I want to thank you so much, Skylar, for having me today. Before we get to the interview though, I wanted to mention that I’ll be doing a giveaway at the end of the tour. Every comment that is made on each of the posts will be put into a hat and two winners will be drawn at random to win e-copies of the book. I’ll announce the winners on my website on April 10th.
1. What is your writing process like?
It’s changed a lot over the last year. When I first started writing I would wait until the “mood” struck and I would sneak into a corner and write for a few hours. It took me quite a while to get through my first novel, and there was a lot of going back and reading what I’d already written. I have the memory of a goldfish and I couldn’t start writing without going back and figuring out where I was in the story.
Now I try to write a little every day (usually between 1500 and 3000 words if I can squeeze it in). It makes more sense for me, otherwise I forget where I was and it takes me a while to get back into it.
2. Name three literature characters that you would love to have dinner with?
1. Claire Waverly from Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
2. Porter from Art of Death by Ana Bosch
3. Charles Wallace from A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
It would definitely be an interesting meal with a modern-day witch, an undead artist and a genius kid.
3. How/why did you start writing romance?
It’s what I enjoy reading, so it was a natural transition from reader to writer for me, plus I really like happily ever afters, and most characters get those in romance.
4. Do you have a favorite scene in any of your books?
There are a few I like, but the one that is sticking out in my head right now is the scene where Bran takes Evan to the “toy” shop. Evan has had very little experience with anything like that before, and he’s just kind of thrown into it. He handles it like a champ though.
5. What is your dream vacation?
I love to travel. If I won the lottery, I don’t think I would ever come home again. I’ve been lucky enough to visit quite a few places so far. I’d love to go back to Europe and hop around South America, but other than the coast of Oregon, my absolute favourite place to visit is Disneyland. It is impossible to have a bad day in Disney. Last year, Xto and I went and managed to get the flu the day after we arrived. To top it off, it was 50 degrees and raining hard enough that the bobsleds on the Matterhorn were like individual bathtubs. We still had an awesome time.
6. Are you more an angst or fluff type?
My writing is pretty fluffy. I am a sucker for the ooey gooey romantic stuff. There is some angst thrown in there to (hopefully) balance it all out, but I can’t have a story without a little fluff.
In the books I read, I’m happy with either as long as everything is resolved by the end.
7. What is the most important thing you’ve learned from the publishing process?
To remember why I’m doing this. The excitement of getting published has been awesome, and doing interviews like this one is pretty amazing, but there are also some challenges that I am likely to face in the next little while. I know other authors that are discouraged by bad reviews or negative things that people say about them or their writing. I think what happens sometimes is that people get so caught up in what happens after you hit the “send” button that they forget why they started writing in the first place.
8. Do you write with music? If so, what kind?
No, I find it incredibly difficult to focus if there are other distractions in the room. I do use music though, to get myself in a certain headspace for a scene. I’ll listen to a certain song that I feel fits with a certain part and then write once it’s over. It’s especially helpful if I’ve left off in the middle of a scene and need to get back to where I was.
9. If you were lost on a desert island, what three things would you miss the most? Or what three men would you want with you?
I have nothing but men on this desert island? I can’t complain too much about that!
Really though, I would pretty much die without my Kindle. My family vacations in Hawaii at Christmas every year and I spend 50% of my time on the beach reading. Secondly, my family (or at least a phone to contact them). My parents, my sister, and I are closer than any family probably should be. I talk to each of them at least once a day if possible, and our chats run pretty long. My husband is grateful that we have a good long distance plan or we would be completely broke!
And lastly, my husband (is that too obvious?) We’re newlyweds though, so I haven’t had time to get sick of him yet! 😉
10. Favorite drink ? Food?
Food? Anything that isn’t good for me.
Drink? Day to day I live off of caffeinated beverages; coffee and coke zero. If we’re out for dinner, I prefer Irish beer; Smithwicks if they have it (although most places don’t).
11. The power to fly or the power to read minds? Why?
Oh God. I would have to choose mind reading (although I think that may have quite a few drawbacks), but flying is one of my biggest fears, trumped only by public speaking and spiders). Let’s just say that I am grateful for airport bars.
12. Any favorite m/m authors?
Far too many to name. The list of m/m authors whose work I don’t enjoy is a much shorter list then those I do.
Leave an excerpt of your book of WIP
Since we talked about the toy shop scene, here is a section of it:
Evan gulped audibly. “Nipple clamps? What’s the draw of those?”
Bran laughed, his good humor returning despite his best efforts to remain impartial and distant. He slid his hand through Evan’s hair, ruffling it slightly as he pulled the other man toward him. “We really do need to get you an education, don’t we? Now’s as good a time as any.”
They walked into the store, closer together than two platonic friends should be. Evan didn’t make any attempt to pull away with Bran so close. It made Bran feel warmer, happier. He was totally fucked.
Evan’s first foray into sex toys was quite the experience for him, or so Bran assumed. He had taken all the teasing and ribbing like a champ, smiling and laughing instead of freaking out every time Bran tried to shock him with a story or new toy.
They explored the world of cock rings first—something relatively innocuous—and picked out a few to use on set. For the most part, cock rings weren’t needed, but they came in lots of colors, and Bran let Evan choose a handful to buy.
The next destination on their journey of discovery was the dildos. Bran tried his best not to crack up at Evan’s expression. Bran of course had seen it all before, but watching Evan experiencing the different shapes, and especially sizes, was a sight to behold. He was like a kid at the zoo, seeing an alligator being fed close up for the first time. There was deep fascination thinly veiling sheer horror painted across his face.
In the end, Evan seemed to have made a smooth transition from naïve and innocent to curious and horny as hell. He wasn’t a small guy in the dick department, and he was visibly excited over some of their purchases. Although when you were an eighteen-year-old, it was tough to hide your enthusiasm over anything, so Bran tried not to put too much stock into his reaction. He remembered being eighteen. He might have even fucked a girl if one had let him.
Here is the official blurb for Keeping Sweets:
Days away from high school graduation, with hardly a penny to his name, Evan Lowry needs to earn money for college. When he comes across an ad for modeling, he thinks his luck has changed—until he learns he’s interviewing for an adult film and will be expected to have sex. On camera. With other men.
For gay porn star Brandon Court, the shine has worn off of regular shoots. He and his producer, Les, decide to try something new: a reality-show porno set at a beach house. When he meets wide-eyed and naïve Evan for the first time, Brandon isn’t sure if he wants the kid to get lost or get naked. Naked wins.
On set, Brandon takes Evan under his wing, and over the next month, they are thrown together in every intimate way conceivable—except emotionally. Both Brandon and Evan are terrified of trying for anything deeper, and insecurities and doubts wear on their hopes, but the chemistry between them won’t let them slow things down.
Cate Ashwood wrote her very first story in a hot pink binder when she was in the second grade and found her passion for writing. Her first successful foray into romance writing came five years later when she wrote her best friend, who was experiencing a case of unrequited love, her own happily ever after.
Cate’s life has taken a number of different and adventurous roads. She now lives a stone’s throw from the ocean, just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband and two cats. Her life is filled with family and friends, travel, and, of course, books.
Cate loves to hear from readers. You can find her here: