enough to read another of your works-in-progress – the seemingly unlikely romance between an Irish nuclear power plant executive and a nuclear energy protester. What draws you to these controversial themes and difficult romantic pairings?

Hah! I think all romance writers want a pairing that’ll ignite conflict between the hero and heroine. I just go overboard. I also feel, though, that there’s middle ground to be found in any polarised situation. Growing up on the border of Northern Ireland and the Republic taught me as much.

 I’d love to hear about Maybe Baby’s path to publication. How did you get a publishing contract? What did you learn along the journey?

 My journey to publication was mercifully short, although I did wait until I had four books completed and I felt my writing was mature enough for it. Rachel Cross (another critiquecircle crit partner) urged me to try Crimson Romance and they were the first and only publishers I sent to. I liked their covers, their efficiency and smart presentation. They accepted within a fortnight.

 Do you have any advice to share with authors looking to publish their first books?

Be generous. The more you read, and critique, and genuinely appreciate others’ works the better you’ll be. Choose your crit buddies wisely, the constructive ones, the ones who write well themselves. And be humble: before you submit anywhere, get a professional reviewer to look at it and tell you the bald truth, and then act on that.

I know you’re a busy working mom, who writes in her limited free time. How do you manage to carve out your writing time?

It’s horrible. I don’t carve…I chip away snippets of time from other activities, hoping nobody will notice. I’ve also cultivated the skill of writing with the TV on full blast and a three year old sitting, literally, on my head.

What are you working on now?

A novel forthcoming in summer, featuring a US helicopter rescue pilot who’s obsessed with a tragic loss in her past. She meets a dashing British formula 1 driver who’s obsessed with winning the upcoming season. Their perspectives and goals in life couldn’t be more different. I’m co-authoring with Rachel Cross so we feel we faithfully capture the US and Euro speech patterns and mannerisms. We’re having a blast “travelling the world” to swanky locations crammed with high-testosterone situations!

Thanks so much, Ashlinn, for joining me. I’m so excited for your book, and hope this will be the first of many author interviews – since I’m intent on booking you for future novels, too. : )

Readers, be sure to pick up Ashlinn’s fabulous novel, Maybe Baby, available at the following sites:




Crimson Romance:


Ashlinn CravenTo get in touch with Ashlinn, take a look at:


Ashlinn’s web site:

Twitter: @AshlinnCraven


  1. Catherine on February 28, 2014 at 9:00 am

    I love Ashlinn’s take on life and admire anyone who can write anything with a three-year-old on her head. Good luck and lots of sales!

    • kimberlysullivan on February 28, 2014 at 9:18 am

      I agree with you, Catherine. And I chuckled, too, about her response of writing with a three-year-old on her head. Find me a male author who is able to do that. : ) I really love Ashlinn’s writing, and am excited for this book launch.

  2. wordfoolery on February 28, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Great interview and yeah, those pesky three year olds, eh? Ashlinn (whose book is a great read, by the way) was over on my word blog on Wednesday talking about the word “uber” –

    • kimberlysullivan on February 28, 2014 at 7:03 pm

      Hi Grace! I saw Ashlinn over on your blog – thanks for including the link. Wishing you a fantastic weekend!

  3. Rachel Cross on February 28, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    Loved this book in the queues, love it in print! Congrats Ashlinn!

  4. Celeste on March 6, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Thank you for this interesting interview. Writing with kids around is a nightmare! Ciao

    • kimberlysullivan on March 7, 2014 at 9:20 am

      Hi Celeste. Yes, I think many women can relate. : ) But, as we near International Women’s Day, just another illustration of how amazing women (and women writers) are…

  5. […] If you read and enjoy Core Attraction (here’s the link to the Amazon page), you’re bound to like Ashlinn’s first novel, Maybe, Baby. Take a look at the author interview I did with Ashlinn for the release of her debut novel. […]

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