A.S. Fenichel - Trading IT for Historical, Paranormal and Contemporary Romance
A.S. Fenichel didn’t let a successful IT career in New York City stand in the way of her lifelong dream of becoming a professional writer and it is a gamble that paid off. Love, magic, mayhem, passion and desire can all be found in her stories, making them firm favorites with readers. Today we talk to Andrea about her book, Ascension, what made her decide to become a writer, and what her average writing day looks like.
Please give us a short introduction to Ascension
Ascension is a Paranormal Historical romance about a delicate lady who learns to defend herself against the growing demon threat in London while her fiancé is fighting in France.
Here’s the back cover:
When demons threaten London, Lady Belinda answers the call.
Lord Gabriel Thurston returns home from war to find his fiancée is not the sweet young girl he left behind. She’s grown into a mysterious woman who guards her dark secrets well. When he sees her sneaking away from a ball, he’s convinced it’s for a lover’s rendezvous. Following her to London’s slums, Gabriel watches in horror as his fiancée ruthlessly slays a man.
Lady Belinda Carlisle’s only concern was her dress for the next ball—until demons nearly killed her and changed everything. A lady by day, and a demon hunter by night, she knows where her duty lies. Ending her betrothal is the best way to protect Gabriel from death by a demon’s hand.
Gabriel soon realizes, like him, Belinda has been fighting for her country. He joins in the fight, determined to show her that their love can endure, stronger than ever.
In which way is books an escape for you?
In every way. I love to jump in and get lost for an hour or a day. There’s nothing better than starting a book and being so sucked in that you can’t/won’t put it down until you finish. Those books where you have to go to work, but you can’t stop thinking about them all day and then when you get home you eat a can of tuna over the sink so you can just jump back in, are the best.
What inspired you to turn a perfectly behaved Lady into a demon hunter?
That’s just it! Who wouldn’t want to turn a perfectly behaved lady into a demon hunter? LOL The idea came to me as a snapshot of a lady in evening gown sneaking into the garden at night. She was disheveled and covered in mud and who knows what else. I had to find out how she came to be in that state and what she was doing on her own at night. When I realized she wasn’t alone in the garden, things got interesting. Lady Belinda is a force to be reckoned with. I love her and really, she turned herself into a demon hunter, I just wrote it down for all of you.
What made you decide to become a writer? And was it hard to give up your IT career in order to pursue writing?
I think I was always a writer. Even before I could write, I told stories of children growing up on farms as opposed to how I grew up in the suburbs. It took me a long time to realize anyone else would be interested in the voices in my head or that I could actually write them down.
As far as leaving my NYC job, that was easy. I loved it, but writing was my passion and I knew I would never succeed if I didn’t jump in with both feet. My husband retired after a 30 year law enforcement career and we moved south. Two years later my first book, Mayan Afterglow, was published.
One of the themes in Ascension is love through change - Gabriel finds that Belinda is no longer the sweet young girl he used to know. How important do you feel is it to adapt to changes in a relationship?
Change is inevitable. External influences make us learn and grow. I don’t think Belinda changed on the inside. She was still the same loving woman. She wants to end their engagement to protect Gabriel from the things she is dealing with. She is very selfless in her desire to keep him safe and lose the only man she’s ever loved. Once Gabriel knows all her secrets, it’s up to him to see through the warrior to the woman he’s always loved.
Tragedy can alter the person we see on the outside, but inside we rarely change. People in relationships that work for the long haul, see and love the entire person and not just the emotions that make it to the surface.
Your husband is your real-life hero. How much of his character do you write into your male leads?
Only the good parts. LOL He made me write that.
Really, there is a lot of my husband, Dave in my characters, just like there is a lot of me in them. My mother crops up in people quite often as do many of my family and friends. Essentially, I’m creating a person based on what I know about humanity. A bit of this and a bit of that and I’ve created the Frankenstein monster, but nicer and prettier.
Dave is very good about knowing why a person does a dumb or unexpected thing. I suppose it’s his police training. In that, I think there is a lot of Dave in Gabriel. Both are very thoughtful and receptive to what their partner needs and wants from life.
Ascension is very action packed - what is your secret to keeping your readers hooked until the end?
I wish there was a “secret” but I just tell the story. The Demon Hunter books are action packed because there is a constant fight against evil. Anytime we get a breather and think we can relax, a new set of terrifying problems crop up and need to be dealt with. I never had a problem with the story fading because this is a fun, crazy, action, falling in love, madness kind of story.
What interested you about the time period Ascension is set in? Why did you decide to mix historical Romance with demon hunting?
I have always loved Regency Romance. I love all the rules set forth in Jane Austen’s books. And because I love them so much, I felt compelled to break quite a few of them. That’s the fun of writing a book like Ascension; knowing the rules and then bending or breaking them just enough.
The wonderful thing about changing known history by adding a paranormal element is it gave me license to show all those wonderful rules, which make us love the time period, but then push the characters to secretly break the rules to save the world.
What was your greatest challenge when writing this book?
When I first started Ascension it was a struggle. I didn’t know how to fit all the demon story into the book. Once I realized there was more than one book, it was much easier.
Do you have any interesting writing habits, what's your average writing day like?
I get up at 4:30 and if the dog and cat give me an hour, I write like mad. After I walk feed walk, pet, snuggle…then I’m allowed to get back to writing or editing.
Generally I write lounging on the couch or chaise. I only use my desk for business stuff - never for the creative end of publishing.
Do you let your books stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
If there’s time. Sometimes deadlines make that impossible. As an author, it’s important to remember this is a business as well as a passion.
Can you give readers a sneak peek at what's coming next from you?
Of course! Tainted Bride is a traditional regency and hits the shelves on September 27.
Here’s the back cover:
Only trust can save her….
Sailing to London, Sophia Braighton only hopes to escape certain ruin. But when she arrives, her Great Aunt Daphne has other plans for the American-born beauty. Determined to marry off her niece to a man of means, she propels Sophia into London society, not knowing that the young woman’s trust in men is shattered. In fact, Sophia never expects to ever feel anything for a man. Then again, she never expects to find herself in the company of the dashing earl of Marlton….
From the moment he sees Sophia, Daniel Fallon feels alive in a way he has not since his broken engagement. Though the vulnerable beauty shies from the passion burning bright between them, Daniel is determined to court her and make her his bride. And when he learns of the painful secret she harbors, he is equally determined to take revenge on the man responsible. But will the quest destroy him—and his future with his beloved?
A little snippet from Tainted Bride
His eyes shone with intensity making her heart pound.
The music changed to a waltz and he bent his head an inch from hers. “Perhaps a dance first, Miss Braighton? I hate to let an opportunity to hold you in my arms slip away.”
“I wish you would not say such things.”
“Is that a yes, or a no, to the dance?” His eyes filled with mirth.
She nodded and they circled the dance floor. In his arms, it was difficult to think of anything she decided before the ball.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
I love to chat with readers. I’m on Social Media all the time. Here’s where you can find me.
Web Site- http://asfenichel.com/
Blog - http://asfenichel.com/blog/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/A.S.Fenichel
Twitter - https://twitter.com/asfenichel