Anniversary Shenanigans: Author Visit: Ashley John

Today we are welcoming to the blog, author Ashley John. Ashley is the writer of the Surf Bay series (among others) and is so incredibly busy we are delighted he managed to stop by for a visit! We welcomed him into our bar, gave him a caffeine free cocktail and set about interrogating, er, questioning him. Here is what he had to say... 

What are your favourite M/M themes?
I'd have to say relationships and love. I know the majority of M/M books revolve around these themes, but it's something I've found myself writing about a lot. I always find myself writing about love that doesn't come easy, because I don't see love as being easy. Relationships take a lot of work to get to a good place, and sometimes, the path isn't always so clear to get there. This is a theme that I've explored in all of my book so far, because that's what comes naturally to me. I often get asked why the characters don't get together half way through the book so they can be happy for 150 pages without any conflict, but would that be any fun to read? In my Surf Bay series, 'tough love' is a theme I've explored a lot. Charlie and Oliver in the first book (Lost & Found), didn't have an easy start to their relationship because Charlie was confused about his sexuality and that led to the conflict between the characters. In the second book (Full Circle), Porter and Kane have already been in love once when they were teenagers, but as 35 year old adults, their lives are very complicated and they need to work through a lot to get to a good place. In the future, I'm planning on writing some lighter stories with a comedy angle, but for now, I'll stick with the 'rocky road', but maybe that's because I like putting my readers through the mill

What books do you consider Desert Island Keepers?

A survival book? Is that a cop out? In all honesty, I'd probably say the Harry Potter series, because reading them stirs a lot of nostalgia for me. I read the first book when I was 8 and the final book when I was 15, so I can tell you exactly where and what I was doing in my life when I read each book. Plus, they're so damn long, it would keep me occupied as I starved to death. In all seriousness, I'd be terrible on a desert island.

What's your go-to tasty beverage?

I'd like to say coffee, but I recently quit because it was messing up my skin. I was becoming so dependent on it to write, so I decided to go cold turkey to get away from the delicious stuff (3 weeks clean, *wipes away tear*). Now, I like to drink green tea and water (how dull, right?). Of course, if I'm in a bar, I'm partial to cider or a nice dry white wine. One of the tastiest drinks I've ever encountered is a cider that tastes like Toffee Apples, made by Brothers. It's perfect for this time of year, because it's like drinking pure syrup!

Do you have any secret talents? Inquiring minds want to know!
I can get my leg behind my head (cheeky wink). I also draw and paint when I get the chance. I've been an artist since I was a young child, but I'm always switching up my medium. This time last year I was painting and drawing everyday, but now I'm pouring my creativity into writing. People who are eagle-eyed may have noticed some of my portraits and painting tucked away on my Facebook page I can also lick my nose (a not so cheeky wink).

If you had to choose to be one magical beast, what would it be and why? (You don't have to say unicorn...but we won't say neigh either). 
I'd probably be something with wings. Maybe Pegasus? I can be quite a lazy person and I imagine it doesn't take as much effort to flap my way to the fridge.

Who's your favourite porn star?
I don't even need to think about this one. Colby Keller! He might not be the most conventionally good looking man, but there's a rawness and passion to him that is irresistible. He sends this little gay boy weak at the knees.

Do you have author envy? Whose words do you read and think, "GAH, I wish I wrote that!"?
This is probably going to be a lame answer, but I honestly don't. Whenever I read, I put my reader head on and I get lost in the story. I've developed tunnel vision when I'm working on a book, because If I don't focus on what I'm doing and I start focusing on what everyone else is doing, I'd get very lost very quickly. There are a lot of amazing writers out there, especially in the M/M genre, so it would be so easy for me to be consumed with jealousy, but I'd never get anything done. Some authors that I've read recently have been Amy Lane (I love how funny her characters are), Ella Frank (I love the chemistry she creates) and Catherine Bybee (because her books are so sweet and light).

Any new projects you're currently working on?
Lots! I'm currently working on my first M/F romance story (Unlikely Love), which is available for pre-order now. I'm slightly nervous about it, because it's my first venture outside of M/M, so I have no idea what I'm doing there! I'm also working on the third Surf Bay book, Saving Michael, which is coming out just before Christmas and is also available for pre-order. Michael is a character that divided readers in Full Circle, so I'm looking forward for the chance to explain a few things about him and his life. So far, we've only seen the drunken rage, not the person beneath it all. 2015 is going to be a good year for me. I already have a lot planned in the first quarter, so I'm going to be insanely busy! I won't give too much away yet (because I'm very likely to change my mind), but I think I'm going to rest the Surf Bay books for a few releases to focus on some complete standalone M/M books. I've had a M/M romantic comedy planned for a while which I want to write, and I have some other ideas floating around that I'm toying with. Looking at the bigger picture, there are going to be AT LEAST 6 Surf Bay books, with a possibility for more, so that's very exciting (and terrifying). I'm going to be a very busy boy!

Harry Potter and Colby Keller (um, that's not a suggestion btw) this author gets our vote!! Thank you so much for popping by Ashley, we look forward to reading Michael's story (Lorix is VERY anxious, she's pretty sure there is a sad messed up person under the bully he'd become!!) 

To find out more about Ashley, visit his goodreads page.


  1. I'm all for Harry potter and Colby Keller! Smart girl! You'll get far in life :P I wish you all the best and many great new books ahead!