Thursday, January 10, 2013

Author Spotlight - Teresa Ashby

I'm so pleased to welcome Teresa Ashby to our blog today. As well as being a lovely friend, Teresa is a phenomenally successful writer, with more than 2,000 short stories and articles to her name, as well as a number of novels.

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love both reading and writing and decided quite early on that I wanted to be a writer (just after I realised I could never be a nun and even if I could, I was never going to look like Audrey Hepburn). Although I started out trying to write novels, the short stories took over, but I still like to involve myself in something longer when I get the chance.

What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th?(Nora only!)
I really and truly have no idea. I have written so many over the years. But if you’re talking about published ones, I’ve had eleven in large print. The latest one is out this month The Girl From Yesterday.

Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping?
I’ve never enjoyed shopping for shoes – does that make me weird? Not that I don’t love shoes, I do. But since I broke a bone in my foot I haven’t been able to wear the high heels I love. Sorry – straying from the question. I write best if I’m sitting in the car with no distractions, but that doesn’t happen very often so it’s a matter of bum on seat and trying not to be lured by the internet.

What is your top promo tip for other authors?
I wish I had one! It’s something I still struggle with. I do find it a turn off though when people are too pushy, so I tend not to post loads of messages on Facebook or Twitter in case it has a negative effect. Having said that, if you don’t blow your own trumpet (as my dear old mum used to say) no one else will do it for you. It’s a fine line I think.

How does writing fit into your day? Or does your day fit in around your writing?
Writing has to fit in with my day. I did go through a period of being a full time writer, but it didn’t work for me. Although it was very nice, I found myself drifting. The more I have going on in my life and the busier I am, the more focused I am when it comes to writing.

Is there a book you haven't written yet that you're dying to? What genre?
I have always, since the very beginning, wanted to write a book about a family gathering and explore all those wonderful complex relationships. I have a few notes which I add to from time to time and one day I will write it!

Keeping fit: Do you have an exercise regime to counterbalance all those hours sitting at a computer?
Sorry, me? Keep fit? I used to walk my dogs for two hours every day whatever the weather, but now it’s more of a half hour stroll than a five mile hike. I swim once a week, does that count?

Could you be friends with any of your heroines?
They’ve all been friends – at least that’s how I feel about them. You get to know them so well that they feel like real people. But if I had to choose just one, it would be Cara who was in The Call of Home and also The Doctor’s Decision.

Have you ever written a hero you'd be happy to run off with?
Yes! Matt in The Call of Home. I really fell for him. He’s still my favourite hero. And to celebrate being invited here by the lovely Minxes, I’m giving away The Call of Home free on Kindle from the 10th to the 12th January.

Do you have any tips, tricks or sacrificial rituals you do when you hit a story roadblock?
I have many half completed books and stories where I’ve hit a roadblock and left them (I think sometimes that my mind must look like a scene from The Walking Dead with all the abandoned vehicles on the roads representing all the broken down stories). However, if I’m at a point where I know where I’m going, but not sure how to get there, I leave a gap and carry on. Often the answer will come later and you can fill in the blanks.

Finally, can you please tell us a little bit about your latest book?
Out on Kindle now is Doctor’s Decision which is about Australian doctor Cara, who was also in The Call of Home.

When ship’s doctor, Australian Cara Stanford meets trauma consultant Greg Harding on a busy quayside, the sparks fly! Despite the instant chemistry, both know that they won’t meet again after the ship sails. Cara will be returning to Australia as soon as her stint on the Princess Helena finishes and Greg has his work cut out caring for his widowed sister in law and her little boy.

The Princess Helena runs into trouble at sea and Cara finds herself coping with many casualties. Greg has to overcome his fear of helicopters to go to the rescue and when he is winched aboard he finds Cara is hurt too. He takes care of her as she recuperates, but just when Cara starts to let her guard down, a near tragedy brings her to her senses and thinking there is no future for them, she returns to Australia – alone.

The Doctor's Decision is available from and

And Teresa has very generously made The Call of Home free to download from Kindle up until the 12th January from and from

Thank you for visiting the Minxes today, Teresa.

You can find out more about Teresa on her blog, or follow her on Twitter.


Pat Posner said...

Great interview
Teresa, I wish when I hit a roadblock I could leave a gap and carry on but, even when I know where I want to go, I just can't.

Looking forward to reading your new ones.

Romy Sommer said...

Thanks for joining us here todasy, Teresa.

Hearing your perspective on working full-time as a writer fascinated me. So many of us dream of giving up the day job to write, that seeing it from the other side is quite eye-opening.

Kathy Bosman said...

Thanks for sharing your writing process, Teresa. Yes, I also have to admit that being busy with other things keeps me from drifting, but sometimes it distracts me totally. Thanks for giving your book for free - I will read and post a review. Looks so interesting!

Teresa Ashby said...

Thanks, Pat. It doesn't always work for me because I don't often know where I'm going, but it does work sometimes :-) x

Thank you, Romy - I was so chuffed to be ask to be here :-) x

Thank you, Kathleen :-) x

Wendy's Writing said...

I've learnt a bit more about you Teresa. Maybe one day (in decades to come!)I will sell as many short stories as you!

Caroline said...

Great blog, Teresa! Thanks for the free download as well. Caroline x

Maya Blake said...

Wow, what a brilliant career you've had so far! And I think short story writers are incredible! Long may your success continue :)

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I'm in awe, Teresa. Hope you don't have anything against hero worship because I do believe you're my new hero. What an accomplishment. Reading your story has really fired me up. Thanks Suzanne for having Teresa as a guest today.

Awesome interview!

Anonymous said...

Great interview, thanks Minxes and Teresa.

Teresa Ashby said...

Thank you so much for all the lovely comments - I knew being a guest of the Minxes would be special and it really is :-) x

Patsy said...

Thanks for the freebie, Teresa!

I don't like shopping for shoes either. Not sure you should be reassured by that though as I am weird.

Teresa Ashby said...

You're no weirder than I am, Patsy ;-) x

Suzanne Ross Jones said...

So, so lovely to have you here today, Teresa.

And thank you everyone for all your comments.


Karen said...

I'm the same with shoes as I have arthritis in my big toe (sexy) and can't wear high heels!

I'm in awe of how much you've written - you put me to shame.

Great interview :o)

Maria said...

Teresa - I hate shopping for shoes too. If that makes you weird, you can know that you're not alone.

Teresa Ashby said...

Thanks ladies. I'm so glad I'm not the only one (not about your arthritis though, Karen) with the shoe thing :-) x

Joanna said...

Such a lovely and interesting interview. I don't like shoe shopping either and also find the car a good place to write.
Your writing career is such an inspiration, Teresa, and long may it prosper. x

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Love reading more about your fantastic career to date, Teresa. -I definitely agree about being busy sometimes makes us more focused.

Teresa Ashby said...

Thank you, Joanna and Rosemary. It was a good deal easier to rack up those numbers years ago when there were so many magazines publishing fiction x

Lydia said...

Lovely interview, Teresa. Full time writing doesn't work for me either - I get sloppy. I'm much more focussed when I have to squeeze it in - sometimes the squash gets a bit much though! x

Teresa Ashby said...

I know what you mean, Lydia x

Rena George said...

Your writing career has been awesome, Teresa. Thank you for this insight into your work, and thank you for the free download of The Call of Home, which I can hardly wait to read.
Great job, Suzanne. xx

penandpaints said...

Lovely interview, I don't like shoe shopping either, thank you for the free book, Teresa!
Thanks, Suzanne! xx

klahanie said...

Very good of you to spotlight our good friend, delightful lady and brilliant author, Teresa, on your site.

Superb questions and answers. Dear Suzanne, have you missed me? It has been ages since I um graced you with one of my much loved comments.

I reckon I could be a hero in a book you both would be happy to run off with. Note my humbleness.

May you both have a peaceful weekend and happy writing.

Your friend,

Gary x

unikorna said...

I love Teresa, she is a magical being and her special touch is easily noticed everywhere ...including her blog. Good luck with your novel.

Teresa Ashby said...

Thank you lovely ladies and gentleman - you really do say the kindest things. And thank you again Suzanne and the Minxes for inviting me here xx

Sally Clements said...

Gosh that's a fantastic body of work, Teresa! :)

Sue Blackburn said...

Wow! Says it all really. You are one special lady :o) xx